On Thursday evening participants arrived in Ireland from twenty two countries for the next stage of the IYWT guild process. This week’s seminar is focusing on the piloting of the 360 appraisal system which was decided on at the Budapest meeting back in 2014. Also built in the programme is some time for ‘guild business’ which will take place at the end of the seminar, in order to continue to push the development of the guild along.
This participants are joined this time by Jonathan Bowyer who will facilitate the seminar and the 360 process and me [Duncan Hodgson] who will be digitally reporting on the process through the blog.
Revisiting the culture
To begin the seminar yesterday morning the participants came together to discuss what kind of culture they want within the guild. Even though this is a subject which has been discussed at length at previous meetings it was felt that it was important to spend time revisiting it in order that those new to the guild process would be as comfortable as the participants who had been involved in previous seminars. There was also a recognition that the culture of the guild would need to be refined continually until it is in a place that is suitable to be fixed.
The participants felt that…
The guild should have a culture of inclusivity, honesty and trust, where sharing and helping is the norm, giving a space for people to grow. It should be a supportive, learning space where it is safe to fail. A community which cares, like a family of collaborators – ‘partners in crime’ some might say. The guild would be joyful and fun, where everyone is equal and members are empowered and united. It should be meeting need, with the power to make change including professional, dynamic, inspirational and diverse people.
The guild is growing roots, becoming visible and improving all the time. Over time it will develop a reputation for quality, advocacy and strong communication – and it will be relevant to the profession. It might be [EU] funded and it will be recognised.
Following the discussion Jonathan shared a quote from Peter Drucker relevant to the conversation, and stressed the importance of developing a strong sense of culture within the guild at this stage:
Culture eats strategy for breakfast every day.
How close are you?
Next the group began to explore how close to the guild they felt. Jonathan put a vase of flowers in the centre of the room representing the guild and asked the participants to position themselves nearer to the vase if they felt very connected to the guild and further away if they didn’t.
Participants who had attended the previous meetings in Ireland and Budapest tended to be very close to the vase, with newcomers further away. The group then formed small groups with a mixture of those who felt close to the guild and those who didn’t. They had small discussions about the history of the guild to date and explored and questions that they had about it, sharing information to bring everyone to the same place.
Finally the group split into two larger groups, one made up of people who felt close to the guild and one of those that didn’t. In the groups each participant shared one piece of learning that they had discovered in their small group discussions.
You can read the learning that the group who felt close to the guild here.
How successfully did I…?
Next the participants spent some time thinking about their expectations for this week’s seminar. Each person wrote a serious a points to follow “how successfully did I” and discuss with another member of the group to help everyone get an understanding of each others measures of success. The group then stuck them up on the wall and were invited to browse them and ask each other questions if they wanted to know more.
The path to becoming a trainer
After lunch Jonathan asked the participants to think about their path which brought them to where they are today as a trainer. Thinking about pivotal moments, people or experiences that have influenced their journeys in the past.
Each participant created their our trainer path visually and then split into small groups to share their stories with each other. Finally the group came back together and shared some of the common themes which ran through.
The group agreed that often they began as a youth, progressed to youth worker and finally youth work trainer – as though paying it forward for an experience they have had themselves. Through their lives there may have been triggers which ignited a passion for working with young people, with an ideology, where the more you work on it the more it grows. It can be to do with a feeling of fighting for social justice and a way of changing things that are happening to create a better future. Many of the participants have worked in different roles (formal, non formal etc) and that has enriched them for the better. Some had a feeling of being unsatisfied serving an institution, but there is also a recognition that it can be lonely being a freelancer. They don’t just do it because it is a profession and there is importance in teamwork and chemistry between colleagues.
Jonathan referenced Kolb’s Learning Cycle and explained that all the things that have taken place through the participants paths to becoming a trainer. All of these events and experiences are examples of experiential and observational learning which has influenced them becoming the trainer that they are today.
Next the group will begin to explore competences – follow the blog to find out more.