Meeting 6-2
Group Facilitation & Workshops

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: Group Facilitation & Workshops

"Sometimes stuckness can be about digging in to your trenches and defending your own position, doggedly refusing to capitulate to another man's point of view; why - that would mean losing! When two men get into that place each is refusing to accept the other man's 'authority' -ie his power to determine how things should be done. Sometimes groups can form opposing armies, each knowing that theirs is the best way, and the other way is wrong."

"In situations like this, one option to consider is to invite a facilitator in, to observe and advise on your process - preferably someone with some experience of men's work and who is able to be impartial and judge objectively. Hopefully he will find a win- win solution acceptable to both sides; it may not be what either side wanted exactly, but something that both sides can live with but were unable to negotiate independently. Of course an experienced facilitator could be helpful in other ways too, making suggestions and even setting up a tailor made program for your group."

"Another option to consider is the opportunity to take a workshop together as a group, focusing on an area of difficulty for your group, or perhaps just general interest. It could be a chance to ask questions and get an outside perspective on an issue, with everyone being able to debate it independently. For instance many family services type organisations offer inexpensive programs on 'communicating', 'conflict resolution', 'assertiveness' etc any one of which could be beneficial to group process. Perhaps you could even invite a presenter in to give you a private program -custom built for you."

Exercises

  1. Is this an option we want to try?
    Could it settle an issue quicker than I/he wants it settled?
  2. Are there other things we want to try first?
    What are they? When would we do them?
    How do we decide if they've worked - and this option isn't required?
  3. Who could we call? (Local men's organization; counsellors etc)
    Who will call? What are we asking for exactly?
    Is this the facilitators field of expertise?
    Do they have a track record? Any literature?
    Do we want to speak to more than one?
  4. What programs are available locally?
    Are they appropriate for our needs?
    What is our goal in taking this program?
    Is it realistic? What does the presenter think?
  5. Is this a last resort for anyone in the group?
    Are they fed-up with how things are and only willing to stay if there is a change?
  6. Is there any resistance to this option?
    Why? (Do they want outcome if program doesn't happen?)
  7. How much do we want to spend?
    When is a good time?…etc
  8. Afterwards; did it work? - move you into a new space? - give new skills? - being applied?/resisted?