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Roles in Stages of Group Development

forming ⇒ storming ⇒ norming ⇒ performing ⇒ adjourning Forming Individual Group Facilitator cautiously optimistic getting acquainted becoming oriented needing direction looking for acceptance   no commitment looking for ways to develop a positive environment   focus on building group   Facilitator Responsibilities give direction set climate clarify roles & expectations define peer support provide structure...

Group Guidelines and Goals

Group guidelines are designed to hold the group together. When a guideline doesn’t seem to be working, ask: Does everyone understand the meaning of the guideline? Does everyone know what to do in order to uphold the guideline? Is everyone willing to agree to the guideline? Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve or adapt the guideline to better meet the needs of the group and its members? Common categories for...

Participatory Group Decision-Making

What is participatory group decision-making? an opportunity for everyone in the group to have a chance to speak their mind, where differences of opinion are valued rather than feared. an environment where group members do their best to understand one another especially in the face of pressure or when contradictions arise. a process that takes time and careful facilitation so that each member of the group feels heard,...

The Art of Debriefing

Debriefing is a fancy way of saying ‘to talk about it together’. Why do we ‘debrief’ activities?   Debriefing each activity or exercise that your group experiences will allow the group to process or “decode” the ideas, concepts and skills that they have just explored. Decoding is the process of critical questioning with the group that happens after every ‘code’ has been...

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Adapted from “Setting Healthy Boundaries”, Langley Seniors Centre, 2004     Healthy: helping to maintain or bring about good health; in a prosperous and efficient condition. Boundary: the point at which something ends or beyond which it becomes something else.   Healthy boundaries help make relationships last, especially when you as a volunteer are working with other community members. Clear boundaries can...

Qualities of Effective Facilitators

The values described below are often considered essential for individuals involved with group learning and with facilitating the learning process. Respect Recognize each individual and his / her right to be heard Believe in everyone’s ability to grow and change Value and acknowledge each person’s strengths Encourage the full expression of ideas Honour everyone’s right to make choices Value each...

Facilitators’ Role

Each group member is the expert of his or her own experience. The main goal of a facilitator is to draw out knowledge and insight from other group members. A facilitator will use different skills, tools, exercises and natural abilities to keep a group discussion moving smoothly. In general, facilitators have three responsibilities: to make sure that everyone has a chance to have their ideas and feelings expressed to keep the...

Characteristics of Peer-Led Groups

People come together to form peer-led groups because they share a common experience or concern. Some focus on education and information, some on a community issue, others on emotional support and sharing. Others offer an opportunity to share experiences, socialize and form friendships. Each group forms and then changes according to the members’ needs. Many peer-led groups have these common characteristics: Sharing...

What is Community Development?

Community development is a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. Community wellbeing (economic, social, environmental and cultural) often evolves from this type of collective action being taken at a grassroots level. Community development ranges from small initiatives within a small group to large initiatives that involve the broader community....

Competencies for Voluntary Sector Leaders

Adapted from the June 2003 NLI Report: What Do Voluntary Sector Leaders Do?   Competencies are the knowledge, skills, abilities, intangible/tangible mindsets and behaviours that lead to improving life in the community and the world through principled actions and professional behaviour in the voluntary sector. The Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges worked...