How To Calm Your Group
This week’s Facilitator Tips episode shares a bunch of useful techniques and strategies you can use to calm your group and re-focus their energy to help make their next experience more successful.
It can be quite disruptive to move a group from one ‘full-on’ experience to a more sedate and focused activity. This tutorial will discuss a couple of simple ideas to help you navigate this transition more successfully.
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Useful Links & Resources
- Episode 11 – watch a quick video to learn a few ideas to help gain your group’s attention.
- Episode 24 – this video goes one step further and shares a number of useful techniques to help you keep your group’s attention.
- Mindfulness in Education – there’s quite a lot of buzz about mindfulness these days, particularly in regard to well-being and education. Click the link to learn more about how mindfulness can assist you to not only refocus your group’s energy but enhance your student’s learning.
Hi there and welcome to Episode 31 of the Facilitator Tips video series.
My name is Mark Collard, I work as an experiential trainer and an author, and today I would like to focus on Episode 31, how to calm your group or how to calm them down.
Now one of the most popular questions people have of me as a trainer in this field is how do I actually engage my participants? How do I get them involved, wanting to participate? Well, this is actually the flip side of that equation. Perhaps you’ve actually got them up at this really high level, how do I calm them down maybe for a more significant conversation or maybe the transition to the next thing?
So let’s first of all look at why do we need to do that. Sometimes it’s because of safety, either emotional, mental, or physical safety, you want to calm everything down so that there is no risk of harm within that space.
It can also just be to simply refocus them. If you’ve just come out of this bouncing-off-the-walls, tag game activity, maybe they’re not ready to have a serious conversation. So refocusing them is really important.
And the other part as we discussed in Episode 11 of this series is the ability to attract their attention. Maybe you’ve got something to say or the next piece of information.
And these are some of my go-to techniques to help calm my group down just a little bit.
First of all, it’s the standard stuff. Maybe you’re just raising your hand or you like those techniques where you might clap. That would invite the group to actually copy your reaction. That can be enough to change the pattern of what’s going on to actually get their attention and calm them down.
Here’s another one. It’s non-verbal, but I invite people to use the Australian sign language of applause. And when you see me do it, everyone else does it. So it’s non-verbal, but it quickly like a contagion works its way through the group and I get their attention. I then start to calm the group down.
In Episode 10 of this series we talk about this wonderful activity, just the simple fact of standing back to back with a partner quietens everyone down because they no longer now are facing someone where they might be actually talking.
And then finally there’s a ton of activities, especially on our activity database that can actually transition from a very high-level activity, maybe mid-level, to get them ready to have calmed themselves down.
And here’s my last-minute tip.
Remember to breathe. And indeed you can ask your group or at least those people who can see or hear you to take a deep breath, and that has enormous transformative effects on the group as well, to calm them down.
If you’ve found value in this little tip, these strategies, please feel free to share them.
And indeed if you’ve got your own tips, please add a comment as well. And to get further information and links, go to the show notes at www.playmeo.com Episode 31.
That’s it for now. I look forward to seeing you in our next episode.