Group Close Technique

A Powerful Session Close

I’ve been there, maybe you have too. It’s the last 20 minutes of a session, or the “Next Steps” slides are near, and the facilitator starts to make meaning from the session by summarizing what they heard. There is nothing wrong with this, but increasingly, I am encouraging the Group Close. The group close simply invites participants to share their insights using the following prompts: “I am…” and “I believe…” This is not a new approach, and the facilitation community has used it for years, but it’s relatively new to me.

I typically go first and demonstrate how to close with the group. I might say something like: “I am exhausted yet thankful for the chance to spend a day among individuals who are profoundly committed to libraries. I believe we have the ideal group here, fervently invested in the future of libraries.” I don’t typically single out attendees to share but rather extend an invitation for volunteers. For those who haven’t volunteered, I take note, offering a moment of silence to give them an opportunity to join in. If they opt out, that’s perfectly fine by me.

I appreciate this Group Close because it focuses on having participants speak only for themselves by using “I,” and it creates a space for a variety of perspectives and feelings. Sound interesting? Maybe try it around the dinner table or staff meeting room first!