We usually do a quick ‘check-in’ at the start of each meeting, to see how people are feeling, and to see if anyone has an ‘issue’ or ‘challenge’ they would like to discuss during the meeting.
It’s quick, and not everyone needs to contribute. But here are some ideas for expressing ‘how are you?’
First, we sometimes take a moment to sit quietly and draw our attention inward, to get a ‘sense’ of how we are. Sometimes by checking in with bodily sensations, we will ‘know’ how we feel. Bodily sensations are connected to emotions – print version here.
Emoticons also provide clues to ‘how are you?’. Here’s a set here – this can be passed around – which are you today?
Here are some labelled emoticons (print version):
Sometimes a quick glance at the ‘feeling wheel’ can be helpful (here is the simple version):
Then, you may wish to identify very briefly any events that might have triggered yoru feelings, and let the group know if you would like to discuss this trigger further, later in the meeting.
In any case, ‘how are you?’ requires some tuning in!
References: Bodily Maps of Emotions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, http://www.pnas.org/content/111/2/646.full. Use of images is permitted for nonprofit and educational purposes (see more), as per author.
Image: Emoticon license purchased from istock photos, 12/11/15.
Feelings Wheel (see the resources page)