Last week we enjoyed our second WebChat.
Karen Gimnig shared about the value of Getting Connected and strategies for making it happen faster. After a short presentation, questions ranged from managing speakers in meetings to balancing work on connection with decision-making.
Video available here:
Many participants asked for a write-up of the basic mirroring exercise Karen introduced in her talk, so we’re including it here:
This basic model can be adapted to be longer or shorter depending on the needs of the group. Here it is a 10-15 minute activity that works as an icebreaker.
Introduce the activity and have two volunteers model it. The model can be a short, simple prompt, and should include all the steps. (I often use “This morning I had for breakfast . . . “)
Possible script for introduction:
Tonight we’re going to start with an activity that will help us get to know each other better and turn on the listening parts of our brains. To do this, we are going to do a mirroring exercise.
Participants pair off. (Try to avoid groups of three if you can as it will throw off the timing.)
Identify a “sender” and a “receiver”.
Sender speaks to first prompt.
Receiver mirrors “What I heard you say is . . . “
Receiving checks “Did I get you?”
Sender answers either “yes” or “What I really want you to hear is . . .”
Receiver mirrors and checks again.
Receiver invites “Is there more?”
Mirror and check until complete.
Sender speaks to the next prompt.
Stay in roles until all prompts are completed, or time for switch is called.
Switch roles and complete the exercise with the other sender.
Possible prompts for a short icebreaker (5 minutes each send, 10 minutes total after instructions)
“Something I love about our community . . . “
“In this meeting, I would like to be perceived as . . . “
Possible prompts for a longer community building session (10-15 minutes each send, 30 minutes pair time, plus instructions)
“Something I’m looking forward to about cohousing . . .”
“Something I think will be challenging for me in cohousing. . . “
“Something I think you and I may have in common . . . “
“Something I appreciate about you . . . “
Note: Do not be afraid to use these last two prompts with people who are new to each other. It’s surprising and lovely to discover how quickly we can answer these.
Bringing the group back together, it can be useful to do a round or popcorn sharing on one of the following, or similar:
“Something I heard that I want to share . . . “
“Something important to me from my conversation . . . “
For more information or additional training, you can reach Karen Gimnig at
gimnig [at] gmail [dot] com