Setting refers to the physical or social environment. We all know the impact that stressful versus relaxed environments have on us. Stress, fear or disagreeable environments contribute a great deal to an unpleasant experience (bad trip in Leary’s terms). Conversely, a relaxed, curious person in a warm, comfortable and safe place is more likely to have a pleasant experience, or a good trip.
The Lover Competencies
- Model and demonstrate ways to cultivate safety and trust
- Prepare physical environment for mood, culture, and purpose.
- Configure room to support group culture, purpose, and process.
We all know that our physical and social environments can have a dramatic effect on us. We spend a great deal of effort decorating our homes and offices, landscaping our yards, and surrounding ourselves with our favorite people. We are similarly impacted by the environments used for facilitating and training. Here are a few tips to adjust the setting for your group work.
- Adjust the seating arrangements to be appropriate to your purpose. Here is a site depicting seating arrangements for various purposes.
- Make sure everyone is visible to everyone in the room. Also confirm that all participants can see any visuals you’re displaying.
- Consider artifacts such as pictures, decor, scents, colors, and other props that will enhance and support your group purpose. For example, for a group seeking to develop a strategic plan, you might choose to display pictures that inspire creative and expansive thinking.
- Finally, ask yourself these questions. What do you want your participants to sense when they come into the room? How do you want them to feel about working together? What can you do to the environment to have it reflect these sensations to enhance your work together just a bit more?