One-on-One Consultations within a Group

This activity (“Office Hours” for short) provides opportunities for group members to solicit advice from specific people. It can also be enlightening to see who asks you for advice and what you find yourself able to say. The activity can be slotted one or more times into a meeting or workshop when there is 45-60 minutes to spare.

Instructions about Signing Up

[Before circulating this sign-up sheet, the coordinator of this activity fills in the left-hand column with the names of all participants.]
  • You can sign up to consult with other people by putting your name on their line for a time slot that is empty for both of you. Then put a cross on your own line for that time slot (which prevents someone signing up to consult with you at a time when you would be meeting with someone else.)
  • You may sign up for one or two consultations, but, before you sign up for a third consult, give everyone else a chance to sign up at least once.
  • If you want to sign up to consult with a person who is already signed up to consult with you, sign up in a separate time slot for a consult with them. (That ensures that both of you have the chance to set your own agenda for a full time slot.)

  • Sign up below to consult with person in the left-hand column
    Person to be consulted (below)
    Time Slot 1
    Time Slot 2
    Time Slot 3

    (Add lines as needed)

    Additional Instructions

  • If two people have not signed up for some given time slot, the coordinator should pair them up and they will split the time in mutual support (possibly following Supportive Listening guidelines).
  • If there is an odd number of people, the coordinator should ask for one of the pairs to become a triad.
  • Pairs of chairs need to be set up and spaced widely to minimize distractions from other conversations. At the start of the time slot, find the person you signed up to consult with and move to a pair of chairs. Then start consulting!
  • Variant

    Group members write a card on “Where I want help thinking about related to where I am going” (e.g., how to expand the range of people engaged with my project, how to build an audience for my next show,…). These are divided among the time slots. Group members then sign up to offer help for one person in each of the time slots other than the one their own card has been assigned to. That means each person should have two helpers, i.e., two-on-one consultations. When the threesome comes together, the person asking for help explains what help they seek and threesome takes it from there.