In the first three and a half months if 2013 I have been in New York, Tartu and Brussels. About New York, our work at CSW57 for a more equal and freer world you could read in many entries previously and about Brussels you’ll be able to read as soon as possible.

This entry is about my short trip to Tartu, Estonia, where I held a workshop at the seminar “Change The Change” arranged by Active – sobriety, friendship and peace. I conducted a 2 hour training in assertive communication and linguistic skills.

Training European youth on how to use assertive communication for boosting #SelfEsteem

Training European youth on how to use assertive communication for boosting #SelfEsteem

It was real fun to run this workshop – because of the engagement, effort and interest of the participants. We ran the workshop in true Non-formal education spirit – meaning that we focused more on learning from each other than listening to one lecturer imparting wisdom.

I find this approach highly rewarding because it allows for inspiration to thrive and in that process I regard myself much more as facilitator than as lecturer. Not teacher but trainer.

You can find all the slides here – used mostly as a guide through the entire workshop, but of course also to share some basic knowledge in order to ensure we have a common ground to stand on and to develop from. As you can see, the biggest part of the workshop is dedicated to exercises and activities by and for the participants.

When I developed the workshop together with Kristina, our idea was to allow the participants to make sense of all basic information on their own terms, in smaller groups and rooted in their own experiences, knowledge and expectations.

I also used brilliant Ted Talks to make some points about different aspects of communication and how we must be aware of our body language not only concerning how we interact with others around us but also concerning how we impact ourselves.

Amy Cuddy presented her research and an important lesson to the participants:

In fact, it’s an important lesson to myself, too. One that I would use also in Brussels when I trained and sought to empower young people to become advocates.

Throughout the years of working for and with Active I came to understand one thing: self-esteem is they key and that’s why alcohol free environments are so important. Environments free from peer pressure, where anybody can tab into their potential, experiment, explore it and thrive in doing so. And obviously communication both internal and external is a huge part of this process.

In this spirit I also planned to show another Ted Talk, one by Brene Brown on “The power vulnerability”:

I think this one makes my point, that youth today grow up in a culture that teaches them they are inadequate, and the way to solve it is by using substances. We live in a world that materialistically has never fared better, but that spiritually has never fared worse. We all grow up today with bruised self-esteem and so it is crucial to give youth some power back of their own happiness, their own confidence, their self-image.

For more information:

The slides for the workshop can be found here.

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