Strategic plan, open space and reflection

On the morning of the final day Buzz informed the participants that the agenda had been slighted changed. The morning would be given over to conversations about the draft strategic plan for the Guild which is in development, with the afternoon being for open space discussions and time for reflection on the week as whole.

Discussing the strategic plan

The participants split into four groups to discuss the strategic plan and in particular two of the goals within it…

  1. To contribute to the professional growth of trainers and promoting quality of the educational activities implemented by the Guild members
  2. To strengthen the professional position of youth work trainers on European and neighbouring countries’ level
Getting strategic

Getting strategic

The groups were also asked to discuss other objectives which might not fit within these two goals. The groups kept a note of their conversations to share back to the steering committee and have their views fed into the ongoing development of the strategic plan.

Open space conversation

Following the strategic plan session the participants were invited to propose conversations to take place over two open space sessions. Some of the conversations were to be focused on existing working groups within the Guild while others were more general.

The open space sessions were…

  • Membership working group – for those already involved in this working group to continue their discussions about the membership process and requirements.
  • Human resources working group – for anyone to get involved in conversations about the newly created human resources working group.
  • Trainers path – for participants interested in creating a digital version of the path to becoming a trainer which can then be used as an online resource.
  • Communications working group – for existing members of the working group and anyone who wanted to contribute to the conversation about how the Guild manages its communications.
  • Video tutorials – to support the development of the new KA2 application and create a prototype video tutorial for trainers.
  • Steering committee – for the new steering committee to meet to discuss the outcomes of the strategic plan session this morning and plan their actions going forward.
  • Trainers survey – to look at how the results of the trainers survey that the Guild carried out earlier in the year can be further utilised and shared with the wider trainer community.
  • Mobility tool – to discuss the shared issues with the Mobility Tool so these can be fed back as part of the consultation on the issues trainers have with the tool.
  • The way to membership – for those interested in becoming members to speak with existing members to find out more about the path to becoming a member of the Guild.

Each of the groups was responsible for capturing their out discussions and sharing this at a later date.

Hitting the target

Hitting the target

Reflection and closing

The final session of the seminar was led by Tommy and Kirsten, giving a space for reflection on the week and closing the seminar. The participants were invited to get into pairs and go on short walk with one person reflecting and the other supporting and prompting, then swapping roles at the half way point. Tommy asked them to consider three things during their walk…

  • Learning
  • Expectations
  • What stood out – the ‘aha moment’

On returning from their walk participants were asked to mark themselves on a target for each of the three considerations, showing how close they were to ‘hitting the target’ through the seminar week. Finally, the participants were asked to show how close they felt they were to the Guild in a physical target drawn out on the ground in rope.

Following the final evaluation the participants began saying their goodbyes and enjoying an evening of celebration together before making their way home.

Completing the jigsaw

Getting into business with DHL

Day four the group were joined by Greg and Marek from DHL Supply Chain who would be facilitating the day and giving an insight into training practices from the world of business. This day had been designed to see the similarities and differences and to give a brief taste of the approaches being used.

Greg and Marek introduced the programme for the day and began by asking the participants what their perceptions and feels were about the word corporate. The group said that their initial reactions were having a focus on results, being product orientated with a fast paced approach. They also mentioned a perception of a mean or inhumane approach.

Expectations for today

Next the participants broke into two smaller groups to work on the expectation for today’s session. Greg and Marek asked them to produce a list of expectations which they could then revisit later in the day. The group said that they were interested in ‘checking the map’ to see the differences and similarities between what DHL do and what youth trainers do, also to check their bias and challenge prejudices and stereotypes about how the business sector works.

They also hoped to find new methodologies that could be transferred across to the youth training field and to understand what success looks like in DHL training. The group also said they wanted to be shocked and maybe undercover new things or have their perceptions challenged in terms of the business sector’s approach to training.

Completing the jigsaw

Completing the jigsaw

Leadership jigsaw

Next the participants were asked to take a series of jigsaw pieces and put them together as a team. Once the team had completed the jigsaw they saw that there were a number of inspirational leadership quotes on it.

The group were asked to decide on one quote which they felt related to their style the most and stand by it. They were able to see who else also had decided on the same quote as them and then had a brief discussion about why that particular one resonated with them.

This led to a discussion about leadership and the flexibility and creativity which is often needed to be an effective leader. Within DHL there is a structure and uniformed approach happening most of the time but also a drive to enable staff within the organisation the opportunity to be flexible, which sometimes leads to a clash within the leadership development programmes they are running.

Leadership quadrants

Next the group explored the respect and results model of leadership which is used within DHL. The model was drawn out on the floor in four quadrants with amount of respect on the y axis and drive for results on the x axis.

Greg and Marek explained that depending on a leaders level of respect and drive for results they would appear in different quadrants of the model. For example a leader with a low level of respect but a high drive for results might be perceived as uncaring or as being a bully in their role. Additionally a leader with low respect and a low drive for results could affect the overall performance of the company.

To further understand the model the group were invited to roleplay different leadership styles, moving around on the quadrants to show the levels of respect and drive for results that they were showing at any one time. The group observed that it was possible to move someone from one style of leadership to another and that sometimes it is necessary to try different style depending on the situation.

Discussing leadership

Discussing leadership

What does leadership mean?

The participants were split into four groups and asked to consider what they felt leadership means across four categories in order to build up a picture of the ideal leader. They were asked to consider think, feel, say and do as the categories of leadership.

The participants felt that a leader should think in a strategic and sustainable way with a high level of self-awareness. They should be looking for the win-win in situations, keeping updated being logical, critical and analytical. The group also felt that a leadership should think in a visionary and entrepreneurial way, thinking about growth and impact, being practical and have a personal philosophy that brings people with them.

When considering how a leader should feel the group thought they should be passionate, but with understanding and empathy. They should be able to show appreciation to their colleagues and should be appreciated by both people below and above them in the hierarchy. People should be able to trust in them and they should have self awareness, always in the here and now.

The participants next discussed what a leader should say. They felt a leader should use positive language, showing appreciation and gratitude where it is needed. They should give constructive feedback verbally to those around them, and should be able to tell people that they care and the organisation cares. More than anything they should walk the talk.

Finally the group discussed what a leader should do. They said that a leader should follow through on everything in the think, feel and say areas, behaving authentically at all times. A leader should show integrity, respect and gratitude and act in a congruent way in line with what they are saying.

Building the tower

Building the tower

Feedback by giving aid

Greg and Marek opened the afternoon session by defining what people understand as feedback. The participants defined feedback as…

Giving information on how a process has been fulfilled, focusing on positives and things that can be improved. Desirable outcome is to approve the repetition of the work.

Greg and Merek gave the DHL definition of feedback as…

Communication to a person that gives them information about their performance, their behaviour and its impact on other people in order to build either competence or confidence.

They went on to say that there are two types of feedback: Motivational, to thank someone for doing a good job, or developmental, to build personal competence. They explained that DHL trains people in the two styles separately because they believe it is more important what the individuals takes away from the feedback rather than what the person giving the feedback says.

Next Greg and Marek explained that people respond to feedback in five stages. These are…

  • D – Denial
  • E – Emotion
  • R – Rationalisation
  • A – Acceptance
  • C – Change

They then introduced the AID model which is designed to give short, easy to understand feedback. Using the model people give feedback using just one sentence made up of three distinct parts…

  • Action – what is the problem
  • Impact – what is the effect
  • Do – what can you do about it

DHL believe that the model can be used anytime in every day situations to give instant feedback. However, they also use it as part of their appraisal systems which is linked directly to salary and performance reviews.

Following the instructions

Following the instructions

Puzzling for profit

The final session of the day saw the participants split into two groups and were asked to appoint a leader (who would receive feedback) and several observers (who would take notes) in each. The leader was given a set of instructions to the task that they would then have to carry out with the ultimate aim of producing as much as possible of two products for their fictional customer.

The two tasks that the groups needed to complete were to recreate a Lego tower that only certain members of each group were allowed to see and also to do as many 3×3 or 4×4 word grids as possible within the allocated time.

Reflecting the learning

Reflecting the learning

Following the time for completing the task the participants came back together toe reflect on what they could have done differently. They felt that overall they jumped into the task too quickly with no serious planning taking place and that too much excitement about the Lego meant people were drawn to that task. They also thought that the understanding of the rules was a bit unclear and there might have been a better way to share the information within their groups. Following the reflection on the task the groups gave feedback using the AID model to their chosen leader while Greg and Marek offered support on how to best use the model effectively.

The final part of the day saw the groups reflecting on their learning from the sessions in relation to the the Guild, youth work, themselves and training overall. You can see the groups reflections on Google Drive here.

Check back on the blog tomorrow for the final instalment from Youth Trainers Reboot.

The Boat Story

Revisiting the 360

Following on from Leary’s Rose Snez gave the group the background to the development of the 360 and trios which were developed over the previous Guild meetings in Budapest and Ireland. She explained that the process is still under development and that the members who are working on this are keen to get feedback from the participants here in Austria.

The 360 is a two stage process which was piloted with participants of the meeting in Ireland. The steps are…

  • 360 assessment – trainers request feedback from participants of their training courses, those who have employed them to deliver training and their peers. The feedback that is gathered from the three sets of people and it directly relates to the ETS competences that have been developed by SALTO. Once all the feedback has been received the trainer will receive a report including statistical information and text comments which will then be used in the trios.
  • Trios – the trainers who have received their feedback reports form trios (groups of three) and together they share their feedback with each other. The trio then support each other to interpret their feedback and set personal goals and objectives in their professional development and build on their learning path.

Snez explained that the purpose of the 360 process was to actively encourage the continuous professional development of members of the Guild. As part of the membership application people are asked to give information about their learning path, which in turn feeds into the 360 process and allows them to build on this moving forward.



AppRaise your practice

Following the piloting of the 360 process and the Trios in Ireland, a full Erasmus+ KA2 application has been developed to create an app called AppRaisal which would support the implementation of the 360 process. To support the application the Guild carried out a consultation survey with trainers which had 118 responses providing valuable feedback and input into the design of the project and the app.

It is envisaged that the app will include five areas…

  • An online space for trainers
  • The 360 self assessment tool and process
  • The ability to collect feedback from participants, colleagues, clients on a regular basis
  • Tools to plan and monitor professional development, communication with Trios and opportunity to set goals
  • Ongoing process with learning path

The outcomes of the Erasmus+ KA2 application to develop the app should be received in the coming week and will be a significant project for the Guild.

In order to continue to gather feedback from participants the group was invited to join five groups to discuss the following topics…

  • What trainers think 360 is?
  • Practices of reviewing trainers performance – analysing the survey results
  • Self assessment process
  • Completing the 360
  • How to set learning objectives and plan
  • How Trios work

The discussions from the groups will be shared on the blog following the seminar.

Discussing the 360

Discussing the 360

Reflecting on 360

To close the session the group were invited to give their reflections on the 360. The participants felt that the discussions in the groups were really valuable and generated new ideas that hadn’t previously been consider- its refreshing. Ultimately the important thing is whether people use the process and some people said they would definitely be interested in using the app and paying for it annual.

It was clear that many members of the Guild were extremely passionate and dedicated to making the 360 a reality for trainers and embedding it as a fundamental tool for the professional development of trainers.

Check back on the blog later today for the next instalment from Youth Trainers Reboot.

The bus stop and Leary’s Rose

Sunday morning the group came back together and to begin Sandra introduced the model Leary’s Rose. Leary was a psychologist from the 1950s who developed this model which helps to categorised observed behaviour and provide a way of interacting to help influence the behaviour of others.

To begin the session Sandra gave each participant a character and a type of behaviour. The participants were then asked to roleplay, forming a queue waiting for the bus and interacting with each other in the based on their character and behaviour. The group was able to observe the different kinds of behaviour and interactions.

Introducing Leary’s Rose

Sandra explained Roos Van Leary and his rose model (Leary’s Rose) of behaviour to the group. The model divides behaviour into eight areas and says that individuals can occupy any of the areas at any time depending on their situation – these are not fixed.

Leary's Rose

Leary’s Rose

The models divides a circle with a vertical axis with dominant behaviour at the top and submissive behaviour at the bottom, then horizontally with individual behaviour on the left and collective thinking on the right. The circle is then divided once again diagonally producing eight areas shown in the diagram which are leader, helpful, cooperative, subsequent, withdrawn, rebellious, offensive and competitive. Sandra explained that the words were not to be taken too literally but were more of a label for the type of behaviour that is being displayed.

Influencing with Leary’s Rose

Following the first part of the Leary’s Rose explanation Sandra and Snez went on to explain that you can use the model to influence the behaviour of others by moving between behaviour areas.

They did roleplay of a conversation between a fictional couple planning their annual holiday. They played it out on the taped off “Rose” on the floor, and as they exchanged comments and the conversation developed they moved from area to area. Because different behaviours in us provoke predictable responses from others, we can use our behaviour to influence the outcomes of situations we find ourselves in.

The roleplay also demonstrated that the model is very flexible, and that we all have the capability to operate from any of the eight areas on the rose. As youth workers and youth trainers, the more areas we can behave in, the more effective we can be in influencing the behaviour of others.

Enabling failing

Yesterday afternoon the group began with a webinar input from Thomas A Gilliford entitled “Give permission, not forgiveness”. The webinar focused on the idea of enabling people to be comfortable with failure and take calculated risks in order to achieve innovation in their work.

Thomas spoke about the approaches used widely in the technology industry where innovation and failure are actively encouraged and there is a culture of having a go without being exactly sure of what the outcome will be. In the UK there are now examples of where public services are taking on a similar approach however often this is being led by senior management and HR departments but not always brought into by all staff.

Thomas said that he believes that this is due to fear of failure or looking bad. He spoke about people being willing to take some risks but often not with their professional, as it is the things which provides financial income to their lives, so it is a big risk for people to take. Thomas went on to site examples where companies are holding regular “churches of failure” where staff come together to share their failures and some organisations who are financially incentivising people to take risks in order. He felt that

At the end of Thomas’ input the participants had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss what Thomas had said. You can listen to the webinar in full below.

Failure conference

During the final session of the day the group came back together to share examples of when they have failed and what they learnt from the experience. Three participants shared stories from their professional experiences including the who, what, why, where, when and how to give the full context. After each stories was shared the other participants had the opportunity to ask questions and dig deeper to find the learning.

Following the sharing of the stories the group discussed the input from Thomas, the stories that had been shared and further topics related to failure. Some people felt that the reflective practice that is already used widely in youth work and youth trainings is already has some similarities to the “failure conferences” that Thomas has mentioned.

The group also discussed that when a particular training has been delivered for a long time and is proven to be effective there is not necessarily the need to innovate for the participants. They felt that sometimes the innovation comes because trainers are bored of the material. It was acknowledged that this is important for participants as well because if the training team are bored this can sometimes rub off on the participants as well. The group noted that there were particular challenges in relation to KA1 applications as Erasmus+ expects the application to be new so changes have to be made only to support the funding criteria, not to provide new innovations in the materials.

The participants moved on to discuss the fact that as youth workers and youth trainers they can only provide opportunities for the young people they work with, they cannot force people to take them. The context of the work is also a key factor in success – when the context is difficult the chance of failure is higher. The group agreed that there is the need to let go of failures and not become too hung up on them, while still taking the learning onboard and incorporating into future practice.

There was also a brief discussion about how ethical it is to test new methodologies on real participants. Thomas described this as “playing with live ammunition” in the sense that if you make a mistake it can potentially have long lasting effects on the participants you are working with. Some of the group felt that maybe this Guild and seminars such as this could provide a space for testing methodologies in a less “live” environment.

Adding the trends

Trending topics and GROW

This morning the group began by exploring the trends and challenges which are affecting youth work and youth trainers. Nerijus led the session and began by introducing himself and giving some background about himself. He went on to explain that everyone comes with their own biography (or bias) which influences the way that they work, and that as youth workers or youth trainers they are socially active people which also has a baring on their work.

Nerijus spoke about how the past and the present are the things which people are often thinking about, in terms of responding directly to things and that generally people work in this way rather than thinking and planning for a future. These historical realities or immediate problems are not necessarily trends but things which are influencing youth work and youth trainers.

He went on to share two definitions of trends…

  1. A general direction in which something is developing
  2. Fashion

…and two definitions of challenges…

  1. An invitation to do something difficult, funny or embarrassing for a good cause
  2. To discuss the truth or validity of something

Finally, Nerijus shared a video of Marshall McLuhan from 1965 in which he predicted worldwide connectivity which you can view below.

Next the participants split into groups and set out to identify the key trends and challenges of the current time. They were asked to base their findings on concrete sources where possible but also using their knowledge from authentic engagement with young people.

After the break out groups the participants added their identified trends and challenges to a jigsaw diagram of categories for the whole group to see. Below is a table of their findings.

Education Science Technology

Parents as partners.


Studying abroad

Personal coaches


Media literacy

Trends Challenges



Cloud computing

Graphic facilitation

Big brother tech

Mobile learning

Virtual reality


Be updated

Outside the box


Economy Governance Environment

New entrepreneurs and makers movement


Erosion of the middle class




Increasing national sentiment

Be political


Migration policy

Keeping up with trends


Being sustainable


Changing climate


Degrading environment

Culture Health Other

The ‘I’ culture


Embrace yourself

Gender fluidity

Different ideas of body


Influence of TV/Media/Internet


Diet and healthy living



Aging population

Female body image


Trend setting


Post trust

Not just going with the trend

Keeping up to date

You can find Nerijus presentation slides on ISSUU here.

GROW coaching teams

Next Buzz and Kirsten introduced the GROW model of coaching (developed by Sir Johnson Whitmore and Carol Wilson). The model is made up of four key steps and two additional steps at the end. These are…



    Goal – seek to establish the goal that the person wants to reach. What are they struggling with achieving?

  • Reality – what is happening now and how is it affecting the attainment of the goal? Actively listen to the person being coached.
  • Options – what are the possible solutions?
  • Will – what actions are they going to take to reach their goal? Create desire and intention.

The further two steps are…

  • First Aid – make suggestions or proposals – go back and recheck that all the previous steps have been completed.
  • Closing – make sure the person being coached is brought into making the necessary steps.

There are some example questions for the GROW model which you can find here (PDF).

The participants split into small groups and shared with each other a personal challenge they are currently facing. They then selected two of the struggles that they have shared and received the GROW coaching on their struggle from the other members of their group. The groups spent 40 minutes coaching on each of the two struggles which had been shared.

Forming groups

Forming groups

Following the time spent coaching the participants came back together into the large group and shared their feeling about the process. Overall they felt that the model was fruitful and a simple process to follow which gave the opportunity for personal challenges and learning. They also thought that the model enabled them to dig deep – but many wanted to go deeper into the conversation if time had allowed.

Some people felt that they wouldn’t want to use this model with young people as it might open up too many issues that they are not equipped to deal with. However, many agreed that it was a strong model to help ask the right questions to support people to find their own solutions.

Come back to the blog tomorrow to read about the afternoon’s activities.

Exploring the realities

The second part of day one was focused on exploring the realities for young people, youth work and youth work trainers and finally, what is needed to build a community of trainers.

The picture for young people

Mapping the reality for young people

Mapping the reality for young people

Yuliya introduced the session and the participants split into six groups to discuss what, based on their experience and interactions with young people, they believe to be the key topics and concerns faced by young people in Europe today.

The groups identified a number of key issues which as a community of trainer they believe that young people are facing and cross referenced them using a graph to to see which were the most commonly mentioned. The topics and concerns identified were…

  • uncertainty, anxiety and lack of hope
  • social media
  • unemployment
  • immigration
  • lack of social skills
  • lack of self confidence
  • education vs aspirations
Topics and concerns of young people

Topics and concerns of young people

After the participants had fed back there was a discussion about the topics and concerns being based on the assumptions of the people in the room. The participants were then asked to carry out online research to identify studies which had been carried out on the topic. Some of the participants also agreed to directly consult with young people they may be working with to check the list of topics and concerns, and shared their findings in Google Drive for use later in the programme.

But what about youth work and youth trainers?

Next the group moved to consider what reality looks like for youth work and youth trainers and the topics and issues being faced by them. The participants were split into three large groups and Buzz introduced the Goldfish Bowl technique. Each group formed a circle of chairs with three chairs in the middle. Three of the group sat in the middle and had a discussion about the topics and concerns of youth work and youth trainers while the rest of the group would take notes and, when they wanted to, swap into one of the seats in the conversation.

Following this exercise the groups came back together to share the findings of their conversations, with a number of themes emerging…

In the Goldfish Bowl

In the Goldfish Bowl

  • Recognition – overall the participants felt that sometimes youth work and youth training as a professional was not properly recognised. This leads to unfair salaries which can vary from country to country. Sometimes people do not take the profession seriously or are cynical about it due to a lack of understanding about what exactly youth work is. It was also mentioned that trainers in the business field are using the same or similar methodologies but are being recognised much more easily and having a higher value placed on their expertise.
  • Impact – the participants discussed the difficulty in tracking long term impact on participants who have taken part in international activity. Due to the short term nature of international projects and the unlikelihood that the trainer will meet the participant again, this was identified as a particular challenge. Some participants said that they were actively moving towards working at a local or national level so that they could more clearly see the impact. It was noted that there is research carried out on Erasmus+ projects to measure impact and that there is a general belief that there is impact from international work – maybe a need to put more trust in our collective efforts.

    Discussing the reality of trainers

    Discussing the reality of trainers

  • Target group – some of the participants talked about the need to ensure a diverse target group. Sometimes focus is put specifically on disadvantaged young people but maybe youth work should be universal. Additionally, the need to have mixed groups of young people from different backgrounds should be considered rather than specialising in working with just one kind of young people. The rewards from having mixed group and the ability to work with diverse young people would be high.
  • Values and beliefs – from the start of the path to becoming a youth worker or youth trainer it is instilled to not bring your personal beliefs into the conversation however it was felt that sometimes this is holding us back. The group felt that a more assertive approach to challenge what we don’t agree with could be needed. There was also a feeling that sometimes it is impossible to focus on your own values as a result of funders or government priorities being different. Additionally, there was a question over whether
  • National/international disconnect – some participants felt that there was a disconnect between the communities of youth work and youth trainers at a national and international level, with people taking part in either national or international activity but not both. It is easier to feel European is you are taking part in international activity.

Building the community

During the final session of the day the group took part in a World Cafe activity considering a series of questions related to building the community of youth work trainers. There were five discussions taking place during the session which were…

  • Us and young people – the participants revisited the topics and concerns which had been discussed earlier in the day and the results of the research and consultation with young people.
  • Me as a trainer – another group started to build a picture of what they path to becoming a trainer looked like, this will be turned into an infographic in the future.
  • Impact of the work – following on from the previous session some participants began to explore the impact of the youth work and youth trainings.
  • Great things about the community – sharing the good things about being part of the youth work and youth trainer community.
  • Me and the guild – some participants discussed what membership of the Guild meant for them and what the benefits might be.

Following the World Cafe groups the participants came back together to share the outcomes of their discussion, some of which will continue in the informal spaces around the seminar.

Return to the blog soon to follow the next step in the Youth Trainers Reboot journey.