Methods for people to support each other in small groups (less than 8)

These are methods for people to support each other in small peer-to-peer mutual aid groups:

  • Pods personal-and-professional development in small groups, a new practice in development at Enspiral. (For more on this: listen to the recording of the Crews/Pods session at Enspiral Summer Retreat 2019.)

  • The Scuttlebutt software community are actively forming crews they call Faerie Rings. Documentation currently focusses on how to do matchmaking to form crews within a congregation. Faerie Rings are mostly "get to know you" spaces for people who are participating in a big distributed project, but don't have many opportunities to connect face to face.

  • Case Clinic is a peer-coaching method from Theory U. It has a practical output (helping someone with a challenge they're currently facing), and it tends to produce a lot of insight and interpersonal bonding. Here's what an org psychologist makes of these coaching circles.

  • Feelz Circle: 3 processes for sharing emotional care between friends/ comrades/ lovers.

  • Stewardship peer support system for Partnerships.

  • Working Out Loud: a guided 12-week process for peer support in small groups: what am I trying to do? who is related to that goal? how can I contribute to them to deepen our relationship?

  • The Elephants long term personal development for Crews

  • Ako Groups: peer support within a learning context, e.g. university

  • If you have more to add to this list, please contribute :)


How is Crew formed? We're not sure. Rich's original proposal suggests the best way to meet your Crew-mates is in a Congregation: a larger gathering of people with some shared values and medium-high trust. The core patterns linked above may help, but there's many experiments to be done.

🔈In this podcast with Daniel Thorson, Ria Baeck suggests the best place to start is at home, with a few guests gathered around a compelling question.

If you have experiences to share, please do!