the way YW’s try and deal with situations.
the areas YW’s choose to work in.
the young people YW’s work with.
the things that frustrate YW’s.
this really hit home in one exercise we did .
the first part created a continuum between the words ‘flight’ and ‘fight’
we were asked, ‘in relation to conflict, what is your initial response’
Accepting the flaws that the false dichotomy raises, I took part.
I stood close to the ‘flight’. my initial reaction is to avoid conflict, not to rush headline into or cause it knowingly, (there are exceptions…). I was quite far away from everyone. and quite noticeably not part of a group near the flight side, there was quite a group near the fight category though.
The second part of the exercise was similar but instead of a continuum the trainers set up a large triangle with the words ‘out and shout’ , ‘silent and hidden’ & ‘talk and sort’ at each point. “these are the tree responses to conflict. Thinking about your childhood what were you brought up with.”
This statement annoyed me. First the way the language is used in the three point statements is flaws the entire process and creates a ‘correct answer bias’. Secondly I am not sure that these are the main three ways to deal with conflict. But as I had decided not to overthink things, i tried to get over that. It was the subsequent questions of ‘ What approach do you use’ which was significant.
As there was a sudden rush to the ‘talk & sort’ sign. I didn’t rush. I went kind 50% on the line between ‘talk & sort’ and ‘hidden & silent’. Again I was on my own, nearest to the ‘hidden & silent’ sign and quite clearly out of the crowd.
The reality for me is that sometimes I need to be quiet and deal with things. Youthwork is build on communication and working together. Creating space for reflection, learning, growth and understanding within the relationship. To be me within that relationship I need to be me. ‘Talking and sort’ isn’t me.
So where does that lead me. It does confirm my suspicions that I am not the A-typical youthworker, but the conclusions to my thoughts aren’t fully formed, but I am theorising. I have some ideas but don’t quite know how they form together yet into a coherant thing.
As soon as I know…