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Facili-nightmares!

Facili-nightmares keep you awake? You are ready to facilitate, you’ve created a great agenda and prepped your materials. Then you stop and wonder, “What if no one participates?, What if someone creates an unsafe space or says something inappropriate? What if participants starts arguing with each other? What if they ask you something that you don’t have an answer to? Challenging certain group behaviours can...

Roger Hart’s Ladder of Young People’s ...

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The Ally Checklist

Being an ally is a unique role with challenging and sometimes painful encounters. The process of becoming and being an ally is no easy task. It takes: a lot of discussion, challenges, support and tears deep personal examinations into our own privilege(s) development, maintenance, and practice understanding how we benefit everyday from our privileges whether we want to or not rising above guilt Supporting someone to be an...

Benefits of Involving Youth in Decision-Making

Recognizing and involving youth in a community’s decision-making processes is about more than engaging young people for the sake of inclusivity. It’s about recognizing the measurable benefits youth offer to organizations and whole communities. Youth need meaning, control and connectedness to thrive in an adult-youth partnership. Youth must feel like they are involved in something important, have a valued say in what happens...

Six Steps to Starting Peer Support Groups

STEP 1: Do Your Homework Search through your local paper, library and community organizations to see if other groups already exist. Call up several existing groups to find out what is working and not working. Talk to people with resources, such as professionals in the community. These people may have come across others who share a similar challenge or experience and want to participate in your group. You may want to talk to...

Principles of Peer Support

People come together to form peer support groups because they share a common experience or concern. Some groups focus on education and information while others centre on emotional support and sharing. Others offer an opportunity to socialize and form friendships. Each group forms and then changes according to the members’ needs. Many peer-led groups and organizations, whether they focus on community issues or provide...

Conflict Strategies: What Are You Like?

Different people use different strategies for managing conflicts. These strategies are learned, usually in childhood, and they seem to function automatically. Usually we are not aware of how we act in conflict situations. We just do whatever seems to come naturally. But we do have a personal strategy, and because it was learned, we can always change it by learning new and more effective ways of managing conflict. When you...

Group Problem Solving

Being able to come to an equitable decision as efficiently as possible is important for the functioning of any group. Therefore, it is important to take into account the needs and opinions of every group member when solving problems and addressing issues. Following is one basic problem solving model among hundreds. Identify issue, problem, goal, or decision to be made. Analysis Examine the data and resources that you have...

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...