Inside outside

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Activity: Inside out outside in

Objective Putting in context your own experience, who you are and why that is important. Thinking about what that is like for others.

When to use This exercise allows people to recognise their own qualities, strengths and weaknesses. Often we have found that people will begin by putting the things they are proud of and then slowly the vulnerabilities will come out. In looking at how others see you, requires stepping outside of your world and into someone else's. It’s a great way to draw out empathy and to switch to solution finding processes. To do the same for another relevant person is appropriate if more depth of empathy or understanding is needed.

Background Stories need to be genuine but also tailored and targeted to the audience – NGO to help them understand. Used as part of an evaluation process, this exercise can help a group to understand: • what the project is like for other stakeholders; • their relationship with other stakeholders; • the impact they have had; It can also help people to identify their own authentic story, based on who they know themselves to be. And getting an understanding of their audience or partners means they are better able to tailor their story to the targeted audience.


How to do it

  1. Someone lies down on piece of paper, others draw around them.
  2. In a group (single sex groups advisable) On the inside of the body write down how you see yourself
  3. On the outside how do you think other people see you – could be specific other group eg teachers, police etc see you?
  4. (Optional) Then do a figure of a relevant type of person – eg teacher, police project staff… – how do you think they see themselves, how do you see them?


Case study

Living Lens' Fresh Start project [(http://www.livinglens.co.uk )] – a group of trafficked women taking part in a participatory video project made a DVD resource for the police service. The women’s experience of the police was that they were arrested and imprisoned for criminal offences such as trying to leave the country (escaping from their trafficker) on false papers. For the women this compounded their already traumatic experiences, for the police this cost time and money. The DVD resource now used as part of the training by the national police improvement agency provided insights into the women’s situations and suggestions on how to find out more about women they suspect to be trafficked, such as the kinds of questions they might ask, the things the women are likely to do or say and why. In this example the trafficked women were looking for ways to help the police understand their situation and find news ways of helping them to identify victims of trafficking at first point of contact. They needed to understand how it was for police in those situations, they needed to humanize the police officers, so that they could produce a resource that was appropriate, useful and impactful.