JL Moreno, the father of psychodrama, stated that there is no such thing as resistance; it is merely an individual or group that is not properly warmed-up, or who have a warm-up different than the facilitator's.  Thoughtful use of a warm-up can help ignite a group to focus and improve their collective mood--resulting in their time being more productively used.

 The Warm-up Corner offers specific activities for those working with individuals or groups in a coaching, counseling or group-relations setting. 

 Each month, you will find the offering of a warm-up that can be used with an individual or in a group session to help participants focus and deepen their interactions. 


I STAND FOR...  (Locograms)

Materials needed: None

This can be a fun means of introduction, and a way to foster creativity within the group.  It is a means of gathering and sharing information quickly.   This can be sued to move a process of decision-making in a group, narrowing down options or choices, and to find common ground.

Locograms can be done without any props, but is often easier using some form of markers (colored sheets of paper, pieces of fabric, hula hoops, etc.)

Locograms are a part of JL Moreno's work in sociometry:  the measurement of our connections and social choices.  It uses location and action to make information overt and transparent to the entire group.  These can be used early in a group to identify shared interests or issues.  These connections can also be done through warm-ups such as The Sun is Shining, or Who's In My Corner (found in Warm-up Archives) They can be useful when a group reaches a choice point. 

Identify a series of options that are before a group.  Name the choices and move around the room, Identify a location for each option.  If available, use a sheet of paper, fabric, plastic hoop, etc. to mark each location.  As facilitator, you might have several options you want to place before participants.  If the issue is more open-such as shared interests, gathering for meals or evening activities, asking for options from those present will give more accurate information. 

When developing logograms, always include a place for "Other"- this allows information that might not be conscious to the facilitator to also emerge.  Once the location of each option is identified, instruct participants to stand in the place that is most accurate for them at this time.  In surfacing this data, you are seeking the immediate attitudes/choices/concerns, rather than individuals' normal positions.

Allow members to share from their positions. If there are time restraints, you can have each sub-group share among themselves and then one person share to the group as a whole.  Locograms are a means of surfacing information and preferences.  Depending on the situation, the group or facilitators can then use this data to move in a range of directions.

Examples of introductory Locograms might be:

I am attending this event for: (and mark a location for each option) *Professional  Reasons   *Social Reasons   *Personal Growth   *As Part of a Professional Group   *Other

During our breaks/free time, I would really enjoy sharing my interest in  *Sports   *Crafts   *Cooking   *Outdoor activities   *Reading   *Politics   *Travel   *Other

Some examples of using locograms in facilitating group decisions might include:

*I want to remain with the current topic longer   *I would like us to move to the next issue/topic   *I would like us to have a short break before continuing   *Other

During lunch/dinner break, I would prefer going to:  Italian Restaurant*   Vegan-friendly Restaurant*   Inexpensive Restaurant*   Have quiet time to myself*   Other*

You can use locograms to simplify an activity.  For example, if the workshop members are heading to a restaurant together:

*I need a ride   *I can provide a ride   *Other


There will often be individuals who want to stand between choices if more than one apply.  This can be valuable information, knowing when there are mixed or ambivalent choices among the membership.


 Looking for other warm-ups for a group or event? Let's talk!


Stephen Kopp

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Contact Steve at  steve4lifecoach@earthlink.net



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