#mm: „Annoying Methods“ – Constellations

“Get up from your chair and stand next to the subject that applies best to you!” 

Illustration: Nicola Sekler

For years, methods from the family of constellations have been THE hits in adult education. In the meantime, participants sometimes roll their eyes full in an annoyed manner when they are announced. .

Why constellations? 

  • To get to know each other and ask about experiences. We let people line up according to cardinal points (Where do you come from?). We let them move to a spot along a floor line, for example after a lot of experience with… to beginners. 
  • For group formation: Stand to the topic you want to work on. 
  • For the evaluation of statements distributed in the room. Go to the sentence that is most important to you, that you can agree with the most. 
  • To activate and move: Get out of your chairs. 

When and where – the didactic place 

Constellations are suitable for the beginning, in between and at the end, so they are always usable and therein lies the danger. 

Allergy triggers 

We have found allergies to constellations especially in longer courses and seminars and in people who attend many seminars. 

Guess when and why our beloved constellations become annoying: 

  • Inflation: We trainers love constellations because movement and activity can be combined with learning content and because we can get a quick overview of experiences etc. in the group. Because many trainers like to do constellations very often for just those reasons, it is too much for the participants. 
  • Too much action: There is the type of participant who likes to lean back and simply listen with concentration, who is distracted by constant action. 
  • Experience with System Constellations: If there are experiences with psychological System Constellations in the group or with individuals (e.g. Family Constellations according to Hellinger), unpleasant memories are sometimes awakened. 

What to do?

  • Collegial Method Check: Simply ask the other trainers which methods they use and whether they use constellations more often. 
  • „Correct“ scoring by way of dots (with adhesive dots on a pin board) instead of scoring with the body 
  • Hand sign questions 
  • Digitally supported query: e.g. with mentimeter or another online tool 
  • Justification: We will not completely dispense with constellations and will continue to use them in doses. Perhaps this justification will help against allergic reactions. „I would like to work on this topic with a constellation. The different positions here in the group will quickly become apparent.“ 

Author: Ulli Lipp
Translation: Astrid Donaubauer

Read the original article in German

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