What are the 5 Friends?
The 5 Friends represent factors that individuals in a group need in order to be fully present and working at their best. They are also useful to evaluate the orientation of a group, and as a tool, to help the group work to its potential.
A felt sense of safety comes from connection to self, community and something transpersonal. When there is safety and connection, fear of conflict diminishes.
The key to finding support comes from finding shared themes and providing opportunities for members to be seen and recognizing what we need.
Creative self-expression comes from cultural development that allows for individual freedom rather than the imposition of external control.
Each person has a genuine truth. Recognizing another’s truth does not mean we agree with that truth or hold it as our own, but that we honor and accept it as theirs.
Value / Worth
Our sense of value and worth is intrinsic, does not need to be proven and is not dependent on our accomplishments.
How can I use the 5 Friends?
A useful exercise is to understand your personal disposition to the 5 Friends by considering the following questions:
Do we have a safe environment?
How is safety manifest in our environment? How can we nurture safety?
Can I say what I need?
Do I ask for help when I/we need it?
How can we encourage each other to ask for, and give, support when needed?
Does our partnership allow for creative expression?
Do we encourage each other to be fully self-expressed? How can we further inspire each other?
Is my truth accepted?
Do I appreciate my partner’s truth, even if I don’t agree with it?
Do I seek to understand my partner’s truth? Do I seek to understand my own truth?
Value / Worth
Do we each feel valued?
How do we show that we value each other when we disagree? How can we help everyone feel valued?
5 Friends Mandala
Mandala is Sanskrit for “circle” or “completion”. It has been used for centuries as an intentional manifest of a wholeness. In this case, the wholeness has to do with the group and the ‘5 Friends’.
As a group, review the ‘5 Friends’. What do they mean to you?
Complete your personal mandala relative to the group. Which of the 5 friends:• do you offer to help this group? • will you now cultivate?
• is your greatest challenge?
• is most natural to you?• does this group need now?
In pairs, compare your mandalas. Discuss how you came to make the choices you did and how you were impacted.
Share with the group. What did you discover? How did comparing mandalas help you understand how you might work with this person, or what you both bring to the group?