IAF Methods Database Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,
Welcome to the November IAF-Methods Database Newsletter!

A few days ago I moved from the Netherlands back to the San Francisco Bay Area where I grew up. Yesterday Halloween was celebrated here, and you cannot imagine my amazement at finding tellers in the bank, bus drivers, waiters in the café all decked out in their Halloween costumes! It took the first two or so before I realized what was happening. So much for October, and now we move on into November, getting ready to wind up the year!

This month’s method is from Teampedia (www.teampedia.net/) It is a lovely little variation on musical chairs, for allowing a group to get acquainted using a bit of physical movement. It’s called The Wind Blows For..

Method of the Month
The Wind Blows For..

Purpose
To learn new things about group members; to recognize similarities and differences
Great as a first activity or to break up a long workshop

Preparation
Have 1 chair for each person (or other placemarker such as a post-it note or a piece of tape). Chairs are arranged in a circle with participants sitting in the chairs. If the facilitator is going to participate, s/he starts in the middle. If the facilitator is not participating, than s/he invites one volunteer to stand in the middle removing the volunteer's chair from the circle

Steps
One participant stands in the middle and says "The wind blows for...(insert statement that applies to participant here)" and then everyone to whom that statement applies gets up and tries to find an empty chair. Participants may not move to a chair right next to the one they were just sitting in. Since everyone (including the person in the middle) is looking for a new chair, one person will be left without a chair... and that person becomes the one in the middle. It is best to start off with a statement that will get everyone to move.

Example statements:The Wind Blows for anyone...
who brushed their teeth this morning
whose parents are divorced
who took the bus to get here
etc.

Alternatives
If you want to do this outside (or any area where don't have chairs) you can use other place markers. For example hand out post-it notes and have everyone in the circle mark their spot with the note before you begin. Just be careful that people don't step on each others' toes while racing for the open spots!

Last Month's Poll

Last month’s Poll raised the question, What do you most enjoy about being a facilitator?

On this one we really have a diversity of opinion – have a look:

I enjoy assisting with elegant solutions to complex problems. 29%
I enjoy leading activities that people enjoy and appreciate. 5%
I enjoy making my income in a way over which I have a good level of control. 0%
I enjoy inventing creative new approaches to old issues. 33%
I enjoy helping people who need assistance. 33%

Please remember to let us know any suggestion you may have for a poll!