Week 3: Principles of Engagement

In order to handle any situation, we need to understand it’s conditions. We need to understand the manner in which the participants of the situation are keeping a hold of their ‘side of the story’.

To be engaged means to be ‘a part of…’, to be able to understand and interact with others, to be able to engage in tasks. We as facilitators need to be able to hold a conversation and to be able to guide it to an outcome that will leave the group with wore effective working relationships and a stronger personal relationship. In doing this, the course pack has suggested that we be many things.

  1. Sincere
  2. Mindful
  3. Open-minded
  4. Empathetic
  5. Open-hearted
  6. Grateful
  7. Accepting
  8. Curious

I have been told by many people that I have met and encounter in my life time that I have most (sometimes even all) of these qualities, and it makes me slightly giddy because it means that I could potentially be a great facilitator. Even though I have this amazing feeling inside me, the skepticism has emerged and I am having doubts. I believe that I can be all seven of these qualities, but I know, that it depends on the interaction I would have previously had with this person or these people.

I come from a family with one very unstable and risky drug addict. My uncle has been an addict since he was 17 and so I have only ever known him as a user. He has been in and out of rehabs, had so many treatments, has had so much help from the family. But he stole my grandmothers wedding ring from me (which I was given for my 21st birthday) so that he can sell it for drugs and it was this, that pushed me over the edge from where I had been standing for a long time. When he overdosed a few weeks later, and I was him in a coma in the ICU, I had no empathetic bone in my body, I was not sincere and definitely not accepting. It is so horrible to say, but I was at a point where I thought it would be better for everyone, including himself, for him to just slip away… no longer live… no longer damage the lives of his loved ones. I walked away and out of the hospital and I have never seen him since. My fear is that if I were to facilitate a group that included drug addicts, that I will not be able to practically consider them. I would be full of judgment and anger. I would not be able to keep an open-mind or an open-heart. I will not be able to accept those people for who they are or what they have done to themselves, to their friends and family. I would be the fave of judgment.

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