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My Expectations and Fears through symbols

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To reflect on why participants are taking part in the course and what they want to get from it, and to become aware of any fears that might hold them back during the course
- To create individual reflection time for participants.
- To voice any reservations they might have.
- To share with the group these expectations and fears.
- To find a symbol to reflect this expectation or this fear.

Description of the tool

Everyone get 15 minutes to walk around the venue or outside, reflecting on why they are here and what they expect form this course and also to reflect on their fears connected to being here.
They choose a symbol, from their surroundings, reflecting the hopes and fears. These symbols are brought back to the room and one by one they display them in the middle of the circle on a big sheet of paper, while explaining to the group the reason for choosing these symbols.
This “exhibition” is kept until the last day.
On the last day we put it back in the middle and look at it. Everyone gets 5 minutes to reflect on their addition and to make a change if needed.
Then everyone will make the change and tell the group why and how their hopes, expectations have come through, or not. And the same for the fears.


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

All participants

and addresses

Group Dynamics, Intercultural Learning

Materials needed:

A nice carpet or table cloth, material which participants find or create themselves


45’ (for each session; pre- and post-evaluation)

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Behrooz M. Afshari (on 11 May 2007)

and last modified

17 December 2008

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