This is a reminder that on Monday next week (26th) we will be gathering on zoom at 6:30pm to celebrate the First Anniversary of Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill.
Despite not being the first year any of us would have planned, our team have still managed to achieve great things with you in the community and are well set for so much more in year 2 and beyond.
We’re just sorry that restrictions don’t allow us to do this in person – hopefully next year! So for now, head over to Eventbrite (link below) to register your free place so you get the link, then on Monday evening, bring your own cake and join in the celebrations.
As well as reviewing what has happened so far, John will be speaking about the Community Safety Strategy and Dan will be speaking about our Development Coaching programme. Plus we’ll hear from local author Kev McPhee and others about some great opportunities for you in Camelon and Tamfourhill including how you can get involved and shape the way forward.
When you look at other people in the community – what do you see?
It may seem a strange question, but it’s an important part of community development especially when we take time to focus on the real assets around here – the people. We need to see past any initial reaction and purely focus on the person within. That can be hard especially when we look at the different types of people we might come across and the labels we may attach to them, even subconsciously. But it’s really important. Here’s some categories that came to my mind:
Local (Kemlin); Incomer (New/Recent Resident); Refugee; Scottish; People of Colour; ‘Foreign’.
Local; National; International; BSL; Digital.
Do any of those ring true for you? You may have thought them but have you even said them? Or have they been said to or about you? Some may be said in jest but have you really meant any of them in a less than positive way? Don’t worry – I’m not asking for feedback here! These are all questions for you to think about yourself or to reflect on any things that may have been said to you.
Everyone of these labels that will have been applied to someone locally at one stage in their life can cause people to act and speak differently towards them. Whether positive or negative, they can create a stigma that usually is unhelpful. It can weigh that person down and not make them feel part of the community or alternatively, can create an elite kind of group. Either way it’s not great.
We all have a label that is much more positive to use – our name. It’s how we’ve been addressed since birth and is who we are. That’s not to say we are not any of the things listed above, but they do not define who we are. Every person – yes even you! – was born to change the world and deserves to be seen as the individual that they are. Every person has the right to achieve the potential they were put on this earth to achieve. Whether the time you’ve had up to this point has been positive or negative, it is never too late to achieve that potential – and to help others achieve theirs.
One further question for you. If you’re looking to support someone to move forward, to grow, to achieve their potential – how do you approach that? Essentially, do you see a person or a project? (Okay, sorry, that was actually two questions!) However positive you may have been about the labels we explored above, if you simply see them as a project you can ‘do’, then you might as well have been negative with those labels. Whoever they are – whatever the journey they need to go on – they are still a person. Our role in supporting them is to do just that – support them. Have a look at this quote from my friend Maff Potts, who heads up a fantastic organisation called Camerados.
This is a perfect summary of how I see my role. But to be honest – I do struggle with this because I’m a fixer! I love to sort things. But I have learned over the years – and especially over this last year – that this doesn’t really help – not in the situation we’re in just now. I came across the use of the word ‘alongsider’ last year and it’s perfect. I have worked in this way before and I do love it. It is perfect again for what I do and how I want to encourage you to do as well. Come alongside people – just as they are and as who they are. Step out among the people who you might not even naturally go towards. Hey, you might be pleasantly surprised. And next time you’re walking around the area, don’t just see things – observe. Truly look at what you see. Look beyond the labels and see the people that live here. Everyone has a part to play in the development of our community and I look forward to more opportunities to play my part.
Hi – it’s Dan back again! Welcome to part 2 of our look at this strange word that actually stands for 6 different words which in turn help us in looking at Launching Leaders. In last week’s blog we identified the first three words: Identify, Recruit, Train. Have a look back at that blog to remind you of the detail behind those elements, but as an addition to what I wrote then, a key part across those three is the reasoning behind why you’re launching a new leader: never recruit from a need. What do I mean by that? Well it actually takes us back to an even earlier blog I wrote on the theme of “Start with Why“. If you’re just looking for someone to fill a gap, you might not get the person you actually need. You need a person who has a natural fit to your requirements and that is only discovered by asking why you need that role filled. What is the vision for your project/task/organisation/plan? Michael Gatlin says that “the currency of recruitment is vision” so go back to why you’re doing what you’re doing, then Identify, Recruit and Train someone from that point. ‘Selling’ the vision to someone will give them more of an idea of what’s ahead rather than just begging for them to get involved!
Okay, we’ve had our recap from last week, let’s get going with the next 3 words.
First up this week, the D is for Deploy.
This is important but is also tricky, because knowing when to deploy someone fully into a role on their own depends on the person! Michael Gatlin says this is “more of an art than a science” and won’t work every time. That may not sound very helpful in the grand scheme of things however he goes on to say that “the best time [to deploy them] is when they still have things to learn so that they are not unduly confident”. A key point here is that whoever you deploy will still need support. Deployment doesn’t pass the buck. Without interfering, you will still need to be around for them. Whether that’s providing an important insight, a key contact, or just a sounding board – it is all really important in the whole IRTDMN process and actually, leads us nicely onto the next letter.
So next up, the M is for Monitor.
This is not a kind of big brother type eaves dropping, but a managed evaluation and support of them. Look at it in terms of checking in with them to keep them healthy or if your want a soundbite, try this one: “you don’t get what you expect, you get what you inspect.”
The person you have identified, recruited, trained and deployed, will need some accountability because this will increase their personal resilience to whatever the role will throw at them, and also build their effectiveness in that role. So set clear parameters for them to work within and help them along the way. How exactly do you help them? Let’s check the next letter!
Our final section then brings us to N which is for Nurture.
You want this person to succeed – I mean, you wouldn’t have brought them through the whole IRTDM parts to now watch them fail at N! To truly help them grow as a leader, there needs to be an environment that fosters that feeling. A set up that only wants the best for them in the role.
It’s important to pick up on what leads them to really flourish in their tasks and also, what drains the very life from them! You won’t be able to shield them from those draining tasks – and neither should you – but you can maybe focus your nurturing support on those areas. Nurturing is so important. Because in order for you to be able to move on to whatever it is you’re moving on to, you need to know that the person you’ve IRTDMN’d is actually going to be able to carry on with the very thing you need to let go of.
Let me summarise. Through the I and R stages, you connect with the other person. Through the T and D stages you release them. Then through the M and N stages you stay connected but always pointing them towards the goal. Through it all, be genuine. Know your stuff. Share what you know. And never ever feel bad about asking someone to rearrange their lives to fulfil what they were put on this earth to do.
I love this process and in some way or another have been doing it for many years. I hope it is helpful to you in your setting. I’m also fully aware that if I’m talking with you now, you may be wondering what I’m Identifying and Recruiting you for! Well, guilty as charged!!
No I haven’t fallen asleep on the keyboard and neither am I making up words again! These letters each stand for a word that has come up in some other training I’m doing. The theme of the training was ‘Launching Leaders’ and it fits wonderfully with my task to uncover the next generation of leaders and community engagers right here in Camelon and Tamfourhill. It gave so much insight especially in respect of working with groups of people and how you help individuals grow. It also involves looking at leadership differently. It is thought that leadership is not a gift for an individual, but a gift for the community/organisation through the individual. This then becomes about identifying leaders within a community, for a community.
So, to this IRTDMN thing. There’s a lot to unpack in these 6 letters/words so I’ll take 2 weeks to cover this to save having a really lengthy blog post.
First up, the I is for Identify.
This is the point where we start to build relationships by getting to know people. That is the best way to start because only with a working relationship with them can you start to identify what they can have the potential to get involved in. Crucially, as the inner potential becomes clear, it is not my role to tell people what to do, but to help them discover it for themselves and walk alongside them as they make that journey.
It is said that a true leader is not one who passes decrees, but who lives and walks with others. This makes so much sense but involves dropping the idea of a true leader as being like the traditional view of a Chief Exec of a big corporate business (no offence to any corporate CEO’s!). Leadership is about naturally influencing others so that they can become the person they are meant to be. Identifying the potential within only comes with that process and by walking alongside them for as long as needed.
Next, the R is for Recruit
Once the specific needs are known and the potential within individuals is identified, we move to the recruiting stage. This is not recruitment in the usual sense of putting an advert out for a role, receiving applications, interviewing and appointing someone. This is not even about recruiting to fill a gap. Following on from the Identifying stage, this is about bringing people into a role that they have been made to do, through a gentle nurturing/coaching process, so what actually happens is that the potential within them does the recruiting!
People will move at different speeds through this process and that is okay. Some will need more time with someone walking alongside them as they build their own self belief. Others will be able to be released quicker. It’s important to get this speed right and that is only known by properly setting the foundations through the Identify stage and building a good understanding relationship. Moving someone into a role too soon – even if it is what they were designed to do – could cause more harm than good. The last thing I want to do is set someone up to fail.
Finally for this week, the T is for Train
This is a very key stage as, in the same way that putting someone into a role too soon can do untold harm, not training people properly for the role can do equal damage. There’s a process to follow here:
Do it yourself – this is the stage many projects will be in because it seems easier that way.
Invite others to watch – this links to the Identify and Recruit stages and is where you allow yourself to be as open as possible with those who are looking in.
Do it together – this is where you really allow others to walk alongside you so you can encourage and teach them. This can take time and it may be tempting to move back to point 1 and just get on with it. However, it is said that if you can find someone who can do things 70% as well as you, then step back and let them get on with it. You will not find a clone of you!
Be intentionally absent. Give the other person the chance to get on and do things because an appointment has ‘just come up’ or you’re not feeling 100%. But make sure you check in with them afterwards. This is a step that needs to be managed very carefully otherwise you could damage the whole process of bringing the other person into their fullest potential and giving yourself some breathing space.
Release them into the role. Give them the permission to do the role in the way they have been designed to do. But be prepared for them to maybe do things differently and, as long as it works and brings the desired results in the community, that is okay.
Allow them to train others. You’ve made them a leader so allow them now to fulfil that role to the full by training others. They’ve been through this process so are well equipped to do it with someone else now.
This is such a rewarding process. Yes, it takes time. How long? Well, as long as needed for each individual. But it is worth every moment in order to widen the spread of people achieving their own goals and becoming the people they were designed to be. How amazing would that community look? I don’t know about you, but I love it!
So there we have it. The first three letters explained of this IRTDMN thing. Come back next week to find out what the D, M, and N relate to.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or just want a chat, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07444 873151. Whether you’re the person wanting to find out what you’re meant to be doing, or the person who could do with having someone to share the load with, I’d love to hear from you.
Credit to Michael Gatlin, Launching Leaders, Vineyard Training for the basis of this training.
I know days and dates don’t necessarily mean much at the moment, but apparently we have entered a new month! So it’s as good a time as any to give you a brief update on how some of the projects I’m working on with and for the people of Camelon and Tamfourhill are coming on.
Community Growing We continue to make plans for various growing projects. One particular one in the old Brown Street Park, Camelon, will move to a consultation stage for surrounding residents later this month. We are also about to spend the Community Climate Action Funding received from Keep Scotland Beautiful / The Scottish Government that will see 2 Community Gardening Tool Libraries installed in the area. Those will be in place by the end of March. Keep up to speed with all Growing information, and join our team, over on our dedicated Growing page
Community Supporting I have continued to work with organisations and individuals across the area with various different needs. Next month I will bring you full information of how you can access 1 to 1 coaching sessions to help you make the right choices and bring clarity and confidence to life’s opportunities. It’ll be worth the wait but if you want to get on my list for receiving coaching sessions before I’ve even launched this, then drop me an email at email@example.com.
Community Training This is the one that has taken most of my time lately and rightly so. Firstly, I can tease the news that we have partnered with a relatively new local charitable company to bring a wide range of personal development courses to you. More on that later this month but it’s an exciting step forward for us. For now though, let me remind you that we launched our Creative Writing Introductory course last week and have had a good response already. Thanks to those who have signed up but there’s still room for more. I’m also pleased to introduce one of the experts that is supporting this course. It’s Camelon’s own Kev McPhee. And to save me going on about things, here’s a video from Kev to give you a bit more information on the course and to encourage you to get involved. It may be 8 minutes long but it’s worth the watch, especially as he gives away some information about our hopes for those who come on the course! Enjoy this video and I’ll update you with more in due course.
I’m giving my blog this week over to tell you about a new training course that I’m pleased to be able to bring to you.
Following comments from some local residents and a couple of opportunities that arose through unplanned means, we have put together a Creative Writing Introductory Course. This is completely free for local residents.
Through 6 sessions that will be delivered with a mix of live ‘online via zoom’ and ‘work offline at your own pace’ learning, we will give you an overview of how to get started in Creative Writing, with hints and tips along the way to help you get into writing in its various forms.
Joining me to bring this course are 2 experts – Susan Marshall and Kev McPhee – local writers who want to inspire and help you on your own journey to writing. Additionally, our friends at Camelon Arts will be supporting in a variety of ways. During the course there will be various practical tasks for you to do along the way that will take you through different styles of writing which might help you decide (if you haven’t already), what kind of writer you think you want to be, or what writing style you will have. At the end of it, we’ve got something special planned – but we’ll keep that under wraps for now! What we can say is that as well as the surprise, we will have other learning options that will focus on specific types of writing so that you can continue in your chosen field.
Right now, as the 10 second clip below shows, I’m busy editing videos and tidying up the sessions to make this the best it can be for you. This would have been so much easier to get you in a room together but that’s obviously not to be at the moment.
For now, if you’re interested in being a part of this course, simply click the link below to be taken to a survey monkey page where you can insert your contact details and we’ll be in touch with more information. We aim to start the course in late February.
Before you ask, no, I haven’t just fallen on the keyboard to type the title of this blog, and nor am I writing about a new flat pack furniture shop!
Ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning“benefit” or “worth”. When put together, these terms talk about something that gives your life worth, meaning, or purpose. The concept of this idea comes from a larger and more inclusive philosophy used within the Japanese traditional health system called the Wuxing that was introduced into Japan in the early 6th century from China and embraced by local folk religion and culture.
It’s not a word I’ve come across before and I am often wary of these things from the Far East, but if it helps, it is similar to the French term “raison d’etre” that you may have heard – or “reason for being”. The diagram below might give you a bit more insight as to why I wanted to share this with you having read about this just the other day.
As you see, what the Japanese call Ikigai – we might call it contentment – lies at the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs. It is unique for everyone and can change in the course of life.
Ikigai is much more than a passion or profession. It is connecting those with a true vocation – not just a job – and something that really clicks for you. For me, it could easily be applied to my presence in this role as Community Coach. It’s what I love and I like to think I can be good at it (others viewpoint and results will ultimately judge that one!). Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund I can be paid for it, and it is certainly a role that many communities across Scotland could benefit from, as is fed back to me when I speak in network meetings that I have attended over the last 9 months.
But what could it be for you? Are you living your dream life just now, whether that be in study, work or retirement, or is there something missing? What would the ‘future you’ be looking back and saying to you right now? Keep going? Fix something? Start something? Get involved in something? Learn a new skill? Stop doing something? What does that ‘future you’ look like? Or to put it another way, what is that you would really love to do but life – or maybe just a simple need to exist – has got in the way?
As your Community Coach, it’s my role to work alongside you to help you on this journey. If we’re strict to the theme of this blog, I can work within my Ikigai to help you find yours! But in terms we’ll all understand, how can I help you reach your potential – the thing that the ‘future you’ is willing you on to. Is it training? Is it the confidence to get involved in something? Is it helping with job skills? Is it help to start your own business? Is it gaining a better grasp on basic life skills? Or is it just having someone to talk with who can help spur you on to find a way forward?
Through my role and the partnerships/connections that I’ve developed, I can help with all of these things. So what is it for you?
Why not get in touch today to start the journey to find your Ikigai? Email me (Dan) on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07444 873151. Let’s make this happen together.
Hi. Dan here, your Community Coach. Let me ask you, which of the following categories you fall into?
Do you look back on things that happened in the past and wish it was like it was again? Or maybe you’re stuck because of things that happened to you, or that you did, in the past and can’t move forwards?
Do you feel you’re fine as things are right now and no change is necessary, or do you feel restricted because of how things are now?
Do you long for a future that is so much different to what it is now? Or maybe you have a dream of something that you could do, or that could be happening in the area or in your life generally?
Past – Present – Future. Past is Experience. Present is Experiment. Future is Expectation. So we could say that we can use our experience in our experiments to achieve our expectations. All are relevant and should be embraced but they have to lead somewhere and that’s important as we look at what can be achieved in the Camelon and Tamfourhill area.
We have a proud heritage in this area and it is important to learn from that and build on it. However, times have changed and so there is no point in generally wishing things were as they were before. We have to move forwards – to evolve with the times – but still ensuring we remain distinctives as Mariners.
And that’s where we look to the future. What does that look like? I know that’s going to be different for everyone reading this, but the simple truth is that we have a future to work towards and we must make every effort to do that. Certainly myself and John are here to help that happen and are encouraged by those who have already stepped up to join with us on this quest.
For now though, we have many good things happening in the area at present that we should celebrate. That is not to say it is all perfect but if you’re honest, was it ever perfect? Our perception of life changes as we age and sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond that. But despite the issues around at present that do seriously need sorting (and together we can work on that), we still have much to celebrate and be proud of. A strong foundation to build on.
CS Lewis wrote that “the past is frozen and no longer flows, and the present is all lit up with eternal rays”. What’s he getting at? Nathan Blackaby describes himself in his book “Going against the Grain” as often having lived in the ‘frozen past, trying to defrost past moments, hurts, failures, and stuff that I did wrong (or the wrong that other people have done to me). All of these past events and moments are slowly defrosted so that I can re-experience that hurt – because, if I’m really honest, the hurt is real and comfortable at times, and easier to live with than without.” He goes on to say, “if I wasn’t defrosting stuff from the past, I could be found wandering in my head way off into the future somewhere. Future hopes, plans or dreams, future fears or points of anxiety and concern were all mapped out.” Blackaby, like Lewis, is not saying that past reflection or future thoughts are wrong – far from it. “But whether you are stuck in the past or lost in the future, consumed with health, wealth or family what-ifs, you are being robbed of the ‘now'”
So, what about now? 2021! It promised so much back in December last year but has started with renewed frustrations and restrictions. Some plans will have to be re-thought but that’s okay. Things will still happen. It may all still look different at least for the next few months, but there is still so much to be getting on with.
As well as working on the Community Growing activity with a new group of volunteers, there are many other exciting projects brewing away. A lot focuses around training and I am building a partnership with a training provider for a wide range of personal development courses that will come free of charge to local residents. I am also building my own bank of knowledge for sharing with others (individuals and organisations) and ensuring that Camelon and Tamfourhill are more widely represented and recognised in various networks both locally and nationally.
I am developing a Creative Writing programme and will have more on that in due course. We’ll pick up the Bicycle Recycling scheme once restrictions have lifted, and I have a draft plan for celebrating some of the historical nature of our area. Aside of that, I am facilitating more discussion between all the projects funded through the Our Place scheme, namely Camelon Arts, TCV and Cyrenians (Camelon Connect), so that we can work together more where needed and make each others lives easier which in turn will make the activities we all produce greater and even more beneficial to local people.
That last part is a key focus of my role, as I am here to help develop local people and organisations. All the projects we work on will be there to enable people to get involved at their level but with the intention to help them grow and become more involved in their community. This will also enhance the training programme options and additionally, I will shortly have a coaching programme to offer that will help individuals to move towards their potential whatever that may be.
To return to Nathan Blackaby’s book, he says “the ‘now’ is where we operate, where we impact and influence change, and it is where we are forged … with a ridiculous amount of potential, courage, hope, adventure and purpose.” I am genuinely excited about what is to come this year and hope you will hop on for the ride. As Blackaby again says, let’s “get busy living in the now and … we will see some action”.
As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, general comments or even complaints, please get in touch with me (Dan) via email at email@example.com or call 07444 873151.
When you read this blog I’ll have signed off for 2020. And what a year it has been! I may have started in this role during lockdown, but back then in May, none of us would have thought we’d still be in this situation with so much restriction on our lives.
The pandemic and subsequent limitation on movement and activity have certainly had a massive negative impact on my plans within this role but I know that is nothing to how it has negatively impacted everyone’s lives and actually, it’s not been all bad – there has actually been some positivity. Here’s a couple of lists:
Things I’ve not been able to do:
Deliver training courses.
Have groups come together to network, share expertise and learn from each other.
Run information and planning sessions.
Deliver 1-1 coaching.
Run big events.
Meet with many people in real life.
Things I have been able to do:
Develop training courses including partnerships with training providers.
Understand more about the actual community needs.
Support 32 local organisations with various information and guidance.
Develop valuable contacts for future local benefit across various projects.
Begin to put Camelon and Tamfourhill back on the map for positive reasons.
There’s probably more for both lists but that will do for now! Essentially what I’m trying to say as much to myself as everyone else is that it’s not been all bad. In fact, the opposite is true – there has been a lot of good going on in the community. Groups have responded to a growth of need. Plans have been quickly put into place for new or enhanced projects. People have looked to how they can strengthen their own futures through learning new skills. Others have gained a new understanding about what actually happens in this community by the fact they have actually spent time in the area during the day. Foundations have been laid for so much more in the new year.
So despite the heartache, difficulty, stress and loss that many have faced in this area over 2020 (for which my thoughts and sympathies are freely given), I am full of hope for 2021 and beyond. More than that, I am excited for the possibilities of what is ahead. I hope that you will come with us on this journey.
I wish you and yours a very happy and safe Christmas, and look forward to working with you all in what will hopefully be a peaceful and more positive 2021.
Apparently this year there is no naughty list! Or so some advertisers would have you think. It seems that because of everything we’ve been through, Santa doesn’t have a naughty list!
Okay, it’s just a cheap marketing line but rather than thinking about whether we’re going to get presents from Santa or not this year (I hope you do!), I thought about how we see things around us – naughty or nice? Or in other words, do you focus on the negative stuff around you, or the positive?
For many years, I have been accused of being too positive! Firstly, let me tell you that this is not always true and my family and closest friends will agree wholeheartedly with that! In fact I started writing this on a day when I wasn’t feeling as positive as normal. But actually, whether I’m feeling positive or negative, I am wired up so that I want to encourage others which often comes across as being positive. Whatever way round you want to take that, it’s just how I see life. I just choose to see the good around and focus on that, rather than being sucked down by the bad things around. And I make no apologies for that. It’s actually hard work, but it’s who I am.
You see, the more we focus on the naughty/bad/negative stuff around us, the more we get sucked into a naughty/bad/negative way of thinking. Yet a nice/good/positive focus can help us to shift the thought process, to ways through whatever you are seeing. If it helps, John highlighted some of the recent positive things in the community in his blog this week.
This is not to deny that bad stuff is around. It is not to pretend there are no issues. It is not to avoid dealing with difficult things. But it is to attempt to focus on your own life, your own opportunities and by living a better way, attempt to show those who focus on the negativity just how they can do the same. So if I say that we live in a great place, I genuinely mean that, because there are some amazing people in our community who want to make positive change for themselves and others. That doesn’t make the issues go away. But it’s a start.
Nick Vujicic is an Australian motivational speaker who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome which basically means he has no arms or legs. He made the choice to be positive in his life, not despite his physical issues but because of them. He said this:
You can be angry for what you don’t have or be thankful for what you do have
This positive thinking is not being naïve. It is not ignoring issues or circumstances whether personal to you or things around you. It is not believing that any bad stuff around you will just vanish if you’re positive. No. But it is a step to making your life and your community better because of the way you choose to focus. As Nick Vujicic says, being thankful for what you do have.
Lets take a few moments away from my writings and have a listen to this from another motivational speaker, American Steve Harvey.
So yes, we have many issues in our community that need dealing with. Crime. Drugs. Poverty. Unemployment. That’s just four. We cannot and will not ignore them. But there is one element of community that can help us move forwards and drive positive change. That element is YOU!
There’s a fancy title for this way of working called Asset Based Community Development – we’ll talk about this more in the new year. We have many assets in our community and the biggest asset is the people. I may have only lived in the area since the summer of 2016, but I have met a lot of people who are amazing and have so much to offer to this community. Many of them are doing that already to great effect, but some are just on the first rung of the ladder and that’s okay because you have to start somewhere. The journey will be different for every resident but as long as we all keep moving forward and focusing on the good things around, then we will make a positive difference.
So who’s going to join me on this journey towards positive change? Will you focus on the naughty or nice?