When YPO/WPO members find out that I am in the forum retreat facilitation business, I am often asked about my favorite forum retreat topic. My absolute favorites are ones that I have developed, but there are many in the YPO/WPO library that are excellent.
Of the commonly known YPO/WPO forum retreat topics, my favorite is “Fathers – the Apple Doesn’t Fall far from the Tree”. It is on the YPO/WPO website. If you can’t find it, email me and I’ll email you a copy.
In this exercise, members present and explore their relationships with their fathers. Mothers can just as easily be the focus, but every time I have participated in this exercise, it has been with all male forums focusing on fathers.
Pictures always enhance this presentation. Each member could throw their pictures into a PowerPoint (prepared in advance of the retreat) or members can just pass around snapshots. Whichever method of photo display the forum chooses, don’t forget the pictures. The visuals add real oomph to the presentations.
One of the prime objectives of a retreat is to “dive deeper” in revealing who you really are to your forum mates. This exercise is amazing in what it reveals. Members gain a much greater understanding of each other and of themselves. If you have not done this exercise, do it at your next retreat. If you did this exercise years ago, and have since brought in new members, it is time to revisit it.