Friday, November 6, 2009

Facilitate … with a drink!

Last week, a colleague and I facilitated a session about planning using a community development approach. While designing the session, we laughingly said that by the end of the day, we would need to go for a drink! This spontaneously spurred us to brainstorm ways to use a drink as a closing ceremony with the group.

We asked the participants, in small groups of 5 to 6 people, to create a Community Development Drink - alcoholic or non-alcoholic. We asked them to name it, to list the ingredients, and explain what the ingredients represented. What fun! Our participants “seized the glass” and had tons of laughs with the activity!

What types of drinks were created? Here are a few examples.
· A Caesar with the red clamato juice representing the passion and heart beat of community.
· A Community Sunshine Lemonade showing the joy of community
· A Community Spirit Drink because community is about the pride of its people
· A Celebration Drink with people as the ingredient to show “buy-in” and action.

And, to finish in a more traditional way, we all raised our water glasses and toasted each other for a successful session.

I love this quick activity because it meets my criteria for facilitation – Fun, Fervor, and Focus. The Fun is obvious! The Fervor or passion or intensity was evident as participants immediately started to throw out ideas to represent what they believed about community development. The Focus occurred as people intentionally honed their beliefs and ideas about community development by focussing on a single object, the drink.

Facilitate … with a drink! It works!