Facilitating Group Agreements
It is very easy to draw up a list of group agreements and treat them more like group rules. The key to an effective agreement is the effective recognition of young people. This suggests that it is important to discuss any agreement with the Group; That is, instead of saying, “OK, so we agree that respect is one of our agreements, right?” And then only the sign of acquiescence and the transition to the next agreement, in fact, in a dialogue with the group about what respect means to everyone. This will help to get everyone`s voice in space and contribute to you, the moderator, working with teenagers who might have definitions of respect that are not with the normative culture you are trying to create (an article on working with definitions of respect will come soon!). You could easily have a discussion about defining respect or turn it into a writing mission for the young people in your class. If you have your group agreement, make sure it`s displayed for everyone – ideally, have it written on a whiteboard, paperboard or overhead projector. Don`t reinterpret what people offer. If you are helping with the formulation process, make sure the group is always happy once the words are written! That is why I would like to give four simple tips for establishing group agreements at the first meeting. This is not an exhaustive list, but a guide to get you started in the development of your normative and confident group environment. Keep the agreement for use in future meetings or workshops with the same group, but register each time to make sure everyone is always satisfied.
You can, for example, add something to the agreement. The first group is not the only time you talk about agreements, and it is good practice to expect agreements to be broken and prepare for those discussions. In more chaotic situations (larger classes, a lot of interruption, etc.), you may need to activate the chords in one or more groups. It is best to consider yourself as a living organism that can be sensitized at any time. That`s why I insist on the group replay technique when I present chords for the first time, because it`s a great way to reset a lot of energy and put the group in a calm state where we can remind them of the chords. Moderation ensures the strengthening of the group as a whole. Effective Relief: NOTE: There are some community agreements that are often addressed to participants that we do not use or do not bring. Two of the most common are “accepting the best intentions” and “trusting the norm.” The reason we don`t use it is that if someone is not able to do it (they say they don`t feel familiar, or unsure), with a community agreement that tells them to do so, nothing will change.
These agreements are not always realistic, especially if we take into account the fact that when people have been harmed by sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classicism, they/we build the tools necessary to support ourselves and protect ourselves. The agreements we propose instead, which capture the spirit of these encounters, are “we cannot be articulated all the time”, “to be generous with each other” or “it is a space to learn.” Last year, we worked with a group of computer experts who, for the first time, were overwhelmed by the use of group contracts with a group. Many of them had technical skills but did not have the ability to work well in their project groups. Their meetings with customers and employees were too often chaotic. Many people skip this step when they work with groups, whether in a short-term event or in a long-term environment such as a classroom.