Why did children, parents, students, and volunteers gather in Burnaby on a Sunday afternoon? They came to talk about what it means to be truly supportive, to be a good friend, neighbor, and citizen, and to support anyone who is being bullied. They came to discuss what it means to really honor and respect diversity, and they did it in 3D.
What does being a good citizen have to do with stopping bullying? A bully probably would not attend an event like this. We were targeting the individuals who stand by and watch as someone is being bullied.
The bystander is the bully’s best ally, if they do nothing.
When the bystander speaks up, they are the bully’s biggest deterrent.
Bullying does not just affect children and teens, adults are targets as well. It is a very insidious behavior, and most people have been the victim at some point.
Why did we use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods?
Well, you might be thinking we brought in the bricks because children love to build. But the truth is, we used the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology because we knew that children would be able to build metaphors to express their ideas and share their inner feelings and thoughts with their parents.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY methods uses a story-making process that gives the brain a hand and allows internal thoughts to come out for exploration. When people share their stories with 3D models, it helps them to make sense of their personal experience. It also builds confidence as others validate their stories.
As the participants constructed and deconstructed their ideas and built powerful stories together, we actually reinforced the behaviors we want to see exhibited in our society. The activities strengthened positive ideas like:
- Being a generous listener
- Helping a friend
- Working together and collaborating
- Sharing stories and sharing bricks
- Taking turns
We asked powerful questions, such as “Can you think of a time when you really felt someone listened to you?” We opened up the space for thinking and reflection, along with powerful storytelling. It took participants back to a time when they felt strong and empowered.
This program was part of our annual Anti-bully workshop. The Vancouver, BC, Anti-bully team did an amazing job of coordinating and marketing the event, and the house was packed. They also found wonderful corporate sponsors, who were so inspired by the event they donated meaningful gifts such as movie tickets for a group of friends and LEGO® Superhero keychains. This allowed everyone to go home with a great takeaway reminder—a transitional object— of their experience.
The event was designed and developed by the Strategic Play Team, and we had seven trained and certified Strategic Play LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology facilitators who donated their time to the cause. Fourteen students helped to support the event by ensuring every child at each table was able to build and tell their own special story. The teens supported the facilitators and set a positive example for the younger children to follow.
(Great photo of all the volunteers that made this event shine!)
Diversity and respect are good things the world seems to need right now, maybe more than ever before. But this was no ordinary conversation. It was a conversation in 3D where people really felt appreciated and heard.
Special thanks to the facilitators who volunteered for this event! It's great to see so many wonderful people share their time and talents!
We trained them and we love them all!
- Kirsten Anderson, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods - Vancouver, BC
- Klaus Boedker, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Vancouver, BC
- Cheryl Joslin, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Victoria, BC
- Maxine King, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Toronto, ON
- Jill Langer, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Calgary, AB
- Laura MacDonald, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods -Vancouver, BC
- Stephen Walling, Registered Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods and Licensed Trainer -Vancouver, BC
If you are interested in hosting an #I AM Anti-Bully event - please let us know! We would be happy to hear from you! If you are looking for a facilitated workshop, the people above would be happy to come to play with you!
For more information email us anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org