The Exercise of Expressing Feelings
Express Feelings is an ideal strategy to help people make sense of what they feel or have observed in an experience.
Distribute one or two alphabet cards to each person in your group. Use the tiles from a regular Scrabble set or make your own if you wish.
It is helpful to give out two cards because letters like J, Q, and Z can be difficult to work with in this exercise if they are put together on their own.
Next, ask your group to form into pairs or small groups of 3 to 5 people – not too many, otherwise, some people can feel unnecessary. Announce one of a series of topics or categories connected to your group’s experience, eg a skill, highlight, strength, limitation, etc.
Some possible examples:
- A highlight
- Most enjoyable part of the experience
- A specific challenge
- Most difficult part of the experience
- Necessary skills to be successful
- A feeling you experienced
- An improvement the group needs to attend to
- A behaviour that delighted you
Using one of their alphabet cards, ask each person to share as many words as they can that starts with this letter to reflect something about their experience. Allow 1-2 minutes for each person to share and repeat the activity with another topic.
Ordinarily, your first topic or category will be relatively simple. Aim to make each successive topic a little deeper or more challenging to focus your group’s energies.
As with all reflections, choose to invite people to share with only their partner or small group members, or to the whole group.
This activity offers ample opportunities to explore social and interpersonal skills. For example: self-awareness, setting personal and group goals, social awareness, understanding and expressing gratitude, relationship skills, communicate and listen effectively.