A simple, yet powerful exercise for a company’s male and female senior leaders and managers designed and delivered to deeply and permanently shift their perception and appreciation for each other as allies. This experience consists of placing pairs of men and women in an innovative “fish bowl” designed for peer-to-peer conversations focused on topics such as:
Where have you hit the biggest obstacles in engaging men to advance women?
What are the real or imagined fears that men have about sharing power with women? What privileges do they enjoy unconsciously that might get threatened by full equality?
What are the unintended consequences of doing business using the prevailing dominant culture? (for men and for women)
How do women “shoot themselves in the foot” regarding advancement?
How can men’s good intentions backfire?
Experienced facilitators create a safe environment that fosters authenticity and open, honest communication, masterfully guiding the process to produce an experience that permanently shifts the way men and women relate to one another.
Following the Fish Bowl conversations, participants explore how the power of their belief systems shape, influence and expand or limit the culture of Gender Partnership in their organization. Participants also have the opportunity to identify and commit to action steps to impact change across the enterprise.
How many people can attend a fishbowl? The actual fishbowl exercise itself is conducted with an equal number of men and women - minimum of 16 participants and maximum of 30. However, a gallery can be assembled to allow for a broader audience to experience and observe. The size of the event is often dictated by space since the participants sit in a circle.
Is the fishbowl effective with people from various levels in the organization? Can a manager be in a fishbowl with a direct report? Our experienced team of facilitators will establish the ground rules appropriate for the mix of participants. We have done the exercise with rooms of strangers and with the closest teams. We will work with you to create the guidelines for inviting participation.
What if we have more of one gender than the other? The minimum number of participants is 8 men and 8 women. Thereafter, the level of imbalance will be handled by a gallery or a variety of other configurations we've found have worked. Our commitment is to deliver a powerful experience and we will advise you accordingly.