Strengths Based Approaches


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Presentation from Cassandra O'Neil on Strengths Based Approaches made on November 18, 2008 to the HNK Consultants Community and the Arizona Evaluation Network.

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Strengths Based Approaches

  1. Strengths Based Approaches November 18, 2008 to Evaluation, Consulting, and Everything else…
  3. What to expect? <ul><li>Designed to be 20% presentation and </li></ul><ul><li>80% participation , making meaning of information by talking with each other </li></ul>
  5. <ul><li>Warning – </li></ul><ul><li>could be hazardous to your paradigm or world view </li></ul>
  6. Goals for the day <ul><li>1. To leave with an understanding or a deeper understanding of what strengths based approaches are </li></ul>
  7. Goals for the day <ul><li>2. To have an opportunity to experience some strengths based tools </li></ul>
  8. <ul><li>3. To leave with some ideas on how you might apply strengths based approaches and your new learning to your own work individually and how we might apply it collectively </li></ul>
  9. <ul><li>Who is </li></ul><ul><li>in the </li></ul><ul><li>room? </li></ul>
  10. people focused their attention on…. <ul><li>What can be done instead of what can’t be done </li></ul>What might be possible if rather than problems more than weaknesses
  11. Morning Agenda Overview Exploration of definition of strengths based approaches Activity to identify what we are already doing that is strengths based Panel on strengths based evaluation
  12. Lunch <ul><li>At 12:00 Noon </li></ul>
  13. Afternoon Agenda <ul><li>Keynote Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation </li></ul>End at 4:00 pm Small Groups what have we learned, what more do we want to know and how can we apply what we’ve learned?
  15. <ul><li>Next </li></ul><ul><li>What question do you want answered today? </li></ul>Write your question on a card
  16. Share your question with a neighbor
  17. <ul><li>What mig ht be some possible meanings of the phrase </li></ul><ul><li>“ strengths based approaches?” </li></ul>What is an example of some you know about and/or have used? Write on the back of the card
  18. <ul><li>a neighbor </li></ul>Share with
  19. One definition <ul><li>Strengths based approaches are based on the identification and development of the strengths of an individual, organization, community, and system. Strengths based approaches start with what is working, where you are strong, successful, and passionate. They are based on and align with the research on resiliency, positive psychology, asset based thinking, and whole system methods. </li></ul>
  20. What are whole system methods? <ul><li>Whole system methods such as Appreciative Inquiry and Open Space Technology engage people from all parts of a system in creating change. They help you initiate high leverage, sustainable, and transformational positive change in organizations, partnerships, communities, and systems by tapping into the collective intelligence. </li></ul>
  21. <ul><li>Based on how the brain works </li></ul>
  23. <ul><li>What are we </li></ul><ul><li>already doing that is strengths based? </li></ul>We are going to explore this question using a strengths based approach called Appreciative Inquiry
  24. <ul><li>Focus </li></ul><ul><li>What we are doing that is strengths based – through storytelling about specific experiences </li></ul>
  25. Awkward Questions <ul><li>Edgar Allen Poe said that there is no exquisite beauty without some sense of strangeness in its proportions. </li></ul>
  26. <ul><li>What if awkward question(s) are meant to tilt us off balance just long enough to gain a new perspective </li></ul>The awkward question is that strangeness that invites a richer perspective of our inner beauty. It pushes up against a sheltering ego that keeps our lives small and our actions trivial based on grandiose images of the world. of ourselves as uniquely shaped to give the world just what it needs at this point and time in life? -- Jim Roussin
  27. <ul><li>In a moment, you’ll pick a partner and interview each other – </li></ul>The questions someone that you don’t know Find a Partner –
  28. Part 2 <ul><li>Record notes about what you are doing on… </li></ul><ul><li>Worksheet to hand in And </li></ul><ul><li>Half sheet to hang up on wall </li></ul>
  29. &quot;New frameworks are like climbing a mountain — the larger view encompasses rather than rejects the earlier, more restricted view.&quot; - Albert Einstein
  30. <ul><li>Focus on </li></ul>evaluation
  31. Evaluation <ul><li>What is the purpose of evaluation? </li></ul><ul><li>How is it different from measurement? </li></ul>
  32. Evaluation: Prison or Prism? <ul><li>Who among the readers of Out Loud is not up to their eyeballs in program and organizational evaluation schemes? </li></ul><ul><li>If we’re not careful, evaluation can become a prison – a straightjacket – of metrics, forms and community indicators that we ask our community partners to adopt in assessing their performance. Time and again, we hear from community agencies, advocates and volunteers who say they spend as much time filling out some funder’s evaluation &quot;matrix&quot; as they do working with people in their community. People end up counting and accounting , rather than doing and learning . </li></ul>
  33. <ul><li>Instead, evaluation should be a prism – a means of dispersing light into its constituent spectral colors, or a rainbow of perspectives. Prisms are also used to reflect light so we can study its components with different polarizations and determine how they interact, or even how to reorient and reposition them. We should reflect on the light of evaluation together , weaving the language of counting and accounting with the language of local knowledge, stories, history and shared cultural mores and rituals. </li></ul>
  36. <ul><li>Lunch – be back at 1:00 pm. </li></ul>
  37. <ul><li>Open Space Technology </li></ul>
  38. Open Space Technology Design 4 principles Whoever comes are the right people Whatever happens is the only thing that could Whenever it starts it starts Whenever it is over it is over Law of 2 feet Butterflies Bumblebees Hosts
  40. Strengths Based Approaches to Evaluation, Consulting, and Everything else… November 18, 2008