The Five Ps of Engagement in a Group

David presented the theory of John Dabell on how people engage in a group at different levels.  The five Ps summarise these five ways:

  1. Participant

Someone who gets involved and participates. This is a ‘player’ who wants to learn and is enthusiastic and fully engaged with the process. They are active, enjoying it and positive.

  1. Passenger

Someone who is happy just to sit back. This person won’t disrupt the session but won’t engage with it or play an active role.

  1. Protester

Someone who will disagree and argue and often tries to go a different way sometimes just to be awkward. They will say “but that won’t work” and shake their head. They can also be disinterested in a task/activity and want everybody to know it. They will complain, respond negatively and are disruptive and disengaged.

  1. Prisoner

Someone who feels trapped and wants to escape. The session is an uncomfortable experience and their body language will speak volumes (folded arms, sullen demeanour).

  1. Pilot

Someone who guides and leads. This person is happy to get hands-on and set a course. They take control.

David, having explained the 5Ps, invited the group to break into five groups of two, each taking one of the Ps.  He asked the group to identify the behaviours that could be observed in each of the Ps and the behaviours that would not be observed in each of the Ps.  The results of their work were then summarised on newsprint and then posted on a wall for the participants to view and reflect upon.

In the afternoon, David presented the method of centering prayer and gave the Brothers some private time to reflect on the method and some time in two groups.  Finally, everyone had the opportunity to practise centering prayer.

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