Lunchbox Learning Groups

Join Unique Outcomes’ co-directors David Lees, Amy Stephenson, pAul Montgomery and Andrew Shirres who will each take you through key aspects of strengths-based practice. One of the things UO people have in common is that we ‘earned our stripes’ in the early years of the Strengths based practice revolution, being trained by Wayne McCashen, Di O’Neil and inspired by Russell Deal, founder of Innovative Resources. We’re passionate about embedding social justice, person-centred, empowerment principles into everyday direct service practice.

Andrew will kick things off on May 4 with ‘Doing power-with’ and each month thereafter we will focus on a key SB skill.  In July, pAul will lead ‘Engaging in externalising’, Amy will focus on ‘The art of reframing’  in September, and David will end Series 1 of ‘Lunchbox Learning’ in November with ‘Noticing and exploring exceptions’ register here

‘Doing power-with’ facilitated by Andrew Shirres May 4th 2022

-a lunchbox learning session about creating conditions for genuine empowerment

How are the people we work with- our colleagues and service users- ‘colonised’ by the service system ’? How can we recognise when ‘power-over’ occurs? How do we create the kind of conditions where genuine empowerment can flourish? Sometimes it can feel like we are immersed in a service system geared primarily to solving problems, providing advice and being an expert. Those at the other end of it, the people we work with, can end up  captured within a cycle of dis-empowerment. Join us to explore ways we can not only recognise when ‘power-over’ happens but actively seek out ways those we work with can take control over the processes in which they are involved and do their own ‘empowering’. Register here

‘Engaging in externalising’ facilitated by pAul Montgomery July 28th 2022

Putting a Toe in the Water of externalising conversations- a lunch box learning group for anyone who believe people are not their problems.

Are you looking for ways to have fresh and interesting conversations with community members, service users and colleagues about the struggles and complexities they face? Are you eager to find simple ways to avoid the blaming and shaming that make talking about problem a bit heavy and hard? Join us for this brief practical introduction to the process of facilitating “externalising” conversations. These conversations help separate people from problems, reveal skills, values and know-how and connect peoples lives around shared themes. Register here

‘The art of reframing‘ facilitated by Amy Stephenson September 6th 2022

Ever walked away from a team or work meeting feeling overwhelmed by problems? Wonder how to encourage people to see things in ways that may be a little more helpful (and hopeful) to handle? Whether it’s working with clients or colleagues directly, or trying to inspire teams through leadership, problem saturated views can creep into conversations. The problem picture can be so pervasive, it has even inspired an art movement. Consciously looking for unique ways to either reframe “the problem” as a challenge; or normalising “the context” to something that is easier to understand is a skill. Like art, it can shift our perspective just enough to enable solutions to emerge.  Join us for this brief practical introduction to the art of reframing – by learning to view the picture differently – you can inspire the motivation to collaboratively create solutions.. Register here

‘Noticing and exploring exceptions’ facilitated by David Lees November 17th 2022

Searching for Exceptions- a lunchbox learning group for people interested in building solutions rather than fixing problems.

Do you believe that people resist -even in small ways- the influence of problems? Are you looking for practical ideas for how to draw on peoples strengths? In strengths-based, solution-focused practice there is an assumption that no problem happens in the same way or at the same intensity the whole time. There are always moments or even periods of time when the problem is experienced in a less severe way or when the problem could have happened but something else happened instead. By exploring what happens at these exception times it’s often possible to more clearly identify the persons strengths, resources, ethics and aspirations. This can increase hope and provide useful ‘clues to solutions’. Join us for this brief practical introduction to the process of facilitating ‘exceptions’ conversations. It will explore how to listen for and deconstruct ‘exceptions’ in ways that draw out peoples solution knowledges and make them more available. Register here