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Active Reviewing Tips 2.3 Celebrations to Remember
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~ ~ 'GUIDE TO ACTIVE REVIEWING' <www.reviewing.co.uk>
~ ~ Editor: Roger Greenaway < firstname.lastname@example.org>
~ ~ Vol. 2.3 March 1999
~ ~ CELEBRATIONS TO REMEMBER
REVIEWING = PROCESSING = REFLECTION = DEBRIEFING
It's my birthday today! Which is why CELEBRATION
is the main topic for this issue!
Don't send me a book for my birthday - just buy yourself one!CONTENTS (TOP)
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~~~~ CELEBRATIONS TO REMEMBER ~~~~
If an achievement is worth celebrating, it's an achievement worth
reviewing. In fact, 'review' and 'celebration' can be one and the
same event - as you will see in the examples below.
A good review/celebration of an ACHIEVEMENT includes ...
~ lots of people
~ sharing of the stories behind the achievement.
A good review/celebration generates benefits all round. The world
looks different afterwards. The achievers feel noticed, honoured
and proud of their achievement. They will also have 'gone up' in
the estimation of others (as well as in their 'self-estimation').
By creating a real sense of occasion you ensure that both the
original achievement AND its celebration will be remembered and
'recycled' (improving the odds for transfer of learning).
The best CELEBRATIONS ...
~ mark achievements
~ inspire others
~ and create fertile ground for future development.
Similarly, a good REVIEW of an achievement ...
~ adds value and significance to the original achievement
~ inspires all involved
~ involves lots of senses - and is itself a 'rich' experience
~ changes the 'stories' that people tell about themselves and
about each other
~ spreads the good news into a wider community
~ builds a platform for future achievement
~ makes it more likely that success will breed success
Reviewing can involve both 'ceRebration' and 'ceLebration'!
Here are three strategies for 'partying with a purpose' ...
~~ # 1: Don't Spoil the Party! - Just Make it Even Better!
Once people get into 'celebration mode', opportunities for
reviewing and learning can easily get brushed aside. Celebrations
can be far better occasions all round if reviewing and learning
are designed into them.
EX: Expedition Celebrations
'Into the Land of Many Waters Expedition 97' (from the UK to
Guyana) achieved many objectives worth celebrating. The (adult)
expedition members chose from one of four projects: health,
environmental, construction and adventure. After completing their
projects, the four groups met up at the summit of the remote and
spectacular Kaieteur Falls and then travelled to Mahaica to build
an adventure playground at a children's orphanage.
A lot to review! And a lot to celebrate!
On their return to the UK, the expedition leaders had two
celebrations to organise - a REUNION for expedition members and a
RECEPTION for members, friends, families, supporters and
sponsors. You can guess the rest! Yes - both events were seen as
opportunities for learning. The reunion included:
~ guided reflection
~ mapping 'routes to success'
~ action replays
~ and other active reviewing techniques.
(Yes I did have a hand in it!) The reception included music,
stories, video, displays, diaries, models, photos, objects,
food-tasting - plenty of visual and tactile aids, that helped
expedition members to communicate with their visitors about their
The reunion also generated useful material for the expedition
report - yet another means of celebrating success.
~~ # 2: Don't Miss a Chance to Celebrate Achievement!
When an individual or a group achieves something don't miss this
opportunity for reviewing, learning and celebrating. Celebrations
do not need to be on the grand scale of an expedition re-union.
By noticing and celebrating SMALL achievements, you will be
setting in motion the cycle of 'success breeds success'. Think
about it: if small achievements pass by un-noticed, where are the
bigger achievements going to come from?
RECORDING: Making an individual or group record of an achievement
is a good starting point. The record may be simply be in the form
of a diary or scrapbook. Sketch maps, cartoon stories, video,
photos, sculptures, etc. provide more elaborate ways of recording
the achievement. But these may not include another important
aspect of celebration which is the giving and receiving of praise
PRAISE: If words of thanks, appreciation or praise are
accompanied by a gift, the occasion becomes more special and the
words are given more weight. If the gift is saved and displayed,
the achievement is more likely to be remembered, re-visited,
re-enjoyed and 're-cycled' for future use.
AUDIENCE: Who should the audience be? Just those immediately
involved or is there a wider audience of stake-holders and
well-wishers? An action replay of the event without an audience
may be enough. But if the replay goes well,
and an interested audience is easily found, it is clearly
possible to keep building on these cumulative successes ...
~~ #3: Celebrate Anyway!
Even when you don't know how things are going to turn out, you
can still design celebration into a programme.
EX. A Business School in Scotland attracts students from around
the world to its International Marketing Course. At the start of
their course they attend a four day residential where the
emphasis is on team building and on learning about each other's
cultures, beliefs and lifestyles. The built in climax to the
residential is a truly multi-cultural experience. The students'
task is to plan and prepare a meal and entertainment in which
everyone's home culture is represented. Every detail is
attended to: decorations, layout of tables (if any), eating
customs, food, drinks, games, stories, dances, etc.
Yes it's fun. And yes, there's a lot of learning - totally in
line with the course objectives.
EX. From ancient times the tops of hills have been places for
ceremonies. A summit photo is the high-tech (but low-depth?)
modern ritual. Reaching the top of a hill is an achievement worth
celebrating - so plan it that way. Ask the group to plan their
own celebration in advance. When you are 'on top of the world'
you have a fantastic opportunity (weather and safety permitting)
for some inspirational reviewing. Singing, dancing, sculptures,
rounds, meditation and bivouacking can all turn the top of a hill
from a high point of ground to a high point for reflection and
If you don't work in the outdoors, these principles and ideas can
be applied equally well to more down to earth achievements.
Simply ask groups to plan their own ceremonies and celebrations,
and provide a simple structure that brings out their creativity.
EX: And finally ... 'a vote of thanks'. This reviewing exercise
leaves no stone unturned when giving thanks.
~~~~ Site News: NEW PAGE: SHARING LEARNING
You will find an extension of the ideas in this issue at:
a new page about more 'public' kinds of reviewing.
~~~~ READERS' RESPONSES
I have received some interesting responses to the 'No Questions
Asked' issue. They will be appearing in a future issue.
I take great care to distinguish between messages that are
intended for publication and those that are not. If there is ANY
doubt, I will always check first before publishing anything you
send to me.
Please keep writing in - about questions, celebrations or any
aspects of reviewing.
~~~~ Other Websites and Ezines ~~~~
Campaign for Learning: www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk
Please send your recommendations to: < email@example.com>
~~~~ NEXT ISSUE: 'ARTips 2.4 Therapy for All' ~~~~
What do music, art, play, exercise, adventure, drama, brief,
group, narrative, recreational, psycho- and solution-focused have
in common? All are therapies brimming over with ideas for active
reviewing. More next month! Contributions welcome.
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