Thursday, July 30, 2009

Revolutionary Man - How To Start A Men’s Group

I meant to post this when Jayson first put it up, but somehow it further down on the tab list until it was forgotten. But all good things rise to the top, so here it is - a great piece on how to start a men's group.

How To Start A Men’s Group

July 21st, 2009

 men's group

Following up on my last post about the purpose and value of a men’s group, in this post I’m covering a few key steps when starting a men’s group.

Step 1. Get clear on why you want to be a part of a men’s group. What is your intention? What are you hoping to get out of it? How do you see a group of guys serving and supporting you?

Step 2. Find other men who want to be in a group that both challenges and supports for mutual gain and mutual service.

Men ask me all the time where to find guys like themselves. Men also confess that they want more depth with their male friends. They report that their male buddies don’t get real enough, don’t call bullshit on them, or they just keep everything on the surface.

So, in an effort to help you find these like-minded men I’m going way out on a limb and make some big generalizations and risk getting some potentially negative feedback about it from you.

Guys who are open to a men’s group are generally the same guys who are open to personal growth, self-help and personal development stuff.

Where do I find these men? At locations where these events, services and programs occur. Retreat centers, yoga studios, workshops, new age bookstores, natural food stores, etc.

Another great place to meet like-minded men in your area is to attend a workshop that has to do with wellness, healing, mens work, etc.

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, “What kind of guys do I want in my men’s group?”

Next, determine the demographics:

  • 6-12 men is a good size. I prefer larger. That way if 1-3 guys are absent, there is still a good number of men present and ready to go for it.
  • Age Range? My group has men between 30-60. It’s a well rounded group with a huge set of life experiences. Everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student and each man has that attitude.
  • Sexual orientation? Ethnic and cultural background?
  • Religious affiliation? For example, if you are a Christian guy, do you want an all Christian men’s group? Might it better serve you to find a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Mormon and a Jewish guy to be in your group? Again, how are you wanting to be pushed? How do you want to grow?

Step 3. Put up a flyer in locations where the kind of men you want in your ground hang around. Churches, gyms, meditation centers, yoga centers, and health food stores can be good places to start.

Step 4. Set a first meeting time and location. One of the guy’s houses is appropriate. A contained place somewhere with privacy. Borrow a friend’s studio, loft, big office, or church room.

Step 5. Have your first meeting. Sit in a circle facing each other.

Step 6. Determine your structure. Use this first group to get on the same page. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your group purpose?
  • What is the vision or direction of your group?
  • What is the commitment to attend? Timeliness?
  • How often do we meet? Where? When? For how long?
  • Leadership: Do we pick a new leader every time? What about a time keeper?

Step 7. Consider creating a curriculum to follow or find another men’s group and ask them how they run their group. Feel free to email me and stay tuned for a men’s group curriculum ebook coming soon on this website.

The best way to get the most out of a group is to stay in the present, here and now of each man’s experience. When guys just report out about how their life is going, it does not quite pack the punch as a man sharing about himself in the moment as he looks around the room.

Step 8. Always come back to your purpose. What are hoping to get out of this group? Review the purpose and value of a men’s group post to get some ideas about what to focus on.

Step 9. Consider hiring a skilled facilitator to come in for a few groups and run the group. This is hugely beneficial and can give you a taste of what is possible if you stay on target with good facilitation. It also can help f you get stuck or lack leadership.

What if I live in a small town and no other guys are around? Email me and if I get enough men interested, I will start an online men’s group for you guys. You can also comment below and invite other men to email you.

  • An online group can still be effective, but has obvious challenges. However, through, there are possibilites. Either way, it is possible to have more quality, bad ass men in your life who will love you enough to call bullshit on you and support you toward your highest Self!

What other thoughts do you have? What has worked? Not worked?

A world with more men’s groups is a better world!

Good luck and feel free to comment here.

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