Many of the current top-selling books on happiness recognize that intimate same-sex friends are key elements of the happy life; however they don’t tell you how to create them. This manual provides a clear pathway to this goal. It is based on over twenty years of involvement with men’s groups, research, and conversations with men who have been involved with successful and unsuccessful groups. Like a men’s group itself, the procedures are simple and straightforward. Following are the five main steps of the process. There will be details on each step in later chapters.
Five Steps to Forming Your Group
1. For a group to bond and stay together there must be some commonalties. Decide what topics, activities or issues you are interested in, and how to succinctly describe them in a few words. Write them down.
2. Issue an invitation for men with similar interests to join you. You can post invitations on bulletin boards or internet sites, print it in newspapers, use flyers, or personally invite men to participate.
3. Require a written response from potential members describing themselves and why they want to be part of the group. After reviewing requests to join the group, meet with each man in a face-to-face interview in order to determine if he is an appropriate candidate for your group. Close the recruitment once you have selected 10 to 12 men.
4. With your group of selected men, proceed through the first eight meetings, following the agendas in this manual. These first eight meetings are designed to both bond the group and to learn important communication skills that will be used throughout the life of the group.
5. After the eight initial meetings are completed, the group will determine how it should evolve. It may decide to establish goals, or to create a vision or mission for the group? What will bring the most satisfaction to the group members? This will be your group. It should be fun, challenging, and forever a source of strength and rejuvenation.