One of the most engaging activities that gets participants buzzing in conversation is the “Is it Realistic or Unrealistic?” This activity gets participants to think about where they stand in regards to some common expectation discussion topics. These discussion topics are generated by printing the Expectations document in the resource files, then cutting out the various topics to be handed out to small groups for discussion. The small groups in attendance for both curricula seem to enjoy the topics handed them.
But thanks to a thoughtful facilitator we ran into at one of our trainings, we learned of a new way to conduct the activity. He shared how well the activity went when instead of breaking participants into small groups, think about conducting this activity in one big group.
- Have everyone stand in the middle of the room with some free room to move about
- designate one side of the room “Reasonable” and another side “Unreasonable”
- Instead of cutting out the topics, identify and read 4-8 Expectations you want the group to decide on how they feel about the topics’ level of reasonability
- When you read an expectation topic they must now physically pick one side of the room to express how they feel about that expectation
- Once they congregate to one side of the room, ask one person from each side to advocate their reason for moving to that side of the room
The great thing we saw when this activity was tweaked is EVERYONE has to take a side in how they feel about the expectation topics the facilitator reads. This accomplishes physical participation as well as allowing participants to share and hear from a wider array of answers and conversations about what the group expects. The goal isn’t to get everyone to agree on one side of the room, but to get participants to begin to think and challenge their own expectation around some of the key topics you as a facilitator appropriately pick for the people you are working with!
This activity can be found in both PREP 8.0 couples curriculum and Got Your Back curriculum. Go to the expectation module in both programs to find this activity. Be sure to print the expectation topics from the resource files for each curricula. Then select the expectations you want the group to talk about and decide on.
by Lawrence Ramos