- Creating an environment where it is safe for people to talk about who they are in a broader sense than might normally be socially acceptable.
- Learning about others in the group.
Give participants 10 minutes to find an object that represents either how they feel today, what they aspire to, what their job feels like, what they'd like to let go of to be present--the possibilities are wide open. Participants can either hold on to their object or put it on a cloth in the center of the room (this assume people are in a circle on the floor or in chairs).
Have each participant share with the group what the object means to them. You can either go in order, let someone volunteer to be first and then go in order or let it go according to whoever is ready (this option often feels best).
About size, I've done this with up to 16 people and it probably took 30 minutes. Most people don't go on very long. It helps to have access to nature because of the greatly increased store of objects to be found there but I've also done it in homes. I think it could be done in an office environment if people had enough time to wander around looking for something.
It is helpful to emphasize that they don't have to find the ultimate object and they shouldn't think too hard about it but just let objects speak to them, e.g. whatever seems to catch their eye should be considered. This is also a good example of "challenge by choice" in that participants can choose how much they wish to share of their "inner life" based on the notion that learning requires some willingness to risk.
Each participant introduces themselves and then shows the group an object they brought into the session (It could be from their pocket, purse, briefcase, etc.) They must then tell the group why that object is significant to who they are.