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MenSpeak Ground Rules

MenSpeak Men's Group Ground Rules

Please read the ground rules, ask for clarity and discuss anything you wish to add, change or challenge before we begin. As we all take ownership of the ground rules, we meet on a level playing field and can safely explore our lives together.

1: ALWAYS TALK ABOUT MENSPEAK MEN'S GROUPS

This is not Fight Club. Whatever you disclose will be treated in the utmost of confidence, though tools, techniques and tips picked up in a group are best shared far and wide. The more self-aware, able men we support, the better our world. So invite new men along...

2: CONFIDENTIALITY

What is disclosed is our men's group stays in our men's group. Phrases like "I saw this on TV…" or "My friend said…" are fine, as long as no one can be identified. This is often referred to at the Chatham House Rule. and we take this very seriously.

3: RESPECT

Respect your self, everyone’s truth, boundaries, feelings, perspectives and stories beyond judgement and projection. Respect the space when others talk, and listen. Respect of other people naturally follows on from self-respect.

4: TAKE PART

Authentically take part in the group with words and in silence. Better to say "Pass", for whatever reason, than to resort to banter, put up a smokescreen, perform, or use any other tactics to hide from what you might be feeling, thinking, or whatever might be triggered inside. We practise authentic presence and connection.

5: BE HONEST

Be honest with yourself and the group. That way you can own your feelings and work them through, rather than quietly internalise, suppress, then dump them on to someone else down the line. We get to know our shadows, we consciously break limiting cycles and we set ourselves free. What a relief!

6: OWN WHAT YOU SAY

Use “I” statements, rather than “you”, “one” or “we”. What you say may not be true for every other man. Depersonalising avoids ownership of feelings, experiences, opinions and issues making change a long drawn out uphill battle. "We" seeks validation and acceptance of other men, as more important than "my" truth.

7: STAY IN THE PRESENT

Be clear about what is present now, in this moment and what was true of the past. Reflect this in your language, so “always” and “keeps on” might be less accurate than “had” and “used to”. Live the change you want to be and make the space for your change, with the power of conscious words, thoughts and intentions.

8: DON'T BULLY

This is a safe, inclusive space. Neither aggressive, nor passive-aggressive behaviour is an option. No one’s safety will be compromised. Men can learn how to better question, disagree, challenge and learn about others with clarity, honour and respect. Be aware of when you feel vulnerable and such defences come up.

9: DON'T DRAMATISE

When someone tells their story, let them own it from their experience without projecting how good, bad or ugly it is. Give them their space with it. Hijacking, or making a meal of a man’s story might tie him to it in the present, where he might want to name it, have it witnessed, learn from it then let it go.

10: EXPERIMENT WITH WHO YOU ARE

Whether your persona is introverted, extroverted, passive, aggressive, shy or confident, you can give any unexpressed parts of yourself a test-drive here. Ask for feedback, then take the most authentic you out into the world. Who a man presents to the world is not necessarily who he is, so let's explore who we really are.

11: NAME WHAT'S TRIGGERED

One man’s story is another man’s emotional reaction, so best name it, work it through and let it pass. Carrying it home and allowing it to get a hold feeds it well and keeps it in the present, denying exploring it’s message to you and your freedom to live beyond it. We name it, we don't shame it, or blame it.

12: LIVE BEYOND THE RULES

Boyish rebellion might be less efficient than manly exploration. Playing small to be ‘liked’ in the group may be less valuable than playing big, possibly being challenged and growing with the experience. Explore your survival rules, restrictions and our boundaries to claim your authentic perspective and position in your life.

This is not a therapy group, not an encounter group, not a w*nk group or a place to pick up men for sex, not a group for or against men or women, not a religious or spiritual group, not a political group, not a group of anything apart from whatever the men present make it. Such boundaries are designed to keep our circle clean and free of expectation and ulterior motives.

“Feel your feelings, trust the process, stay until the end.” Mike Portelli

Disclaimer: All activities are undertaken entirely at the participant's own risk. No responsibility will be taken and no compensation discussed for loss or injury. By taking part, each participant accepts full responsibility for his own safety and well-being. (If in doubt, please seek professional advice before participating). May the force be with you!

Find out more about Kenny and his work as a personal development consultant at www.kennydcruz.com

© Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz “The Man Whisperer” (Newsweek)

Feel free to copy, distribute and use MenSpeak Ground Rules as you will, referencing me as the source and ideally telling me where you’ve used it. I'd love feedback so I can improve / a testimonial so I can feel good about what I share.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
MenSpeak Ground Rules May 30, 2019 2:22 PM Bertie
About MenSpeak Men's Groups (London / Online) June 20, 2016 5:23 PM Kenny M.

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