UNDERSTANDING Values and Expectations
Personal Safety Nets offers the opportunity to think about the people in our lives, our values and realistic expectations of those assisting us, or someone we care about. Values and expectations are instrumental in guiding the choices that will be made in identifying and valuing each team member and their tasks. A highly functional PSN team communicates needs clearly and neutrally and respectfully, allowing for each member space and time for personal needs and boundaries. This minimizes conflicts and maximizes efforts towards a successful outcome. Thinking about people, cores values and realistic expectations; and being able to express these values and expectations openly and honestly with a team enriches the experience of giving and receiving for all.
Section Talking Points
- This section brings together Chapter 1 in the book, portions of the Workbook, and pieces from workshops. There are book chapter summaries available on this website for those who would like a refresher.
- People are skilled in different ways. Matching the right people to the right tasks, finding best fits, is helpful for good outcomes.
- It's important to clarify shared values that the team will benefit and operate from, such as: 1) openness with feelings and expectations 2) gratitude 3) compassion and 4) valuing of each person's unique contribution.
- There's importance in both of giving and receiving, and in recognizing the value of "paying forward".
- Class discussion on why it's easier to give than to receive and new ways to think about these dynamics.
- Reference ‘how to’ receive with ease and gratitude in PSN book.
Getting Started: Understanding Basic Needs and Identifying Safety Net Members
- Recognize the importance of sharing feelings, hopes and fears with PSN team members.
- Clarify expectations that are realistic and attainable for each team member with their assigned tasks.
- Team member choices today may change as circumstances change.
- Feel good about asking for and receiving help. “You matter and “others matter to you.”
- The work of recruiting PSN team members takes thoughtful consideration of understanding needs and expectations.
- Being prepared for life events, planned or unplanned, positive or negative, builds resilience and makes navigating through them easier on family and friends and community.
- A PSN is an active demonstration of the 3 basic needs of all human beings: 1. To love and to be loved (or "to be seen for who we really are" or "to care and to be cared for"); 2. To understand and to be understood (or to have what we are saying truly understood); 3. To give and to receive (or to matter to others).
Skills to Focus on
- Flexibility and Adaptability: A PSN is a living plan – it is always subject to change. Being adaptable and flexible when working with others builds a stronger resilience.
- Trust: Not all tasks require the same level of trust as others. Financial matters and information requiring a personal ID require a high level of trust. Many tasks don't require a high level of trust and some require very little trust; for instance, someone who might be asked to pick up some coffee needs to only meet a lower threshold of demonstrated trustworthiness than someone who is picking up important medicine, or feeding a loved animal.
- Honesty and integrity: We all do our best with what we have. Working toward fully expressing these character traits is lifetime work for all of us and requires compassion and effort.
- Planning/Organizing/Prioritizing: Some people excel at these. Some don't. The eteam can help with thinking an event or need through from beginning to end – step by step – task by task – and make it easier for the team to work in harmony toward achieving a successful outcome in line with the vision they've articulated.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Getting stuck on one aspect of this section leaving little time to cover other important aspects.
- Failing to observe learners struggling to think of the right team members for their PSN and helping them with ideas and resources.
- Have ‘you (I) matter’ confused with entitlement.
To help participants identify different traits and skills.
- Passout copies of the handout: Attributes & Skills
- Have each participant go through the list and follow directions on the sheet.
- Point out that blank spaces are areas where they might think about needing to be added.
- Ask if there is anyone who might be interested in sharing the traits they selected with the group.
- Now have each person go through the list again and see if they can fill in further.
- Ask the group if there is anyone who would be willing to share why they believe a given person (no need to share names) might have a trait they selected.
To help participants think creatively about what a PSN might mean to them or someone they care about.
- Divide into groups of 3 people and give each group a copy of handout: Metaphors and Similes.
- Have each group discuss the metaphors and relate them to themselves or someone they know.
- Have each group add any metaphors they might come up with in their group.
- Give each group a chance to share a metaphor they came up with, or talk about something they discussed in their group.