Cultural Intelligence

Podcast 032: Cultural Intelligence Part 1

Cultural Intelligence

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Cultural Intelligence PART 1’ Aaron speaks with Gregg Morris from Mahana Culture about how we can begin to gain some Cultural Intelligence. As youth workers we have a developing Intelligence or IQ eg. theory that informs our youth work practice. We have good Emotional Intelligence which lets us understand our young peoples feelings and how to respond to them appropriately. Yet we do not spend enough time thinking about Cultural Intelligence. Today Gregg helps us to begin understanding our Cultural Tale.


Gregg Morris has worked as an educator, youth worker, lecturer and community development practitioner with a broad range of vulnerable community groups  in New Zealand and Australia, for more than twenty years. In his role as chief cultural intelligence researcher, training facilitator and cultural supervisor at Mahana, Gregg’s passion for cultural justice enables him to assist others to explore their own cultural tale, as well as support organisations to adopt a culturally responsive lens. In recent times, he has come to appreciate how a person’s cultural resilience can strengthen their sense of wellbeing.

Cultural Dignity

The basis of good Cultural Intelligence Gregg tells us is the ideology of dignity. At our very least and poorest we know, or should know, we are worthy of honour and respect. Cultures, religions, and social movements the world over, uphold the central notion of dignity, from the sacred potential of childbirth, to the reverence of age, and the mourning associated with death. We thrive in the presence of dignity, and falter in its absence.

As civilisation continues to advance, and our knowledge of other cultures grows, the world around us shrinks. Dignity is an unalienable birthright, a gift we universally celebrate. Dignity is the moral foundation on which we as human beings survive, live, and thrive. Only aberrant cultures like Nazism deny it. Dignity and courage in the end defeat them.

But for all our vigilance, indignity is never far away. It begins with comparisons and judgements that we as humans are too often unable to resist. Our unconscious wants to believe that one culture — usually ours — is superior to another — usually theirs. These judgements lie at the heart of all the isms: racism, sexism, ageism, and many more, all parcelled together into a box that we might term otherism.

To preserve our cultural dignity and to become more Culturally Intelligent, we need to understand other cultures, not just our own. That understanding has to rest on the unshakeable belief that every human is intrinsically worthy and valuable. Only then can we begin to grasp our own biases and blockages, and see them as the impediments that obstruct otherwise rewarding human relationships.

As youth workers our work is based on the ideology of human rights which are guided by the idea that every human has dignity and is worthy of that dignity being given to them. We often work with young people who have had their dignity harmed or totally disregarded. One way we can help to restore it is to be Culturally Intelligent.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

  • Mahana Culture (Check out the Mahana website for training and articles around Cultural Intelligence)
  • Martin Brokenleg
  •  If you want to explore these ideas personally we can help through the Ultimate Supervision Service

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Podcast 031: Self-Care 201 – The Wheel of Life.

Wheel of Life

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Self Care 201’ Aaron chats with us about how we can take our self care journey to the next level. We have run self care training using our balanced life framework for eight years and in almost every session some says something along the lines of this is too basic and we want something more. We usually ask them if they are implementing all the steps we talk about in the level one training and if they have been doing it for at least two years. Most people tell us that they have given it a go and that they had dropped the ball. It is important to get the basics right before moving on to the next level otherwise you will have the same trouble at this level. For the rare youth worker who has got the basics down we send them along to look at the ‘Wheel of life’


In Youth Work, we often speak about having a “toolbox” to help us become a more rounded person and provide the best possible service to our young people. This could be in the form of a literal box of “tools” always sitting in your work vehicle. Such as toys, books or sports equipment that you can pull out at any time to de-escalate or engage a young person you’re working with. Other items that enhance our toolbox are things that encourage us to grow and learn, such as “self-care cards”, which can be useful to start conversations in supervision or with other colleagues.

We’re no strangers to self-care activities here at Ultimate Youth Worker and you’ve probably spent some time reading one of our many past articles on the topic. Today we are stepping it up a notch and introducing you to the ‘wheel of life’.

Wheel of life

The wheel of life is very similar to our first ever podcast on self-care, where we talk about the self-care stool. However, we are taking it to another level this time and working on eight areas of life that we want to improve.

Wheel of Life

This is the wheel of life. Well, one version of it. There are many different wheels that have existed over the years, some people even suggesting the original wheel of life was created by the Buddha to teach his followers the eight-fold path to enlightenment. The modern day purpose of the wheel of life is the same, whether you call it enlightenment, wholeness, balance or even flow. When a wheel is not balanced, it will struggle to move freely and with ease… See it is all about balance.


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Wheel of life

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Podcast 030: Self Care in Youth Work

Self Care in Youth Work

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Self Care in Youth Work’ Aaron chats with Ex-Student Panel about self care in youth work. How do youth work practitioners leave work at work? Do relationships, boundaries and practices change when we engage in self care? What supports do youth workers need to be effective at self care? What happens when things go pear shaped?


Self Care in Youth Work

Youth work is all about relationships. We pride ourselves on being able to create and maintain positive relationships with young people where they can grow into the people they want to be. We focus so much of our attention on supporting young people by carrying their baggage while they scale their own developmental mountains. We are like Sherpas. This means we have to make sure we look out for ourselves so we can provide the best possible support (we need to be able to carry that load) to our young people.

If we don’t look after ourselves ultimately we can do more damage to our young people. Walking into the room burned out, frustrated, and with low tolerance to the difficulties life throws at us is not what our young people need from us. In order to give our best, we need to be at our best. This takes training and persistence. Self-care is not sexy. It is a long and difficult process that has its rewards in the journey and at the top of the mountain.

SO what have four youth workers learnt about self care in the day-in day-out struggles of the job after a few years in the field? How do they leave work at work and look out for their own self care?


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

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Before you go…

Online Youth Work

Podcast 028: Online Youth Work

Online Youth Work

Online Youth Work

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Online Youth Work’ Aaron chats with Wolfgang Vachon from the C2YPodcast about youth work in the virtual realm. How do youth work practitioners work in the virtual realm? Do relationships, boundaries and practices change when interacting with young people online? What supports are available for youth workers online? What does an intervention look like when you have only met the young person virtually?


 

Its testing times for youth work globally. Austerity measures have cut us down and a global pandemic has crippled us. Yet, youth workers are a resilient bunch. We make do with what we have. Recently that has meant moving to the online space to continue building relationships with our young people.

This has been a trying time for many of us. The technical issues, having the right equipment and getting the ok to use different programs from management have all but scared us from the process. For others we dove in with abandon and used everything we could get our hands on…damn the IT Policies. So what does this mean for good youth work practice?

Well, thats the million dollar question. We probably wont know how effective we have been for a long time yet. However, we should find that doing online youth work has been based on our theoretical approach to youth work as usual. Young people are still our primary consideration, We still have a duty of care to exercise, we still have to think about privacy and confidentiality, there are still boundaries and it is reliant on cooperation and collaboration to name but a few of our ethical considerations.


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

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Before you go…

I want to quit

Podcast 027: I want to quit

I want to quit

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘I want to quit’ Aaron speaks to us about how to resign from a youth work position well. Regularly at Ultimate Youth Worker we speak with people who are ready to move on from the position they are in. It may be that they are moving on to greener pastures and with the blessing of their manager or it may be that they hate where they work and already have a foot out the door. All of these people get a conversation about how to resign well and now we will give you that information too.


In testing times people have one of two ideas about their job. They either dig in and stick it out or they throw in the towel and say ‘I want to quit’. We are currently in testing times with the corona virus spread throughout the world and we know that there are youth workers who are ready to quit. When there is an economic downturn we see people hold on to their jobs tightly. When there is an upturn we see people move on. So how do we resign well? There are three stages…

  • Prepare to resign
  • Resign
  • Act professionally in the interim

Prepare to resign

  • The process will take 6 weeks!
  • Have 6 weeks cash in the bank
  • Make sure you have the other job first
  • Assume you will be shown the door straight away
  • Prepare a transition file
  • Make a bunch of lunch appointments
  • TELL NO ONE!!!

Resign (don’t quit)

  • Don’t resign in writing
  • Do it privately and with your boss
  • Never resign in anger
  • Say nothing negative…EVER
  • Say it the right way (don’t say ‘I want to quit’
  • You don’t have to answer any questions
  • Be ready to leave immediately
  • Take your transition file with you
  • TELL NO ONE!!!

Act professionally in the interim

  • Expect a counter offer
  • Expect to become disenfranchised and ostracised
  • Expect to work hard during this period
  • You should go home on time too
  • Do not say anything during your exit interview
  • Solidify your network

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

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Before you go…

Debriefing after an incident

Podcast 029: Debriefing after an incident

Critical incident debrief

Critical Incident Debrief

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Online Youth Work’ Aaron chats with us about how to conduct a critical incident debrief. We look at two models and unpack how individuals and teams can best use the debriefing process to look after themselves and reflect on the best ways forward.


As youth workers we find ourselves working with young people when they are at the best and when they are in their darkest places. When they are at their best we feel a sense of pride and live on the mountaintop. When they are in their darkest place we can see them in the depths of pain and the heights of anger. In their darkest place young people can be prone to making rash decisions. Sometimes, this can lead to young people lashing out, running away or in extreme cases they may harm themselves.

When a young person lashes out or injures themselves as youth workers we find ourselves in the midst of critical incidents. We deal with the circumstances as best we can. We keep as many people safe as we can. We provide first aid to those who need it. We call on emergency services such as the police or ambulance officers as the need arises. After all is said and done we find ourselves in front of the computer. Writing up an incident report.

What could have been hours of our lives, probably on our own, whittled down to a few pages in the hands of bureaucrats. For most of us that is about where it finishes. If you are lucky you may get to chat it over with your Team Leader or Manager who may even recommend that you use an Employee Assistance Program. Unfortunately, many EAP’s do not understand the work that youth workers are involved in and the sessions end up being less than useless. What we really need in this situation is a proper critical incident debrief.

At Ultimate Youth Worker we work with many organisations to implement a strong Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) framework. We use and train others to use two different yet important models within a wider (CISM), the After Action Review and the Critical Incident Stress Debrief.

After Action Review

An After Action Review (AAR) is a process used by teams to recognise and understand the lessons learned from successes and failures, with the goal of improving future performance. It is an opportunity for a team to reflect on an incident, activity, event or task so that they can do even better the next time. AARs should be carried out with an open spirit and without blame. The Army use the phrase “leave your rank at the door” to remove blocks to involvement whilst optimising learning through the process. One member of the group facilitates, capturing results on a flip chart or in a document.

After Action Review is a form of group reflection where participants review four things:

  • what was intended
  • what actually happened
  • why it happened and
  • what was learned.

Critical Incident Stress Debrief

Critical Incident Stress Debrief is narrowly defined in scope and intent as part of a more comprehensive CISM. CISD is strategically focused on the detailed disclosure of facts, thoughts, and emotional reactions and sensory material linked to a particular traumatic event (or “incident”). It is often seen in the literature as psychological first aid and is generally carried out within 48 hours after an incident. This is not counselling or psychotherapy (however that may be part of a fully developed CISM).

The steps to a Critical Incident Stress Debrief include:

  1. Assess (audit) the impact of the critical incident on support personnel and survivors
  2. Identify immediate issues surrounding problems involving “safety” and “security”
  3. Use defusing to allow for the ventilation of thoughts, emotions, and experiences associated with the event and provide “validation” of possible reactions
  4. Predict events and reactions to come in the aftermath of the event
  5. Conduct a “Systematic Review of the Critical Incident” and its impact emotionally, cognitively, and physically on survivors. Look for maladaptive behaviours or responses to the crisis or trauma
  6. Bring “closure” to the incident “anchor” or “ground” support personnel and survivors to community resources to initiate or start the rebuilding process (help identify possible positive experiences from the event)
  7. Debriefing assists in the “re-entry” process back into the community or workplace. Debriefing can be done in large or small groups or one-to-one depending on the situation. Debriefing is not a critique but a systematic review of the events leading to, during, and after the crisis.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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Podcast 026: Getting your first youth work job

first youth work job

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Getting your first youth work job’ Aaron speaks with the Ex-student panel about how we can get that first youth work job. Every week we get questions at Ultimate Youth Worker about how people can transition from student to youth work employee. So we figured we would ask a bunch of former students who now have a few years in the field to give us their view. What ensues is a mad free-for-all on the ways we all entered the sector. BTW we all did it differently!


Getting your first youth work job

The days where you could get a youth work job because you had a heartbeat and loved to throw a frisbee are all but over. So now the move is to get a qualification. In Australia the Diploma in youth work is now seen across the sector as the minimum qualification, with more and more organisations wanting a degree. So you spend one to three years of your life getting qualified and now you want to move into the wonderful world of paid employment as a youth worker… but if you are like most students your course has ill prepared you for this transition.

So you ask your parents or friends or great uncle Bob and you get every bit of knowledge they have about getting a job… which is great if you want to work at your local Starbucks, Macdonalds or as an electrician. But when it comes to landing a youth work gig you are finding that they want five years experience and a string of accomplishments to even get an interview… (interview is a new word for great uncle Bob).

So how do you make the transition to paid youth worker? Well in todays podcast you will hear that you need to make the most of placements and volunteer work, Network like your life depends on it and to get a foot in the door (your dream youth work gig will come). You will also hear five different stories of how to get into the field.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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Online tools you need in 2020

Online tools you need in 2020

Online tools you need in 2020The online tool you need (Update)

We live in a time of myth and legend and an online tool or two. Apparently, youth workers are mystical creatures who need little money or time to effect massive changes… At least that seems to be the neoliberal view of us. Another myth is that we are all hip and cool with mad computer skills. I admit to having spent my fair share of time on an Xbox or play station over the years but that is the level I play at. A few years ago I was affectionately know in my team as the IT guy because I knew how to use Microsoft Outlook and use our reporting system. Most youth workers are tech novices. So we thought it would be good to have a list of online tools every youth worker should have access to. Most of these can be accessed by a smart phone, tablet or the dreaded PC. So if your service still chains you to your desk you can still use them… But I would say you need to speak to management about moving to portable devices 🙂

Sked Social

If you have more than one social media account to look after then you know the pain of trying to keep it all in order. We have used a number of services to look after our socials over the past five years and we can honestly say that nothing compares to skedsocial.com. You can organise your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even a linkedIn profile all from one amazingly easy to use platform.

Check out skedsocial.com.

Evernote

Evernote online tool

Evernote is a great online tool for organising all of your thoughts. It is like having a notebook in your pocket that you can put ideas into quickly and easily without needing a pen and paper. You can arrange your notes into ‘Notebooks’ to easily combine relevant ideas together. It takes pictures, adds web links, allows you to set reminders and even draw pictures. If you’re like me and have ideas about many topics and you have scrap paper or multiple notepads everywhere this program is for you.

https://evernote.com

You can have it on two devices for free.

Dropbox

Dropbox online tool

I was presenting off site last week when the USB I had my presentation on died. Completely fried. I almost went into a melt down. What was I going to do. Enter Dropbox. I called a colleague and had them drop the presentation into our Dropbox and with the help of the internet gods it was there when I logged in. Dropbox is a cloud based storage space where you can upload and download all manner of digital documents at the touch of a button. The free version gives you 2GB to use which is more than enough for most of us. Never be caught out again with this great online tool!

https://www.dropbox.com/

Cloud based so all you need is an internet connection

Canva

Canva online tool

If you are like me you are graphically challenged. I cant draw and I struggle to use tools to get beautiful flyers out of my head and onto paper. A former student put me on to Canva.com, online tools for those of us who are graphically challenged that is literally already set up for us. Need a flyer for a program… Done. A Picture for Facebook about your event…Done. Literally any visual marketing you need all available at the click of a mouse.

www.canva.com

Won’t replace your marketing team, but its part way there.

Adobe Colour Wheel

Colour wheel online tool

Our good friends at www.nourishingmedia.com put us on to this one. Being graphically challenged it also bodes that we are colour challenged. Yellow goes with everything right??? If you need some help in this department whether for flyers, presentations or anything else you can think of Adobe Colour Wheel provides a template to help you choose colour combinations.

https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/

Since using this more of our flyers are able to be read.

Psychdrugs

Psychdrugs online tool

More and more young people seem to experience mental health issues that need medication. When doing intake forms I would regularly hear the names of medications that I had no idea about. I’m not a pharmacist. What they do, what dosage is high or low, the common names and much more is at your fingertips with Psychdrugs. Easy to use and with most mental health medications listed this is a top tool.

I have used this since 2008 and have not been disappointed.

The Google Platform

google-logo-1200x630

I have only recently been introduced to the amazing array of programs that google has in its arsenal. We all know the search engine is great and may even have a Gmail email account, but there is so much more to their online tools. spreadsheets, word processing, calendars, groups, hangouts, translate… The list goes on. If you are looking for free and amazing usability then the Google platform has it all.

www.google.com

There is a reason people benchmark themselves against Google.

Prezi

Prezi online tool

If I have to sit through another presentation by someone who has just found Microsoft Powerpoint or ApplesKeynote I may just explode. Boring presentations on basic themes with too many swishes, lets be honest we’ve all been there. Prezi takes the hard work out of designing a slide deck that looks good and has animation with its online tools. Some really cool templates with fill in fields turn a lacklustre presentation into a wow instilling performance.

https://prezi.com/

Asana

Asana

Youth workers often have many projects on the go with many different teams. This is a recipe for disaster if you do not have a system in place. The best system we have come across is Asana. You can seperate  your tasks into boards or lists and you can assign the right person to the job.

https://asana.com/

Survey Monkey

Surveymonkey online tool

Most services struggle to get feedback from their young people and when you stick a paper survey in their hand it usually ends in the bin. Survey Monkey is a free tool that allows you to create great surveys in minutes and send them via email, facebook, whatever system you want. The best bit is it aggregates all the data. You just need to read it.

https://www.surveymonkey.com

The free tool limits the size and type of surveys, but unless you do a lot its fine.

Kindle

kindle online tool

If you read a lot then you probably use Kindle. Bring all your books, journal articles, ebooks together in one space and get reading on the go. If you travel a bit it means you don’t have to pack heavy books in your bag. I struggle with reading on screens sometimes however you can deal with that for the ease of use and access to a huge library of content merely a click away. The kindle app for iPad is also a great investment.

Best for reading on the go.

Bitly

bitly online tool

If you send emails or use facebook you have probably sent a link before. Most people just cut and paste and then you end up with lines of nonsense which are the link. Bitly.com can shorten the link into something much more manageable. It also has the added functionality of allowing you to see who clicks on the links and from where. Some features are paid but you don’t really need them if you are just shortening links.

https://bitly.com

If you don’t have analytics for your website users you need them.

Trello

Trello online tool

I am new to Trello but it has already significantly changed how I work. Trello lets you create separate boards for projects and then populate the boards with lists. Each list then gets cards. If you were doing a project you set up a board, add topics to be done and then add lists of steps under each topic. We use it for everything at Ultimate Youth Worker tracking workflow, developing podcasts, our intranet, you name it.

https://trello.com

I wish I had this when I was studying, particularly group assignments

Zoom

Zoom

In this day and age of epidemics and the tyranny of distance it is important for youth workers to have a way of meeting with each other, our stakeholders and of course our young people. Zoom is an online tool for doing just this. For free you can run an online one-on-one meeting up to 40 minutes, for around $20 you can do group sessions of up to 100 people for 24 hours!!!!

‘Bonus mention’

Milanote

After using a bunch of tools to try to bring my idea, pictures, notes etc into one space I was introduced to Milanote. It brings the best elements of Trello and Evernote together with the ability to write notes, upload images and files, save links from the web and add notes and pics from your phone. the best part about this app is for those of us who are visual people Milanote makes it easy for us to organise our task and projects visually.


If you begin to use these online tools you will find that your productivity increases and your time stuffing around decreases. You will also begin to do marketing of your programs better and by default have better engagement with your young people. Some of this will feel a little backwards when you start. Learning a new skill takes time. Pick one and start using it today.

Would you add any others?

Stress is good

Podcast 025: Stress is good

Stress is good

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Stress is good’ Aaron speaks with us about how we as youth workers can reframe the idea of stress in our lives to gain some level of mastery over the experiences that often lead youth workers to burnout. Every year hundreds of youth workers leave the sector citing burnout and stress as some of the most likely reasons fr their departure. If we can’t master stress then it will destroy us.

Stress is good

In todays episode Aaron speak about the growing research into stress and how we have been taught to think about it all wrong. We have been told for many decades that stress is bad for us. That we need to run away from stressful situations because stress causes significant physical health concerns.

Well in a nutshell the latest research would argue that if we think stress is bad for us then it probably will be. However, if we believe that our stress reactions are there to point us in the direction of getting support then stress is actually a good thing for us.

Stress helps us to begin a process of emotion regulation. It helps us by bringing to the forefront of our minds the situation we are in and it asks us to reappraise the resources we have to deal with it. We have internal and external resources at our disposal and we need to use our rational brain to think about how we can use them to deal with the negative issues in our stressful situation.

Arousal reappraisal teaches individuals to think of stress arousal as a tool that helps increase performance. By reframing the meaning of the physiological signals that accompany stress, arousal reappraisal breaks the link between our negative experiences and feelings and poorer physical responses.


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Improving Acute Stress Responses:

Thanks for Listening!

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Positive T-Shirts

Podcast 024: Positive T-Shirts

Founder Positive T-Shirts

Neil Milton is the founder of Positive T-Shirts which is a social enterprise-giving all profits towards preventing youth suicide. Neil is a public speaker, motivator and novice social media junky. Neil also is the General Manager for another not-for-profit working to prevent harm and abuse of children. He has worked in some of the roughest schools in Adelaide as a youth worker and has also had a stint working for life line.

His motto in life is “one day at a time”

Neil enjoys hanging out with his wife and children, also exercising, when he gets out of bed!

Positive T-Shirts

The Positive T-Shirt brand birthed in 2016 out of a passion to create t-shirts and other apparel that literally change lives as you wear it and as others see it. That’s why profits of products sold go towards preventing youth suicide.

All profits raised are donated to in2life which helps fund the training of volunteers who support young people, through their facebook group ‘coming together to prevent youth suicide‘. Donations also support school programs enabling young people with the skills needed to help their friends, who may be struggling.

In todays episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast Aaron speaks with Neil about his journey to founding Positive T-Shirts. We discuss why Neil decided to support the cause of suicide prevention and how you can get a great bit of merchandise to aid the cause.


Today’s resources

Here are links that have bearing on todays podcast.

Contact Neil and the Positive T-Shirt team

Thanks for Listening!

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  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help the podcast and I read each one.
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