Advanced Ally Trainings

Advanced Ally trainings are designed as stand-alone sessions, and do not require previous completion of the Five Skills workshop series described above. All can be adapted for any level of audience skill and experience. (Advanced Core Gift does require completion of Who Am I? Core Gift workshop listed above.).

Click on individual titles to see descriptor. Download all as PDF.

Tailored specifically for your group, this training is for practitioners who are implementing Core Gifts. In addition to having the opportunity to complete the process for yourself again using advanced tips for success, we cover the following topics: 1) methods to introduce the process that significantly increase a person’s willingness to engage, 2) the five most common process “stuck points” and how to overcome them, 3) technical information about how the process of initiation interacts with gifts, 4) how to use gifts in the context of therapeutic and healing discussions, and 5) assistance with helping individuals and organizations plan for implementation.

Suggested Time: 1 day

Core Competencies
1. Increased knowledge about your core gift and how it helps and hinders your work with individuals and groups.
2. How to overcome the five most common “stuck points” in the process.
3. Increased understanding of how core gifts and healing are related, both for yourself and for the individuals/groups you are working with.
4. How to use core gifts as a tool for healing in everyday social service, education, and community organizing work.
5. Decisions about how you will use Core Gifts in the work you are doing.

The use of advocates and peers within helping professions is increasing. This session, covering five critical advocacy skill areas, is designed to prepare the advocate to be in an authentic and centered condition so their own “needs” do not interfere with the support they are providing to others. Area One: Participants will clarify specific increased skills and gifts they received as a result of going through the difficult life experience that qualified them to become an advocate within whatever service system they are operating. Within this focus area, they will identify how these increased strengths/gifts can help them in their advocate work, and also how they can get in the way and cause difficulty. Area Two: The benefits of good, honest listening are usually enhanced by good, honest questions designed to draw out the person and help them to further understand their situation and develop strategies and solutions. Participants in this session will learn the Strategic Questioning format, which is designed to help a person ask powerful questions, without an underlying desire for providing advice or directing the person. Area Three: Part of an advocate’s job is to lessen the isolation

of the person and lift their courage to empower themselves and work towards a more healthy life in their community. In this area, advocates will learn two specific communication strategies that can lift a person’s courage and willingness to act. Area Four: Advocates will clarify how they can use “what they have faith in” as a source of motivation and emotional health during the times when they are in an advocate role. Rather than a religious discussion, this section is designed to support advocates in determining the variety of resources they can tap outside themselves. Area Five: Participants will review the four different types of boundaries between themselves and the people they are helping, and their current beliefs and the organization’s rules around each of the four boundary areas.

Suggested Time: 1-1.5 days

Core Competencies:
1. Has identified significant skills and strengths which resulted from the difficult life situation that qualified them to be an advocate.
2. Has identified how those skills and gifts can be useful, and how they can interfere with their advocacy work.
3. Knows six types of strategic questions, and can provide examples of each within the context of a real-life situation.
4. Knows the “Six Questions to Inspire Hope” and the “Raising Courage” communication steps, and can complete the process within the context of a real-life situation in the training environment.
5. Can identify the resources they “have faith in” and how they can be used as a source of strength and problem-solving assistance while doing advocacy work.
6. Knows four types of boundaries and has been briefed on organizational rules of conduct within each boundary area.

This session, for clinical and non-clinical staff, educators, and community organizers, brings the idea of healing into all activities of individual change and community building. Many of us think of healing as being limited to the domains of the therapy room or doctor’s office—but the word itself comes out of the idea of “making whole again.” Using this definition, an Ally is supporting a person in healing by helping them get a job, find decent housing, new friends, or being successful in school. Allies help groups to heal when they help them to clarify the “broken” parts of community they are trying to make whole again, find ways for everyone involved to bring their gifts and talents to the situation, and help the group design and carry out a ritual which acknowledges the “wholeness” the group has created.
We will describe four practical ways to work with the idea of healing within an individual or community change context. First, we outline a typical five-step healing process and how Allies can participate and encourage each step in both individuals and groups. In this section, we will also define the differences between “problem-solving” and “healing” processes, and when to use each one. Second, we will describe the healing benefits that occur from framing individual and community difficulties as “initiations” rather than “problems,” and how to encourage this change of perspective in individuals and groups. Third, we will describe the typical steps in a personal or community healing ritual designed to celebrate crossing a new threshold of accomplishment or growth. And fourth, participants will have the opportunity to define how they can use “what they have faith in” to sustain themselves while
helping individuals and groups to heal. Participants will have structured opportunity to discuss these four ideas within the context of their own individual and community work.

Suggested Time: 1 day

Core Competencies:
1. Understands five-step healing model.
2. Understands ally’s supporting role in each healing step.
3. Knows difference between problem solving and healing, and when to use each one.
4. Understands initiatory processes and their usefulness to healing.
5. Understands the steps in an individual or community healing ritual.
6. Has identified how to utilize “what they have faith in” to sustain themselves while doing healing work.

The principles of “recovery” are used by a wide variety of mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence organizations as the primary tool for helping their customers become empowered and regain healthy life in their community. This intensive and paradigm- shifting seminar asks a fundamental question: What would happen if we applied those very same principles of recovery to our own organization? Through the use of dialogue, cutting- edge organizational-assessment tools, and action planning, participants evaluate and make plans for bringing their organization into alignment with the Recovery principles of increased hope, community engagement, proper use of authority, and healing. Outcomes for the seminar include increased leadership understanding and commitment to Recovery values and principles, and practical plans for using the principles of Recovery to create hope, commitment, and action in your organization. This session is designed for executives, mid- managers, team leaders, and advocates within helping organizations.

This seminar was co-created and is delivered jointly by Community Activators and the Village, an award-winning program of the Mental Health Association of Los Angeles.

Suggested Time: 1.5 days

Core Competencies:
1. Has developed or chosen a working definition for Recovery.
2. Understands how ROL differs from other organizational development tools.
3. Understands how each of the four focus areas of recovery is currently functioning within their organization.
4. Participates in dialogue with other leaders to build awareness about how Recovery principles can be used as an organizational development tool.
5. Has identified action items in self, others, and structure of organization to align Recovery principles with current functioning.

What would it take for your employment program to get to the next level of outcomes, both in numbers of people placed and in long-term retention? This session provides employment professionals with a structured diagnostic process to uncover the hidden blocks to increasing outcomes. Using the Eight Stages of Employment grid, participants will describe their standard approach and how it differs from current best practice, problem solve how to integrate more successful approaches, and organize resources for success. In addition to completing the diagnostic process, this session will also focus on four innovative and promising practices in employment: 1) assessment practices which clearly identify the differences between skills, talents, and gifts, 2) helping customers identify and tap their “urgent” (beyond immediate needs) interest for employment, 3) non-manipulative ways to increase motivation for long-term job retention, and 4) community development approaches to employment that emphasize disclosure of employment barriers.

Suggested Time: 1 day

Core Competencies:
1. Understands each of the eight stages of employment.
2. Identifies their current practice in each stage, and evaluates it against current best practices and modifies strategies as appropriate.
3. Understands the benefits of clear distinctions between skills, talents, and gifts in assessment processes.
4. Is aware of how to access assessment tools that differentiate between skills/talents/gifts.
5. Is able to use two non-manipulative motivational communication strategies within the context of the employment stages.
6. Understands when to encourage disclosure of employment barriers, and useful strategies for doing so.

Community Activators has developed and delivered customized single- and multiple- day training across a wide variety of organizations. If, after looking at our training offerings, you would like to customize one of our offerings, or develop an entirely new learning activity, please contact us for more information.

rules we live by :
#11: Keep going back to the idea of gifts. Everything healthy and unhealthy about an organization and those it helps can be traced back to whether or not action is based on the belief everyone has a gift.

our customers say :
“I was looking for something new, and this was it.”

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