Suggested transition support group format - something to start from!

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Here's a suggested transition support group format. A few additional suggestions are posted below. 

The meeting

1.      Welcome by Facilitator
(a rotating role open to all)

2.      Facilitator  introduces each part of the meeting with a sentence or two so all are on the same page

3.      Facilitator reads the Purpose and Guidelines below (or asks someone to read each)

4.      Go-round 1. Internal Updates  Members let each other know what they're working on “inside” to live with greater strength and integrity, and how things are going with it. No feedback please.

Go-round 2. External Updates  Members let each other know what they've been doing in the community / world (for personal gain or social good, or both - mdest or grand both OK) and how things are going with that. No feedback please.

Go-round 3. Moving Forward Commit to an action small or big that you intend to do for the next meeting. More informal and if the speaker's OK with it, others can jump in and out.

7.      Closing. Participants express appreciations for what anyone has shared or done; everyone doesn't need to speak. Facilitator checks if everyone’s finished.

8.      Next meeting date and new roles chosen if needed

Here are the suggested Purpose and Guidelines

Purpose (Suggest you read this and the guidelines at the beginning of the meeting to "get on the same page")

We come together to support ourselves and each other in being stronger, more resourceful and resilient in a time of change and transformation. We hope to make a difference to ourselves and be a catalyst for positive change locally and in the world.


  • ·         Please speak simply and directly and keep comments on topic.
  • ·         In the first go-round, the Inner Update one, let others know what you're working on “inside,” personally or internally to live with greater strength and integrity and how things are going with that. In this and the next go-round, don't offer feedback to others in order to allow them maximum space and permission to say what they want. Listen deeply instead and speak your truth when it's your turn. You can raise your hand as an indication of "me too" if you strongly agree with something.
  • ·         In the second or Outer Update go-round, let others know what you are doing out there in the world, your projects great or very small, and how things are going with it. They don't have to be any special kind of project. They could be very small and personal (e.g., organizing a birthday party for a niece), or large, starting a neighborhood garden. In both the Inner and Outer updates, others are specifically asked not to interrupt or make “helpful suggestions.” This helps the speaker have the space and safety to say what they wish.
  • ·         In the third or Moving Forward go-round, say what you want. State a “next step,” something you'd like to make happen either internally or externally. This thing could be very very small, (a phone call, look something up but something). If you want comments or feedback on how you might move forward, speak up and ask for them here; and if you don't want any help at this point, say that too so others know what's wanted.
  • ·         Be aware that the group isn't a therapy session or a salon for philosophical disputation; rather it's a way to connect more richly with yourself, peers, and perhaps, collective mind.
  • ·         Please respect everyone’s point of view even if your disagree with it - it's not your business. Allow others to speak without interruption. The Listener is tasked with bringing the group back on track if someone's is way off topic.
Three suggested roles

Three roles - Facilitator, Listener, and Liaison - are suggested, to be rotated each meeting or each quarter. The Facilitator introduces the meeting and M.C.'s us through each part with a sentence or two. The Listener listens to how well we're listening, lets us know if we're off-topic, and is a reminder to us that listening is as important as speaking, The Liaison person reminds us of time and venue of upcoming meeting, and rents meeting space if necessary and connects with other open space developers (via any conference calls, for example) or ensures someone else does.

Getting started
Find at least three other people who are willing to meet bi-weekly for three months and then make changes as need be. Some tips on inviting others are here. The three months are to get some regularity and energy going. If three months (six meetings or so) seems too much then meet for
at least three so it's crystal clear to all about what it is you're changing.

It's good if you can meet every two weeks on the same day and time. Same place if possible. During sharing rounds, let people take turns as the spirit moves them; no need to go in order.

If you'd like to stay in touch around transition support groups, be sure to sign up for updates the box at the top right. I really encourage and welcome your participation in starting or being in a local transition support group.


Is there something for you hear at this time? Any comments would be much appreciated. You can leave them for all to see on "the Compost Heap" (doing so may help others who have similar thoughts). You're also invited to contact me (Andrew).


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