What do I want from myself? From the group?

Individual and group exercise
Required materials: 
Two blank cards per participant in two different colours, two bowls or containers.

This is a quick exercise that helps to create a safe and trusting space by asking participants to identify both what they want the group to offer to them (for example, trust, respect, honesty, compassion) and what they want to be able to bring to the group. This is important for ensuring that participants are taking responsibility for being present and participative themselves, as well as taking responsibility for the group dynamic.

Key explanation points:

  • Hand out two blank cards to each participant.
  • Ask participants to write down quickly the answers to the following questions (in one or a few words):  a) What do I want from myself today? b) What do I want from the group today?
  • Make sure these are colour coded – that is, that everyone answers the questions using the same colour card.
  • Tell participants the answers will be anonymous, and they need to go with their first instincts.
  • Have participants fold their answers and place them in corresponding containers (put a coloured card with the question on top of the container as a guide).
  • When completed, facilitators either can post them around the room (particularly answers to ‘what I want from the group’) and/or the facilitators or participants can read them out aloud.

Facilitation notes:

This is a good exercise if you are finding that the group is struggling to bond or connect and you need to do more to bring members together, or to get issues into the open. This can be a standalone exercise, and can take place before the ‘unspoken fears’ exercise. Alternately, it could be used during the opening of day two.