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Episode 12: Keep People Bunched Together

This week’s Facilitator Tips episode discusses the value of programmatic strategies that keep people bunched together. Encouraging people to gather closer to one another not only saves your voice but promotes interaction among group members.

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Useful Links & Resources

Velcro Circle – a quick, easy and fun technique you can use to keep people bunched together.

Video Transcript

Hi there and welcome to Episode 12 of the Facilitator Tips video series.

My name is Mark Collard. I’m the founder and director of playmeo.com and I work as an experiential trainer and author.

In today’s video I want to focus on the key tip that I have discovered about keeping people bunched together.

We’re all familiar with the familiar wallflower syndrome. You bring a group together, maybe they don’t know each other very much and there’s often a lot of space around them so that they don’t actually bunch too close to each other. You want to bring people in and there are lots of benefits for this.

First of all, it does raise the energy. Just something about bringing people together builds a little bit of expectation, people bristle a little bit because they go ooh… This is something that maybe pushes people just a little bit outside their comfort zone but it does raise energy and expectation.

It also saves your voice. If people are too far away you’re going to have to project even more and that makes it more difficult as well to either be heard or to be able to sustain your leadership with your group. So bunch them together to make it easier to be heard.

And then finally you don’t actually need to bring them in together as a circle. Unless it’s necessary for everyone to see each other, just bunch them up. Collapse them together. Have people behind each other if necessary, but unconsciously what you’re doing in that step right then without them really even knowing is you’re breaking down barriers especially for groups that don’t know each other very well. They might have even brushed against someone as they came in closer.

That energy really does transform that group as they come in closer and unconsciously develop some of those more familiar moments for the group where you’re breaking down some of those ice-breaking barriers.

And here’s my last minute tip. If you’re ever in a situation where you’ve got a very large group of young children and you want to bring them in closer and you simply say come in a couple of steps, beware because they will hear the words “come in a couple of steps” but will actually understand you saying how quickly can we come closer to Mark, and that was a very scary moment when in particular I was at the bottom of the pile at the end of that time. So keep that in mind.

And that’s it. That’s just my little tip as part of this Facilitator Tips series.

For more information and links go to playmeo.com/facilitatortips/episode12. And if you enjoyed this episode please leave a comment or consider sharing this with some of your colleagues or friends.

And for the meantime I hope you have a great time and I’ll see you next.

Bye-bye.