IAF Methods

Good Friend Conversation

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This can be used as an initial reflection on what it means to support colleagues.

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To reflect on the issue of being a good friend to a friend or colleague who is in trouble and to experience the struggle of being an effective good friend.


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Pre-Work Required: reflect with the person doing the role what kind of roles they will play.

Facilitator personality fit: needs to be able to handle a role play.


CONTEXT 1. We want to spend the next 20 or 30 minutes looking at what it means to be a good friend. I find that being a good friend sometimes difficult.

1. When I say good friend what image comes to mind? When I say image I mean a picture. What do you see when you think of a good friend?

2. What are the qualities of a good friend?

3. My colleague here will be playing the role and I want you to be his/her good friend. “Judith is a University Professor at the University of Amsterdam. She teaches anthropology. The past year she has been on a sabbatical studying an archeological site in the Jungle of Brazil. She has been out of contact with the university most of this time. When she returned, she discovered the number two person in the department has falsely accused her of taking bribes from her student for good grades. She has been fired from the university. You know about this. She has called you to ask if you would take her to the airport.”

4. Who would be Judith's good friend?

5. (When the role has gone for a few minutes stop it.) Whether you succeeded or not what were you trying to do?

6. What were you trying to do with Judith?

7. (You then summarize by saying something like: "So for you being a good friend is ______?")

8. (Have someone try the role again.)

9. What does it mean to be a good friend?

CONCL. 1. For me being a good friend is not easy - it is more than just following some set of rules. It is actively caring for someone.

See file for more detail


Follow-Up Required: none

Usual or Expected Outcomes: reflection on being a friend and on caring for others.


Source: Jon Jenkins

History of Development: It was originally part of an Ecumenical Institute course on the application of Twentieth Century theology to real life. 

Alternative names: Good Neighbour Conversation

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