Forming a Group LO2772

Gary&Lilly Evans (
12 Sep 95 22:39:31 EDT

Replying to LO2710 --

In reply to Bill I offer my personal experience.

Seems to me that rather than analyse you may wish to try another
approach. This one came from my (then 8 year old) daughter when
I had problems, disagreements, call them what you will with another
team member. She advised that next time it happens, I should say:

"When you Peter (chaps name) do/say this(be explicit about what it is) I
feel like that (describe exactly how you feel -for example, I felt
threatened). When I feel like that (ie when I am threatened), I then
do/react like this (ie. I attack back, defend myself actively). Is that
what you intended?"

End of intro.

Now, this sounds simple and easy. When the next occurrence came, I was
afraid or unwilling to do it. So, Heidi kept asking me for 4 days every
time I got home if I have spoken to Peter. Finally, I summoned up courage
and did it. Well, how that cleared the air! As I took responsibility for
my feelings and reaction without blaming him, so he responded in turn. In
this case, he felt the need to bring me down whenever I appeared to him to
be boasting - as this made him feel bad. The dialogue developed, first
time in a year or so.

I guess here comes another example of how valuable the advice kids give
you could be. Of course, I could after the event analyse why this
approach worked. By the way, I have been using it since, and it has yet
to fail to difuse a situation. It is important to choose one's moments
though when you bring the matter up. Doing it in a larger group may not
be appropriate. at least, not for the first time with an individual. Let
them get used to the idea of talking about feelings as causes for ones
actions in this format first.

Hope this helps.

lilly evans	e-mail

"The French schoolchildren whose syllabus now includes systematic lessons in the art of tasting are pioneers of an important revolution. An open mind about food, and about the tastes of foreigners, inevitably modifies one's attitudes to one's neighbours." Theodore Zeldin