Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Before Your Group Goes to War, Try S.O.A.R.

I am still thinking about the conference I attended recently and thought I would offer this set of strategies for my teacher/school counselor/youth group/girl scout leader/group therapy colleagues. (Even those of you with multiple children!)

We use this method to encourage cooperation, to highlight positive social interactions, or to get help from group members in problem solving conflict between two members.
The S.O.A.R. approach includes the following steps:
S – Stop Action
O – Observe Aloud
A – Ask for Feedback
R – Reinforce Cooperative Interaction

Freeze action during a group activity to observe out loud cooperative efforts. Watch how this technique empowers the group to cooperate!
S – Stop Action: “Hey guys, let’s freeze for a second here.”
O – Observe Aloud: “Is anyone noticing how great this group is all working together right now?”
A – Ask for Feedback: “How great does it feel to work so well together as a team?  If you like it, say, ‘Yes’!”
R – Reinforce Cooperative Interaction: “What great teamwork!”
Freeze action during group activity to enlist help from other group members in solving problems between two members.
S – Stop Action: “Hey guys, let’s freeze for a second here.”
O – Observe Aloud: “Is there anyone noticing what is happening here between Andy and Shawn?”
A – Ask for Feedback: “Grady noticed that Andy and Shawn are fighting over the same toy.  Does anyone in the group have any ideas to help them solve this problem?”
R – Reinforce Cooperative Interaction: “Grady suggested Andy and Shawn could take turns with the toy.  Does that idea work for both of you?  What great team work!”
Let me know how it works for you in your groups.

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