Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Group Work using Blob Tree Materials * Blob Tree and Blob Street

GROUP WORK using a Blob Tree Tool
Blob Street - some ideas for use in a Group Context.


Leader Notes 

These sorts of tools can be used in different contexts - I have used with up 2,000  young people at Festivals at home and abroad. 
The best context is in a small group when all can interact and open up like flowers to the sun.

Group Work Use
1   Think and out  crisply what your objective(s) are. 
Some possible objectives: self revelation; opportunity to share real issues and feelings and hear others win their difference and similarity; opportunity to articulate feelings and therefore ownership of their reality; opening up issues which can lead to discussion and satisfaction from good communication.
Consider if we want facilitate young people becoming at ease with their Hostel/Club/Church/YMCA/Group or equipping them to be able to live a life of wholeness in work and life?

2   Consider the context in depth: people who will be present; the environment; the seating; what can go wrong/ right; the unexpected; hidden agendas. Prepare as many of the contextual matters as best you can. The seating and the size of room/space is vital to the work of a group. Outside factors, such as noise and distractions, are matters which can create insecurity in those present. These can have negative impact on the group process.

3    Aids to help starting up a group/ or encouraging people to attend freely: 
I always start with a big pot of tea and biscuits and developing a warm welcoming rapport among all present; alternatively…  start the group sessions with a fondue with chocolate and a big pile donuts to dunk...... or strawberries!

4   Group Process Thoughts: developing a climate of trust is foundational for openness and sharing. 
Such a climate will help enable humans to take risks for their own development; starting a group with one, or more, simple/fun activity can be an option. Something which helps the group to communicate in a non- threatening environment - with no cause for disagreements, can be good.

5  Kick Off::
Everyone handed a Blob Tree on paper. LINK SEE HERE 
The tool is a leveller, it can be easily read by all (all cultures and languages) 
everyone having a copy, rather than big projection screen image, provides a chance to 'read' the Blob Tool from their own experience of life.

6   Starter Questions::
Ask opinions, from everyone, 
a   'which Blob would you be most concerned about'?.
b   “Which Blob would you consider to be the most dangerous - and you would be most scared of?” 
c   "Which Blob do you see being the most positive and helpful?"

If you are the leader - it is good for you to share/ answer first when the question is about sharing vulnerability. 
This will help to set the standard of openness trust and honesty - the leader is a major influence even if there are strong personalities present. 
Consider calling the next person to share is someone who you know is  prepared to take a risk for their own development. 
Ask them to be the next person to answer. Then proceed around the group - ensure you encourage and briefly acknowledge every comment - leaving no-one with unresponsiveness.

d   Using BLOB STREET as a second phase.
"Which Group on the sheet is the most powerful - the leaders in this context?" 
Encourage different views and you will see some creative thinking emerging. Encourage every contribution - every human.
e   "Take a pen, this is a question to every member present, and draw a line from the top of the page to the bottom. The line being the route you would walk if you were walking home in the evening - on your own?"  
f   Open up a discussion about this sort of street scene in your local area. Ask if anyone knows about any Faith led project which works on the street with young humans - or what a Team may do to live out their lives as ' and act of love' in places where young humans gather.

Conclusion: generally this is long enough to spend in group session.  
If discussions and exchanges have occurred - there will be deep feelings within individuals because it has been experiential. 

Remember that the best communication tool is… you.