Inside Outside and Freeze
Youth Advisory Committee
In this activity participants will learn to increase their awareness of including others' voices in a group setting and help one another understand what influence means. It will also provide a visual representation of both 'inclusion' and 'influence'.
What does it mean to be included in a group? What kind of influence can you hold as a youth philanthropists in a group setting?
- Flip chart paper
- This activity will help participants understand two important factors about groups: (1) How to be included in a group and (2) How to influence a group.
- Inclusion relates to how much a person feels he or she is a part of the group.
- Influence weighs a person’s value in discussions and decision making. When a person has influence in a group, the group listens to and values his or her views.
- Divide participants into groups of four to eight and assign each a topic to discuss. Possible topics include:
- Important qualities of youth philanthropists
- Meaning of the common good
- The mission of youth as philanthropists
- What makes a great group
- Things that frustrate me about groups
- Concerns or questions about YAC service/youth philanthropy group service
- Community service projects in which youth have participated.
- Before beginning each group discussion, state the following: “During your group conversations, I will be asking you to freeze the action and give you some more instructions. Until I freeze the action, go ahead and continue your group discussion.”
- Allow the discussion to continue for 10 minutes and say “freeze action”. Give the following instructions: “I want each group member to think about how “included” they feel in the group. If you feel very included, stay where you are in the group. If you are somewhat included, move one step out from the group. If you don’t feel included in the group, take two steps out from the group.” After participants have positioned themselves, instruct groups to discuss the following:
- For those that don’t feel included, how could they feel more included?
- What could individuals do in the group to make sure everyone feels included?
- If everyone feels included, what has made them feel included?
- Are there times in other groups when you haven’t felt included? Why?
- After the groups have discussed being included for about five minutes, ask them to recall how much influence they felt they had in the group before the freeze. If they felt they had adequate influence, ask them to give a “thumbs up.” If they felt they had no influence, ask them to give a “thumbs down”. And, if they felt they had some influence, ask them to give a “thumbs sideways.”
- After participants have rated their level of influence, instruct small groups to discuss the following for 5 minutes:
- For those that don’t feel they have influence, how could the group help them feel they have more influence?
- What could individuals do in the group to make sure everyone feels they have influence?
- What gives a person influence in a group?
- Bring all of the groups back together and conclude the activity by noting that there will always be different feelings of inclusion and influence in groups. Healthy groups that can work to win-win decisions make everyone feel included (review remarks from group discussion on inclusion). These groups make sure that everyone has the ability and opportunity to influence decisions and can let the influence move to different members of the group according to their experience and knowledge. As an individual you can increase your influence in a group by:
- Being informed about the topic being discussed.
- Speaking your mind — but keeping your comments brief and to the point. People who express themselves in a few words have greater influence than people who ramble.
- Listening to the viewpoints of others. When we listen to others and let their ideas influence us, they become more open to influence from us. Stephen Covey says this is one of the habits of highly effective people: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
- Caring about the “common good” more than always getting your own way.
- Note: It is natural for different levels of inclusion and influence to be felt in a group. Participants shouldn’t feel that they had too much or too little influence in this activity. The important thing is to remember to be conscious of these factors in groups and to help everyone feel included and influential.