The Shared Experience of Al-Anon Members
Each group is encouraged to develop its own procedure for taking an inventory. Regardless of the method, experience shows that the group benefits most by allowing time to discuss the responses, comments and suggestions. Most members find that questions that arise can be solved by application of the Twelve Traditions as well as by using the Al-Anon Family Groups UK & Eire Service Manual.
SUGGESTED METHODS FOR TAKING AN INVENTORY
Using the questions set out under ‘The Group’ and ‘Our Weekly Meetings’ below, work as a group with each member having the opportunity to share their personal experience or answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Another suggestion is to prepare a questionnaire for each member to fill out. These anonymous responses can be collected by the chairman and used to lead a group discussion or to have a lucky dip with each member commenting on responses he or she has drawn from the hat. Alternatively, ask each member to complete At the next meeting, members may read out their the questionnaire and bring it back the following week. responses.
▪ Does the group follow the suggested ▪ Al-Anon/Alateen format?
▪ Are we forming cliques or being indifferent to ▪ other members of the group?
▪ Do we criticize others in the group or gossip ▪ about them?
▪ Do we have an up-to-date display of ▪ Conference-Approved Literature (CAL)?
▪ Do we make sure newcomers have at least one member’s phone number, a list of local meetings ▪ and some Al-Anon/Alateen literature?
▪ Do we let newcomers know what sponsorship is
and how to obtain a sponsor? ▪
▪ Do we keep our meetings fresh and interesting in order to retain our longtime members?
▪ Do we make regular financial contributions to ▪ Al-Anon?
▪ Does everyone have a chance to participate in ▪ service to the group?
▪ Does out group undertake service projects on its own, or in conjunction with the Area or District? ▪
▪ Is our group active and supportive at District and Area levels?
OUR WEEKLY MEETINGS
Is there a chairman each week?
Are our meeting topics Al-Anon related?
Are our meetings interesting and helpful?
Do we stick to the subject of the meetings or wander off on tangents?
Are we easily diverted from the topic in order to focus on a member’s problem?
Do we discuss the alcoholics and their shortcomings?
Do we refrain from giving advice?
Do we encourage everyone to participate in the discussions by sharing and listening?
Do we make good use of Conference- Approved Literature (CAL) and News & Views for subjects and themes of meetings?
MY PART AS A MEMBER OF THE GROUP (A PERSONAL CHECKLIST)
▪ Do I attend meetings regularly?
▪ Do I periodically volunteer to lead a meeting?
▪ Do I participate in business meetings and offer ideas for improvement?
▪ Do I accept disagreement and differing points of view good-naturedly?
▪ Do I volunteer for, or willingly accept, a group office: Group Representative (GR), Secretary, Chairman, Programme Compiler or Treasurer?
▪ Am I understanding when their personal circumstances compel some members to limit their group service?
▪ Do I criticize others in the group or gossip about them?
▪ Do I ever repeat anything personal I have heard at meetings or from another member?
▪ Do I make telephone calls for my personal recovery rather than to complain and gossip?
▪ Do I welcome new members, talk with them, suggest pieces of Al-Anon/Alateen literature or offer my phone number?
▪ Do I read Al-Anon literature every day and apply the principles to my daily life?
▪ Do I let the group know which pieces of Conference-Approved Literature (CAL) are particularly helpful as part of my sharing at meetings?
▪ Do I keep the focus on Al-Anon and my own recovery when I share?
▪ Do I help before and after meetings by setting up or putting away tables and chairs, literature and refreshments?
▪ Do I interrupt or carry on a conversation while another member is speaking?
▪ Do I realise the benefits of sponsoring a newcomer?
▪ Do I listen carefully to the speakers, the chairman and other group members?
▪ Do I avoid giving advice to members?
▪ Do I try to make the fellowship known to others who need help?
▪ When group problems arise, do I focus on the problem or the solution?
▪ Do I put pressure on the group to accept my ideas because I have been in the fellowship a long time or for any other reason?