I received a message from a moderator in the New York/New Jersey area, recently hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Several of his Forum mates had lost their homes or their businesses and everyone was struggling with the aftermath of the storm. Amidst the devastation and the chaos, however, his Forum had decided that they still wanted to hold their Forum meeting. What a beautiful testament to the importance of Forum and the support we give and receive during difficult times!
This moderator said that nobody would have had time to prepare for the meeting, so there would be no presentations, but despite that they still wanted to meet. He requested two things from me – 1) how can we beef up our parking lot? and 2) what are a couple of exercises we can do this month in lieu of presentations? I thought I would share my reply here in case it might be helpful to other Forums in the path of the storm who are in the same situation.
Two Ideas to build the parking lot:
- One at a time, have each person move back and face AWAY from the table so that there is no eye contact between the Forum and the member. (We call this “cloaking” in Forum 2.0.) Then, have the rest of the Forum build a Parking Lot for this person. To do this, the Forum offers up ideas of what this person could/should present on. (Remember Forum protocol as you do this – offer ideas from a position of caring and concern.) It should take about 3 to 5 minutes per person.
- Have each person set their “3 most important goals for 2013”. Each of these goals can easily become a presentation of its own, where the member prepares a plan on how they’re going to achieve the goal and then presents that plan to the Forum at a future meeting. I’m providing you a Goal Achievement Plan (also from Forum 2.0) that can be used to prepare the goal presentation.
Two Exercise ideas:
- With short notice and no preparation time, perhaps you could do a Topical Discussion (yes, another Forum 2.0 tool). There are 4 possible topics in these Topical Discussion instructions…use one of these, or you make up your own. In fact, maybe you could create your own Topical Discussion with questions about the storm – how has it affected your business? your family? how will it affect your industry? your revenues? what is your most immediate concern? what are you most concerned about for long-term impact, etc…
- Finally, and this may sound odd, ask each person to create a Blessings List. Give everyone 10 minutes to write down everything they have to be thankful for. This can be difficult when faced with a significant trauma, but it also can bring comfort to reflect on the positive aspects of life despite the trauma. What things are still intact? For example, relationships, knowledge, skills, courage, determination, a love of music, art, hobbies, education, etc. It’s a great list to save for the long haul–add items to the list as they come to mind and review the list anytime you need a boost.
To my friends in the path of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent storms, I hope these ideas are helpful. And I wish you all peace and comfort in the coming weeks/months as you work to overcome the obstacles you are facing.
Blessings to you all,