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After GROK Party Guidelines for Breakout Rooms


Take your time with all of this. Keep breathing and relaxing your body. You have plenty of time.

Welcome to your Breakout Group! This time is yours, and while we want to offer structure, we also want to encourage flexibility and creativity. You can either pick someone to lead you in this format, or you can navigate this together. 

You will be sent notifications for when it’s time to switch people, and when there is 5 minutes left.


Keep them short in order to leave as much time for PLAY and CONNECTION.

  1. Your name

  2. Your location

  3. One of two feelings that are present for you

  4. Anything that would be helpful for your group to know (keep this brief)

Group GROK (Page 12 Game 15 in the 5th edition Ways to Play book)

Each person should have about 10 minutes to share their story and receive empathy. There may be times when an “interruption” is needed if someone starts to offer advice or interrogate, etc. or if the Speaker goes on too long with their story. Think ‘feedback’, not criticism. Everyone is learning together. Use your intuition and notice if your body starts tensing up—may be a good time to chime in)

A note on making empathy guesses: These are *guesses*, and we may not be “right” in our guess of another’s needs. However, what often happens is even an incorrect guess allows the speaker to gain deeper insight into their own needs. There are no wrong guesses!

On page 3 of your instruction booklet, you will see various ways to make empathy guesses. Feel free to use some of that wording and even add more to it, such as, “Sounds like you would have liked consideration when your friend told you she was dating your old boyfriend.” So, feel free to add a phrase regarding the Speaker’s situation.

We do find it helpful to have all the Needs cards laid out alphabetically.

We’ve started with GROUP GROK, but if you feel comfortable and would like to jump to “last thing said”, please do so.


  1. Choose someone to share a situation in their life for which they’d like to receive empathy from the group. For the purpose of learning together, please choose a situation you feel comfortable sharing. So, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the hardest thing, choose something between a 2 and a 6

  2. Before you share, think about the situation, and sort through your feelings cards and select approximately 5 to 6 feelings that relate to the situation that you’re going to share. Please let us know when you are done.

  3. The rest of the group will be making Needs guesses.

  4. Once (say name of volunteer) has shared their feelings, and a brief summary of the situation, we’ll go around in a circle, and one at a time, (and in a certain order) we’ll each guess one Need we think the speaker might be needing. If the Feelings cards they share represent positive, comfortable feelings, it’s likely their needs are being met, in which case you would guess which needs of theirs are being met. If the feelings they share are uncomfortable feelings, then you would guess what needs of theirs they’re wanting to meet.

  5. (Once the speaker is ready) “share your situation in just a couple of sentences – less than 60 seconds. We don’t need the whole story, just the headline or the bottom line. As you share, please hold up your Feelings cards as they relate to the situation.

  6. Guessers, go around in a circle and guess ONE need you think (________Name of Speaker) is needing in this situation, then hold up the card in front of your video camera lens so they can see it when you guess.

  7. (______Name of Speaker), After they guess, please find that card in your Needs rows, and put it in front of you. After each Needs guess, someone makes, you’ll continue to put the Needs card where you can see it. . And, _____(Speaker), for this round, you won’t be responding to each Needs guess. You’ll simply find the Needs card and lay it in front of you.

  8. Perhaps the most important part of making empathy guesses is to be fully present for the Speaker. So, please give (________Speaker’s Name) your full attention. There’s no right or wrong here.

(After one round) – the group can go around a second time in the same order. So, ______, could you state your situation again, please?

(For the guessers – when they are done) – Does anyone have a burning desire to guess one more Needs card? And/or ask the speaker (____Speaker) Are you feeling complete, or would you like to hear more Needs guesses?

(For the speaker- When complete) Please review the Needs words that were guessed and let us know if any of them resonated with you? (Speaker shares).

And how was it for you hearing the Group making guesses? (Speaker shares again).

And do you have any requests of yourself or someone else around this situation?

Would you like to hear from the Group how that was for them?


(Gauge the group and see if popcorn style makes sense (from session 3).

“Tracking Last Thing Said”, Probably on page 5 of the manual. If you have an older copy of the game, you may not have this version.

  1. Just like the last Speaker, think about the situation you’re going to share, and please scan through your Feelings cards and select 5 to 6 cards that apply to a situation in your life for which you would enjoy receiving empathy.

  2. (When the speaker is ready) Like last time, share your situation in less than a minute, -just the bottom line or headline - and show your Feelings cards and put them down where you can see them. When the Guessers guess, they will show you the Needs card, and you can find it in your rows of Needs cards. Put those in front of you too.

  3. (After the speaker has shared) This time, after the first Guesser has guessed, the Speaker will comment on the 1st guess. After (___Name of Speaker) responds, the next Guesser can make their *“needs”* guess based on the last thing the Speaker said. For this reason, please do NOT to have cards ready to guess until (____Name of Speaker) has responded to previous guess. So, we’re tracking the last thing they said. In this way, you are tracking (_____Name of Speaker) closely and your guess will be fresh. He/She/They may start speaking on one topic and then transition to another. So, I’m asking you to keep an open heart and open mind and wait until (_____Name of Speaker) has responded.

  4. Suggest we guess in this order – (_____, Name the Guessers).

  5. (After the first Guesser has guessed, ask the Speaker), Could you please respond to that guess? Speaker may say, “Yes, that Need works for me.” If that happens, ask them to share more. “Could you say more about that?”

  6. After the Speaker has responded, Be sure to take into account what (_____Name of Speaker) just said before making your empathy guess.

  7. (Continue like this until everyone has guessed 1-2 times, or somehow it just feels like a good place to stop.)

  8. (____Name of Speaker) please share how this empathy session was for you.

(When Speaker is done) Would you like to hear from the Group how it was for them?

(If the Speaker says yes) Would anyone be willing to share what it was like for you?

(Ends when everyone is complete)

THIRD SESSION – (10 mins)

On this next round, we’ll continue using “Last Thing Said”, except, you won’t guess in a round, rather if you are moved to guess based on the last thing the Speaker said, we’ll guess popcorn style.

Repeat above– popcorn style –

Again, the volunteer will share their situation and pick 5-6 feelings cards they’re feeling around this situation.

In response, popcorn style, people will call out NEEDS guesses, and speaker will respond to the guess.

Next person that guesses a NEEDS guess will do so based on the last thing the speaker has said.


You will receive a 5 minute notification to finish the round

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