After the intense week in Pesaro in March, when all the participants had the opportunity of creating their workshops, now the time has come for implementing the workshop in the target groups they were created for. Each national group has created two workshops which have to be tested in different contexts. The Italian participants from Vicolocorto Federica, Marzia and Virginia, like the other participants, had created two workshops during the seminar: the first one is called Exploring the Agreement and the second one Dealing with emotions.

Exploring Agreement

Exploring Agreement is a workshop that focuses on the existence of conflicts and the opportunity of finding a Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA) between the persons involved. In order to help the participants to gradually understand what ZOPA is, the Italian group designed two kinds of interrelated activities.

First of all, the participants are divided in two groups and they are given a card with their positions: the situation that is handed out in the card changes according to the target group and is usually something that they may have experienced in their daily or work life, so that it should be easy for them to imagine how to feel. The card is meant in fact to help them to feel the conflict with the aim of confronting the other team.

The second phase of the workshop is the actual exploration of possible agreement through the use of a board game: battleship. Thanks to the game, they can find the ZOPA and learn more about the chances they have to overcome conflicts. The workshop ends with an evaluation phase: the participants have to answer two questions regarding their feelings and their learning outcomes after the workshop; they have to write their answers on sticky notes and then share with the others.

Dealing with emotions

The workshop Dealing with emotions is characterized by three main phases: first all, the participants are helped to give a name to their emotions; secondly, they make the experience of mishandling their and the others’ emotions in a specific situation; finally, they can practice how to give time and space to feelings. To explore the topic, the participants have to improvise a little sketch twice: the first time, they have to mishandle it; the second time they have to show how to deal with emotions in the best way.

The workshop has been tested 4 times on the 8th of May and as target group were selected young volunteers of the National Civil Service who are active for 12 months in the Municipality of Senigallia, aged between 18 and 29. The volunteers have been split into two smaller groups, homogeneous in terms of work-related daily activities, and this gave the chance to test each workshop on two different groups.

The first (morning) was a mixed group as it was composed of volunteers belonging to different projects: some of them are volunteers in the library, some others in tourist information centers, but they had in common that they usually engage in activities of front office.

The second group (afternoon) was composed of young volunteers that belonged to the same project: they work with the elderly, usually offering them personal assistance and driving them when they need it, so they engage in personal aid relationships

The trainers delivered both workshops with one group in the morning (4 hours) and with the other in the afternoon (4 hours), and the participants responded differently to the activities, so it required adjustments and improvements.

Thanks to this intense day of test, the trainers had many interesting and important feedbacks and suggestions on how to integrate and improve their workshops.

First of all, they understood that each group has its own dynamics and that an energizer is always a good way to start the workshop and to create harmony inside a group. Then, they adjusted the time given to each activity in order to make them really work as they were designed for: in the first group the fear of not having enough time made them rush some moments that, on the contrary, needed more time to work well. Moreover, they tested the activities in different setting to examine their flexibility so that the workshops could be delivered in every conditions. They integrated some changes to the workshops also before the second group, and the result was far better than in the first group.

The learning outcomes that all the participants shared made the trainers realize the fact that they really did a good job. Before the end of the month some more test are scheduled, and the target group will change again so that they can have a broader vision and make the workshop even more complete.

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