We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
Why is confidentiality so irresistible? Because it's usually only promised for with therapists, lawyers, and doctors! It's a big deal for people to share what's going on in their lives, especially when it's something that they're not proud of. So when someone finally works up the courage to share, ask for help, or ask that hard question that keeps them up at night, it's usually because they know for sure exactly who they're sharing it with - the people in that room, that one time.
Without the guarantee of confidentiality, sharing with the group means potentially sharing with the group's friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances from the grocery store. And while that probably isn't a huge reality, it still would discourage the type of sharing that leads to trust and openness.
So take confidentiality seriously! When it comes to the longterm health of a group, confidentiality is a must. And when you run into confusing questions like...
can I tell my spouse?
what about new people in the group?
what about bringing something back up the next week?
...remember that everyone should be able to say this:
I am the only one who GETs TO CHOOSE WHAT I SHARE AND WHEN I SHARE IT.
great facilitators talk the least.
Sometimes it can feel like we need to “seed” the conversation as facilitators, or get it rolling. Or, we feel like we should comment often to point all the helpful or insightful things we hear. But as facilitators, and not teachers, it’s a huge win when we do so much listening that we talk the least. And if we make that our goal, we will start getting creative with ways to get our people engaged in the conversation.