Facilitator Tip: Team Breath
When I'm leading group activities, I have a simple phrase I use to help center and focus groups. I learned it years ago from friend and colleague, Tom Leahy, and it amazes me at how well it works.
Announce, "Team Breath" and invite everyone to take a big deep breath at the same time. That's it, that's the whole tip and it amazes me at how well it works. It only takes five seconds it takes for everyone to stop, take a moment and draw in a deep breath, and those five seconds does amazing things for the focus and energy of a group.
I use it early in the program to set the norm. After your initial introduction, you no longer need to explain what to do. You just announce, "Team Breath" at any time you need the group to refocus and they follow your lead.
Here are common times I use Team Breath:
- If you've just taught something heady and you can visibly see the energy of the group dip.
- If participants have just finished a big energizer activity and it's time to refocus energy towards listening.
- If it's towards the end of the day and tiredness is setting in.
- If you have side-talkers that you need to refocus. It's impossible to talk and take a deep breath at the same time.
These are some of my go-to times to use Team Breath. What are some of your favorite ways to focus groups?
Have fun out there,