Meeting 3-8
Focus: Inviting a new man into the group

The basic structure of this meeting is the same as Meeting 1.1 - refer back for more information.

Some issues may have come up during check-in that the group may wish to spend more time on rather than moving straight into the 'focus'; or perhaps some issue is still to be dealt with from the previous week. When it is appropriate the leader moves the group into the main focus for this meeting.

5) The Big Bit in the middle - the leader announces the focus of the meeting

Focus: Inviting a new man into the group

"Inviting a new man into group can be exciting and rewarding - after all, we are potentially offering a man more support than he's ever received before."

"A new man will have a definite impact on the groups energy, and will change the feel of the group. It is unwise and unfair to assume things will be just the same as before - they won't! He will have his own issues and ideas, and these will become part of group process."

"A group may in fact be looking for more energy and ideas, and will recruit to get that new stimulation; or perhaps the group is in crisis - men have left - and any new man will be walking into a 'hot' or 'stuck' situation."

"Whatever the motivation for having a new man join, there will be obligations and expectations on both sides. These can be explored in the exercises below. On the face of it, it's no big deal, a new man joins, we carry on - right? But there may be a lot more going on…"

Exercises

  1. Does the group have clarity about why it wants/needs a new man to join?
    1. What are the underlying issues? (Have other men left? - Why?)
    2. Are you working with them?
    3. Is the group in denial?
    4. What do you hope to achieve by having a new man join?
    5. What will you reveal to him?
  2. Does the group have clarity about what process it will have to go through to bring a new man up to speed?
    1. What is the history of the group? What have been its main issues?
    2. What is its 'Mission Statement?' Has it done that work? Is now a good time?
    3. What conscious Agreements does the group have? (unstated?) Are they written down? Is now a good time? (Did men leave over conflict around process? What process (rules) exist now?)
    4. Will you repeat early meetings/concepts eg 'Speaking your Truth'?
  3. What does the group want from the new man?
    1. Does he agree to work within our 'Mission Statement' - or does he want something else?
    2. Is he ready to go along with our conscious agreements?
    3. Is he ready to do this work?
  4. Commitment
    1. Do we want him to attend 2 or 3 meetings before we decide? (How do we decide? - See notes below)
    2. Do we want him to attend 2 or 3 meetings before he decides?
    3. What time commitment do we have as a group? Will he commit to this?
  5. What if the group needs 2 or 3 new men in a short space of time? What is the best way to deal with that?
    1. Work them in one at a time and attempt to maintain previous group process?
    2. Bring them all on board at the same time and let the new group (re-) define itself - working from scratch?
    3. Are current members prepared for upheaval of b) above? Is it required anyway, otherwise group may fold?
  6. At what point does he become a full member?
    1. How do we formalise/signify that fact?
    2. What mental adjustment do I need to make to recognise that?

Notes for Meeting 3-8

How do we decide if a man is ok for our group? Is it open to any man who wants to do the work? Or if one man objects do we say 'sorry' and move on to 'try-out' the next man? How can we be fair to him? - and the other men in the group, who have already made an investment? Are we obliged to at least give him a reason for a refusal?

(Note:
Sometimes we may have an immediate 'reaction' to another man - eg strong positive or negative feeling. This may help us decide, - but, we may often do our best work with someone who we react strongly negatively towards - they are bringing something up for us - and this is a place where we work to own our feelings/reaction and work to understand them and not just project/dump them onto another man. On the other hand, is this man conscious of and able to own his 'stuff ? - if not, we may not be able to work with him at all… or it may be a gruelling arduous journey… How brave are we feeling? How energetic are we feeling? Sometimes that is all it comes down to.)