Over the last year, 6 generous, resourceful women from the Bloomsbury Beginnings network have been working with me to create and test out a new peer group support programme, to help them reflect, think and act at their very best.
The group grew out of our goal setting groups which we used to keep the momentum up at the end of our Start Up courses. In those groups we used the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Will) framework and anchored our discussions around their business’ Lean Canvas Everyone took a turn as speaker, with 2-3 others asking questions or making suggestions in the chat.
These worked best when the group membership was really consistent, those who were listening offered space and encouragement to the speaker and when the speaker herself felt at ease, able to identify wins and take control of direction of the conversation. We wanted to try to build on those elements, and overcome some of the problems that frustrated progress – patchy attendance, too much ‘noise’ and distraction and a focus on set goals that sometimes felt irrelevant when life had moved on between sessions. Businesses sometimes became jobs (freelance or permanent), or care-giving, or managing tricky relationships or sometimes all 5!
After experimenting with a few different formats, we think that we’ve come up with something that works really well for everyone. It is based around Nancy Kline’s Time to Think framework, but leaves flexibility for each “thinker” to warm up, work in a trio and then reflect on the session with five others. They can choose how their thinking session works in practice – getting lots of feedback if they wish or allowing their thoughts, feelings and words to flow uninterrupted. They will always leave feeling listened to and appreciated, and will be able to offer the same gift to their listening partners.
So we’re delighted to be expanding the programme this Autumn – offering six new memberships, which cost just £30 / month (no charge, or meetings, in August and December). Click on the link to find out more and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.