Five fingers–five fields of needs

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When planning and organizing a seminar, there are a host of aspects you consider as a facilitator. Imagine your participants’ needs are represented by a hand with five fingers. Each finger stands for a different type of need: 1. Social, 2. Physical, 3. Intellectual, 4.Emotional and 5. Spiritual.

In your seminar there should be a space for covering all five needs. If one is missing, your participants will (un)consciously notice/feel that it is lacking. Of course, not every one of us feels every need with the same intensity. It depends on the situation, activity, personality etc. There are participants for whom the emotional level of the seminar is extremely important, and others who prefer to concentrate on the intellectual part.

As a facilitator with your own individual preferences, you do not have to give equal attention and space to all spheres. If you're working in a team let other team members “take care” of “their” preferred levels. In many situations, it is also preferable to empower your participants to organize themselves and fulfill their own needs in the seminar as they crop up. It is crucial though, that you pay attention to the changing needs of your group, inform them of your observations, and empower/remind them to take initiative.


E. Heublein, N. Zimmermann (Ed.): Holistic Learning

Eliza Skowron


Co-founder Working Between Cultures, born in Poland, studies at Jagielloian UniversityKraków (Polen). Facilitator and expert for constructive communication, Anti-Bias, train-the-trainer, author in Competendo.


Related method:

Our Handbooks Holistic-learning-book-cover.png

E. Heublein, N. Zimmermann

Holistic Learning

Second Handbook for Facilitators: Read more