Help or Hinder?

Helping or Hindering what?

The answer to this question is something that you need to answer in every area of your life.  Once you have determined what it is you would like to create, you can then begin to see how what you are doing is contributing to or taking away from that dream.

This works for your work groups, each member of your ‘team’ or group and even your family members.

Understanding what the desired outcome is, and recognizing that every action taken will contribute to or take away from that outcome, is a powerful realization and an awesome responsibility.

Ask your team or group to give you examples of some things that they are working toward as a team and as individuals.  Now give some examples of things they could do to contribute or take away from those objectives.  Let them know that for the rest of the workshop and beyond, they need to be checking in with themselves to recognize which category their actions are falling into.


Integrating this idea into the workshop:

Start-Up Technique

One way to integrate this is to do it right in the beginning as a Start-Up Technique.

Tell the participants that they are responsible for creating meaning in the workshop:

I am simply here to help them discover some new ideas and make the learning of the group happen more smoothly, more quickly and to keep you all focused.  One of the new ideas is Helping or Hindering.”

Then explain what you mean and that you will use the phrase to help people check in and stay on task when it is appropriate.

Maintenance Technique:

Another way to use it is as a facilitative technique in your bag of tricks when the group, or one or two individuals, may be getting rowdy, rude or dismissive and you want to bring the focus back to the workshop.


  • I would like everyone to stop for a moment and ask yourself, ‘Am I helping or hindering the success of the group?”
  • “The humor is awesome and I am very happy to see that you are all comfortable making jokes.  Let me ask you this, is the constant joking helping or hindering you from creating what you said you wanted at the beginning of the day?”
  • I recognize and appreciate you may not want to be here because attendance was required.  Think about the others in the group. Is your behavior (be specific) helping or hindering them learn something?


We want to hear from you!  What are the ways in which you have used this technique, or something like it?  What has worked for you?




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