Introduction to Group Works A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings & Other Gatherings

Posted on by Brandon Klein

Why is it that some meetings bring life to your soul, while others leave you wishing you'd never stepped in the room? What happens at the best ones, that makes them productive, fulfilling, sometimes even magic?
The Group Pattern Language names what skilled facilitators and other participants do to make things work—when the Group Works. The 91 group process patterns represented here reflect generations of accumulated wisdom that lie at the heart of successful meetings, conferences, retreats, town halls and other group sessions, large and small. Much of our collective work depends on conversations: quality interchanges by which we together envision, shape and begin to enact the world we desire.
The content here is more specific than values and less specific than tips and techniques, cutting across existing methodologies with a designer's eye to capture the patterns that repeat.
You can use these patterns to support your process as a group designer, facilitator or participant. Use them to plan your next event, distill lessons from a past group experience, find creative insight in the middle of a process, or deepen your learning about the nature of groups.