Other people matter

Social interactions and groups are incredibly important and influence us every day: we live in groups, we learn in groups, we work in groups, we play in groups and we worship in groups. Therefore it is valuable to understand the individual behavior in a social context to better understand ourselves and our identity.

That is one of the main reasons why Build & Share is group facilitation method that seeks to bring in social context that many traditional positive psychology based interventions do not. The narrative approach, that is central in Build & Share, makes it possible to better understand optimal functioning and group dynamics through the discovery of situations and social contexts where specific patterns of energizing and authentic thoughts, feelings and actions occur.

Social and still personal

We need to understand the stories that we have consciously and unconsciously composed over our lives in order to understand ourselves and how we interact in a group. It is important to note that we do not create these stories in a vacuum or out of the blue. The process of creating a narrative identity is dynamic and occurs interchangeably between social and personal processes developing a more complex psycho-social understanding of identity (Gauntlett, 2007). In that context our social experiences and the way we interpret our experiences, form our idea about our identity and our perception of reality. The themes from positive psychology that are explored with the Build & Share method should therefore always be interpreted in a group context.

Improve both individual and group engagement

The Build & Share method sets the right frame for people to explore different versions of themselves and others and investigate what characterize when they work and function at their strongest. It is a useful method to apply when the goal is to learn more about what is important and meaningful to people, and it when dialogue and exploration of stories that form an idea about our identity and perception of reality are a key concern. Build & Share is especially good to apply when you want to improve both individual and group engagement at the same time, and part of the process is how to optimally use the topics from positive psychology individually and collectively towards a common goal.

Useful applications

The Build & Share method and its parent concept LEGO® Serious Play® is being used in organizations and groups worldwide by facilitators with various backgrounds. The organizations and groups are often looking for innovative ways to increase the engagement, confidence and insight of their executives, managers and employees.

The method is in use for a broad range of purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Creation of share goals, visions and aspirations
  • Alignment of values
  • Exploration of character strengths and virtue
  • Mastery goals and collective self-efficacy
  • Innovation and concept development
  • Unleashing creative thinking and transforming ideas into concrete concepts.
  • Prospecting, scenario & future studies

Experience shows great relevance in embedding the Build & Share method into workshops and change processes related to organizational development, leadership development, team building, strategy and goal setting, personal development in group settings.

If you are seeking to reveal more impactful insights, improve decision making, find hidden opportunities, stimulate entrepreneurship, improve project leadership, surface hidden issues, clarify values, roles and identities, integrate new teams and new members, resolve conflicts, integrate diverse cultures or discuss the un-discussable – then Build & Share may be your method of choice.

Build & Share in education and outside business

Even though Build & Share primarily is oriented towards adults in organizational settings the method is very useful for groups outside the professional world. The method is very applicable in settings such as:

  • Groups that deal with and explore how positive psychology might help them overcome personal and collective issues
  • Educational settings where the group explores various well-being issues
  • Group based counseling
  • Camps for young people where themes such as dreams, meaning and character strengths are explored.

Generally speaking the method is domain independent and we are constantly surprised by the creativity of the applications we hear about.

Imagine, create and remember

A key component in LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® for Positive Psychology is that it facilitates the benefits from the narrative approach using storytelling and metaphors. We define our reality in terms of metaphors and the stories we tell about ourselves. In LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® for Positive Psychology the stories contribute to the construction, reproduction, or transformation of our reality and identity.

Through the use of LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® for Positive Psychology the participants build metaphorical models that visualize and make meaning of abstract concepts that can otherwise be quite difficult to comprehend. The metaphors give a more complex creation of understanding and can make something more meaningful by equating it with something else. At the same time the use of metaphors and the way participants visualize things in a Build & Share workshop makes it much easier for participants to remember.

Research has shown that the brain better handles and stores information through images and in that way use visual sources to create new ideas and make more meaning of complex things. A LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® for Positive Psychology process takes advantage of the human ability to imagine things and create something radically new. This is a key capacity when we want to be more innovative, create knowledge and develop ourselves and the group we interact in. In that context LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® for Positive Psychology aims to enable all three kinds of key properties of the human imagination: to describe, to create, and to challenge.

Imagination

The human’s descriptive imagination is about seeing the world as it is. It enables us to identify patterns, to make sense of it and to see new possibilities and opportunities. When adding structure to information by building metaphors with LEGO® bricks we are effectively using descriptive imagination to focus on repeating patterns and to see things in a new way. The creative imagination allows us to see what isn’t there, which means we can develop and create new things and patterns. In Build & Share we use this imagination to generate new possibilities from the combination, recombination or transformation of the things or concepts we have built. The challenging imagination encourages us to negate, defame, contradict and even destroy the sense of progress that comes from descriptions and creativity. That enables us to look at things in a new way and be even more creative and innovative.

This creative, metaphorical and visual approach in LEGO® SERIOUS® PLAY® for Positive Psychology makes a much richer and more memorable learning experience, which especially is an advantage when dealing with the complex and abstract concepts within the field of positive psychology.