Support Group

Support Group

This is an easy way to both learn supportive skills and increase the amount of support in organisations and the wider society. In these groups of three to six people, each person has equal time to have a ‘turn’. In this, the person (the ‘talker’) talks to another person (the ‘listener’). The ‘listener’ listens, encourages, asks questions and helps the client think about the issue and decide what to do about it. The other participants observe. After a brief discussion of what people learned, what worked well, and what could be better, the roles rotate. This review helps everyone learn and leads to continuous improvement.

Some groups may prefer a less disciplined process where the talker talks to the group, and everybody listens and asks questions. This can be very enjoyable but can exhaust the talker.

This activity requires time, permission, and an explicit agreement on confidentiality to work. These groups are excellent and quick ways of spreading best practices in many settings. They also help people solve problems.

The process works best when the person in the ‘talker’ role can choose the issue to work on that is of the most value to them. However, it can work well with a general topic like ‘How to improve communications? ‘. Then each person chooses the aspect of most interest to them.

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick