“Why is it that some meetings bring life to your soul, while others leave you wishing you’d never stepped in the room?”
That is a very good question – and patterns for group processes are a wonderful answer.
The question holds true not only for meetings in work settings, but also for conferences, workshops, discussion rounds, team projects – basically for all occasions where a group of people interact.
I recently came across a little black box with a stack of wonderful cards: They are a deck of patterns for successful group processes.
But, they are not just some random patterns, they are an entire pattern language in the line of pattern theory as proposed by Christopher Alexander in architecture, which is currently being applied to numerous other fields.
These pattern cards are a beautiful collection of things that really make a group process flow.
And they are free to download online and published under creative commons (see below)
These pattern cards can be used for planning workshops or meetings by beginners as well as experienced facilitators, to keep a session flowing, to debrief, and much more.
We have used them at ARC to close the workshop and receive feedback by spreading them out and letting participants choose three each and then state how they saw these aspects fulfilled or where they would have wished for more – the result was a very rich, authentic and powerful feedback we could use to plan the next workshop.
I had a similar experience of how powerful these can be when in a different workshop I asked each participant to draw two and make sure to employ their pattern at least once during the day.
To find out more, see http://groupworksdeck.org/ or contact me.
If you are interested in a German version, contact me – we are currently working on a translation into German.
(source of quote: http://groupworksdeck.org/)
If you feel this would be helpful for your area of expertise, reach out! I research and write Pattern Languages.