1st Meeting

Theme: Why am I Here?


  1. Talking CapsulesTime: up to 2 hours

    In this activity every person gets an equal amount of time to talk about why they have chosen to participate in this group. They get a "talking capsule" that no one else is allowed to violate.

    Talking capsules should be ten minutes each. If there are more than 12 people in the group, divide 120 minutes by the number of people in the group. That is the number of minutes per talking capsule.

    Each person, in turn, gets into their talking capsule for the allotted period of time. During that time, they can say anything they like or nothing at all. In general, however, the purpose of this activity is to talk about "why I am here".

    One person should act as time keeper and when time is up he should say, "Your time is up ". While a person is in their talking capsule no one else may speak. A person stays in their talking capsule for the full duration, whether or not they want to say anything. Periods of group silence are perfectly fine. There is no discussion of what a person says during their time in their talking capsule. If you want to ask somebody a question about what they said or make a comment, wait until this activity is over.

    If you like, you can use a prop like a "talking stick" or feather, or anything to designate who has the floor. When a person's time is up, they pass the prop to the next speaker.


  2. Beginning to OrganizeTime: 30 minutes

    It is too early in the group's life to make any firm decisions about goals, procedures and such, but it is probably a good time to start talking about goals and purposes without making decisions.

    The purpose of the group is the reason for its existence. Each individual might have some idea of what he hopes the group's purpose will become. These ideas are likely to change over time as each person gets a better idea of who the other members are, what alternative kinds of activities are possible, and what other people want.

    Allow the group to have a free flowing discussion of whatever people are interested in talking about. Make sure the conversation is not dominated by only a couple of men talking about something that is not interesting to most members. If you think this may be happening ask, "Is this a topic that everyone is interested in right now?" and let the others take care of it.

    If you find that conversation is slow and awkward, ask the group to discuss the similarities they noticed in people's descriptions of why they came to the group. As the group does this, see if you can identify what kind of group purpose might be satisfying for all group members. What could the purpose of this group be? Remember, this is not the time to make a decision, just discuss it. The fifth meeting will be a time to make decisions about the group's purpose and procedures.

  3. Preparation for next meeting.Time: 15 minutes

    • Choose a time and place for your next meeting.
    • Decide who will facilitate the next meeting.
    • Someone needs to make enough copies of the sentence completion form (next page) so that there is one per member at the next meeting.
    • Everyone should bring a pen or pencil to the next meeting.