Finally, you must seek agreement on all points of the whole group. Group agreements lead to a normative and therapeutic culture. This culture leads to trust, cohesion and vulnerability. Of course, other factors such as group size, mixed sex, etc. play a role in normative culture, but a fundamental type of “being” helps further in these processes. As I mentioned above, I am not a fan of the term “group rules.” When I present agreements to a group for the first time, I often ask, “What is the difference between rules and agreements?” This is what young people say in one version or another: “If you break a rule, you will be punished.” “That`s true. And if you go beyond the limits of an agreement, it`s more like a conversation. I thought we agreed. Do you still agree? I`d answer. 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. 5. Listening with respect implies the expectation that the group will listen carefully to someone who shares and that one person speaks at the same time. If you have your group agreement, make sure it`s displayed for everyone – ideally, have it written on a whiteboard, paperboard or overhead projector. Second, it is important to develop a list of agreements with your group rather than participating in pre-formed agreements that you have not developed. It is quite normal to have an idea of what the agreements want to include, but they should be general (respect, no violence, a microphone, etc.) to make room for young people. If you strengthen youth by allowing them to develop agreements, they will take on more responsibility and exercise them more closely. Some of the common agreements I talk about with young people are: there are many factors (authentic relationship building is of course the key), but what I would like to focus on in this short article is the creation of group agreements. If you have the luxury, it is best to represent these agreements at your first group meeting. I know for some of you in the classroom that time may have already passed and in such cases it is normal to enter into attendance agreements later in the school year, just expect some resistance (see the article on resistance that is coming soon!). For example, in mindfulness`s substance abuse curriculum, which I helped develop, we spend most of the first session discussing group agreements.
As a result, I have the opportunity to use these agreements during the 12 meetings, which leads to a more confident and closed group. 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 design of agreements in this way distinguishes your group from the status quo; that if someone makes a mistake, they are automatically punished in one way or another. As a result, your group is taken down by any other group that young people are used to and has the potential to create a sense of security.