Deepening Connection as part of Plan Reviews
Almost every plan we make in life requires review and adjustment. This is true of a dinner plan, a weekly exercise routine, a vacation goal, a life plan, or an organization strategic plan. Sometimes we review the plan and adjust in the moment as we implement, other times we identify specific points in time to review and reflect on how things are going or how things went.
In the case of person directed planning, the person and their network often identify a specific time period (e.g., about every 6 months or every year) in which to intentionally connect together and review:
how things are going,
the successes thus far,
any challenges or barriers, and
actions or next steps
The bullets above list the activities of a plan review, but how does the group (potentially supported by a plan or independent facilitator) ensure this review session also deepens relationships, helps the focus person and group members learn more about the person, and is fun and enjoyable.
The array of person directed planning approaches includes numerous ideas, tools, and resources to achieve these three goals, but they often do so in the context of developing the “first” plan with a person. ‘Like and Admire’ (Person Centred Thinking tools) or identity ‘Gifts of Head, Heart, and Hand’ (Beth Mount & John O’Brien) are wonderful activities, but it is not appropriate to repeat them every six months. Below is a list of activities to do at planning review events, when over the years, the group has been exposed to most of the ideas and tools.
Ideally everyone, including the facilitator, actively participates in the activity. Having everyone participate helps build connections and relationships within the group. It also models that everyone’s contribution is valuable, even when people have different roles.
Bring an object that is meaningful to you
What was a highlight in your life since the last time we met
Share about a memory you have
Tell us what you can hear where you are right now. (Ideal for virtual meetings where people are in different locations)
Bring along a favourite snack/food to share with others
What was the name of your favourite teacher and why
Do a simple “would you rather question” (e.g., would you rather you could fly in the sky or swim deep in the ocean? Would you rather eat pizza every day or French fries every day). Ask people why.
Have everyone draw something that makes them happy.
Plan review meetings are about touching base about how things are going and what needs to happen next. They are also opportunities to deepen relationships by connecting, sharing, and learning more about each other.