The Shared Experiences of Al-Anon and Alateen Members



Taking a periodic group inventory helps to keep your group healthy and invigorated. Members can use the inventory to discuss new service opportunities and address major or minor concerns before the group’s unity is disrupted. Listed below are methods for taking a group inventory along with an inventory checklist.

Methods for Taking an Inventory

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 openly discuss the responses, comments, and suggestions. Most members find that the answers to any questions that arise can be solved by application of the Twelve Traditions as well as by using the Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P24/27). Here are some suggested methods:

Use the Inventory questions for group discussion. Members may answer the questions with a “Yes” or “No”, or in a more detailed manner.

The chairperson or secretary collects the completed forms and uses the answers for a group discussion.

The chairperson provides a note pad to each member.

The chairperson reads a question and encourages members to share more than just “yes” or “no” and to write down their comments.

Pass a basket to collect the pages.

Pass the basket again having each individual take out a page randomly and read the answer. (This method usually generates more honesty because of the anonymity.)

Give a copy of the inventory to each member and ask that they fill it out and bring it back the following week.

At the next meeting have the chairperson read a question and have others read their responses.


My Part As A Member Of The Group

Do I attend the meetings regularly?

Do I periodically volunteer to lead a meeting?

Do I attend steering or business meetings and offer ideas for improvement?

Can I accept disagreement and differing points of view good-naturedly?

Do I volunteer for, or willingly accept, a group office: group representative, secretary, chairperson, program chairperson, or treasurer?

Am I understanding when 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 and to help others, rather than to complain and gossip?

Do I welcome new members, talk with them, suggest pieces of Al-Anon/Alateen literature, offer my phone number or the group’s telephone list and local meeting schedule?

Do I volunteer to sponsor newcomers? Am I presently sponsoring another member?

Do I read Al-Anon/Alateen 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 out 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 listen carefully to the speakers, the chairperson, and other group members?

Do I avoid giving advice to members?

Do I try to make the fellowship known to others who need help?

Do I participate in group service projects?

When group problems arise, do I focus on the problem or the solution?



Does everyone have a chance to participate in service to the group?

Do we criticize others in the group or gossip about them?

Are we forming cliques or being indifferent to other members of the group?

Do I pressure the group to accept my ideas because I have been in the fellowship a long time or for any other reason?

Does the group follow the suggested Al-Anon/Alateen meeting format?

Do we make sure newcomers have at least one member’s telephone number, a schedule 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?

Does our group undertake service projects on its own or in conjunction with the district, information service or area?

Do we have a literature display of Conference Approved Literature (CAL)? Do we regularly reorder CAL? Do we have a group lending library?

Is our group active and supportive at the district and area levels? Do we send representatives and financial contributions to local and area service arms as well as the World Service Office (WSO)? Do we support the information service office?

Does the group leave the meeting room in an acceptable manner?


Is there a chairperson each week?

Are our meetings interesting and helpful?

Do we encourage everyone to participate in the discussions by sharing and listening?

Do we refrain from giving advice?

Do we make good use of our Conference Approved Literature and The Forum for themes and subjects of meetings?

Are our meeting topics Al-Anon related?

Do we stick to the subject of the meeting 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 alcoholic and his/her shortcomings?

Now that I have participated in taking a group inventory, I plan to take the following action(s):








 Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.