A forum #METOO exercise

It is sometimes said that sex and intimacy are the final frontiers of forum.  When forums are willing to share deeply about topics like these, they have reached a level of trust and vulnerability that leads to transformational value.

An exercise focused on issues raised by the #METOO movement, can be one part of these conversations.

The hashtag #METOO is about the phenomenon of people (usually men) in the position of hiring, mentoring, supervising, and/or opening doors for women, and using that as leverage for requiring, suggesting, or demanding a sexual relationship as either an explicit or implicit quid pro quo. The discussion can be broadened to include any type of sexual harassment, gender bias, or sexism in the workplace.

Advance reading (5 minutes)

To encourage deeper sharing, meet first in small groups of 2, 3 or 4 members (Optional: Men and women members of the forum meet separately.) (30 minutes)

When the #METOO story broke, what came up for you? How did you feel? What in your personal life experience did it bring up for you? How have you personally been part of a “#METOO” moment or a possible #METOO moment as a participant or a bystander or an upstander, and how did you feel then? And how do you reflect back and feel now about that story?

The full forum reconvenes (30 minutes)

Confidentiality ground rule: Each of us is allowed to share only our own stories with the full forum, not the stories told by others in our small group meetings.

What thoughts and feelings did the sharing bring up for you?  What was it like to talk about this?  What further thoughts you are having now? What did you share in your small group that you might want to share now?

Possible additional prompts/questions:

  • What was your business school/college/high school experience like as it relates to #METOO?
  • What recent or long past experiences are you now reminded of? Why? How does that make you feel?
  • How do you feel differently from the other people in the forum regarding this issue?
  • How are you resonating with this conversation? What other memories/experiences are being triggered for you? How does that make you feel?

Bob Halperin and Barbara Deck

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