There are two small group meetings each day. The purpose of the groups is to explore the concepts and ideas in the lectures and find ways to apply them in your daily lives—particularly at work. To accomplish this, the groups and the individuals have tasks.

The tasks for each group are to:

  • Discuss the concepts and ideas from the prior presentation to:

    1. increase your understanding of the concepts presented; and,

    2. define applications for the ideas in your work.

  • Consider scenarios in your professional or personal life where applications of the ideas in the lectures will improve the probability of a positive outcome.

The tasks for the individuals in the small groups are to:

  • Contribute to the group. Be an active participant. Help make the small group a safe environment for sharing thoughts and ideas.

  • Reflect on the concepts and ideas in terms of:

    1. Any experiences you have had with them;

    2. Your understanding of them and how it fits with the understanding of others in the group;

    3. Any emotions the ideas evoke; and,

    4. How you might use the results of this reflection in your work or family life.

  • Share your responses to the presentation material and work to understand the responses of the other group members.

  • Generalize the concepts and ideas and make them specific to your needs. For example, look for applications beyond what was stated in the presentation (generalize); and define specific applications in your unique life.

  • Watch for ways you are tempted to minimize, discount, or laugh at the ideas presented in the lectures. Ask yourself if those ideas make you feel uncomfortable. If you can do this work, you will learn about your unique ways of coping.

  • Observe how the group functions. What discussions are easy and which ones are difficult? Are there certain times in the day or the program when the work is more or less difficult? How does this group function compared to groups you are in or run at work?

The goals of the small groups are to make the concepts real for you and to uncover ways to apply the concepts in your work and family life. The time in the groups can be rewarding or frustrating but if you perform the tasks described above, the small groups will be powerful learning experiences.

~ Helping local government navigate a complex world in a time of disruptive change. ~

Limardi Consulting

Morrison Associates

Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies

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