Facilitators Discussion Guide

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1 Kindness Counts at Work Facilitators Discussion Guide A guide for getting started tefulness courage lightness cheerful generosity kindness evolence service sharing compassion giving back helping oth ughtfulness optimism satisfied laughter joy fun gratitude rity wit amusement humor jovial smiling happy thankful appreci tefulness respect tenderness valued integrity esteemed pleased ased inclusion excellence trust loyalty self-awareness

2 Welcome facilitators! There are many titles that could be given to the person who acts as a guide for this Kindness Counts Toolkit. We chose the title of facilitator, rather than trainer or teacher, because the latter instruct and impart knowledge, whereas a facilitator s role is to promote and assist the progress of individual and group thinking. Facilitators do not have the answers; they help others to explore topics. To be effective, facilitators must have a passion for exploring ways to create a kinder workplace, both as individuals and as a group. There are no right or wrong answers in the Kindness Counts Toolkit because we want you to experience kindness through the exploration of values, and values are unique to each person. This Discussion Guide has been created to assist you, the facilitator, regardless of your experience, to support a group of individuals exploring Kindness Counts at Work through a series of user-friendly values exercises. The Linkage Between Kindness and Values There is a significant linkage between kindness and values that is important for you to understand as you begin to facilitate your session. In fact, you may be asking, What do values have to do with kindness? The Kindness at Work Toolkit includes a broad range of activities that support kindness from many different angles. We have developed these exercises using 10 values that, when put into practice, are at the root of creating a kinder workplace and world. For each of the 10 values, there are two interactive activities which are experiential learning tools to build strength and stimulate dialogue on that particular value. Each value links back to the underlying theme of kindness in action. Defining Values Wikipedia defines values as being derived from those of particular groups or systems, such as culture, religion, and political party. However, personal values are not universal; one s family, nation, generation and historical environment help determine one s personal values. Dictionary.com informs us that values represent worth intrinsic excellence or desirability. A value is that quality of anything which renders it desirable or useful. There are many different types of values that we form throughout our lives, including personal, social, cultural, work and corporate values, and each represents a different sphere of life. For example, our personal values indicate who we are individually; corporate values exist within a professional context and represent the organizational beliefs at large; and cultural values are linked to our history, including customs and, in some cases, faith. 2

3 These values are deep within us and are woven into everything we do, both consciously and unconsciously. Because of this, our values influence our thoughts, feelings and actions, and are forged from our deeply held beliefs, principles and perceptions of what constitutes proper behavior. Values are accumulated slowly throughout our lifetimes and are influenced by our families, teachers, sports coaches, religious instructors and the culture in which we are raised. Identify Values Giving clarity to individual and corporate business values is imperative, because our values act as a beacon to guide our decision-making, especially when we are under stress. Values help us to make strong decisions with less regret, because we have acted from a place of integrity. Follow the steps below to identify your individual values. Once completed, this exercise can also be used for a department as a team-building exercise. Go one step further and this list can even be used to help a business identify what they value most: 1. Read the list of values and circle the ones that have meaning for you. 2. Of the values circled, combine the ones that seem similar to you. Then pick the one that best represents each group. This is called clustering your values. 3. Continue to narrow the values down until you have six that you feel are most representative of who you are and what you believe. 4. Write your six values in the space provided. Identifying Values Truth Hope Service Forgiveness Self-Awareness Faith Optimism Creativity Intelligence Fun Health Ambition Loyalty Listening Authenticity Friendship Money Adventure Relationships Power Common Ground Diversity Altruism Autonomy Empathy Courage Ethnic Roots Competitiveness Caring Creative Freedom Commitment Eco-Consciousness Conscientiousness Independence Security Beauty Respect Excellence Patience Attitude Humility Work Ethic Joy Determination Education Humor Balance Trust Equality Honesty Personal Growth Fairness Ethics Love Honor Community Family Loyalty Compassion Inclusion Tradition Work Fulfillment Professionalism Courage/Nature Leadership Integrity Morality Wisdom Knowledge Strength Gratitude Reliability Mindfulness Spirituality Dedication Generosity Achievement Prosperity Peace Other: 3

4 5. Write your six selected values below: 6. Here is an example of a value generosity. You can use a dictionary definition to get started and then add your own language to develop your own personal meaning and make the value come alive. Generosity (as defined by Dictionary.com): i. readiness or liberality in giving ii. freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character Continue to work your way through each value until you are satisfied with your own definitions. 7. Once you have completed the values exercise you are ready to begin exploring the Kindness Counts at Work Toolkit and the values that you have selected. 8. Take the same exercise and use in your team or department, or even your organization. 9. Learn lots, explore with an open mind and above all else, have fun! Who would use this toolkit? This toolkit is specifically designed for a workplace environment. However, with a little imagination, all of the exercises are interchangeable and may be used to increase kindness in both your personal and professional lives. Use the activities by yourself or with a few colleagues and share your observations. Pull together a small group of interested people who want to explore kindness in the workplace, hold a training session, or invite your entire department to participate and share their kindness-related values. The activities can be used to increase both self-awareness and collective awareness, which are the first steps toward creating a kinder workplace. 4

5 Toolkit User-Friendly Template Take a moment to read through the guide before beginning and familiarize yourself with the overall format. 1. Key Learning objectives: It is important to have a goal when you start to explore any concept. These objectives are not etched in stone, but they provide an overall feel for what should be achieved by the end of your session, as well as helping you to organize the materials and focus the group discussion. 2. Target Audience: The target audience is a suggestion only. With a little creativity, exercises may be adapted for any audience. 3. Group Size: The recommended group size indicates whether the exercise is geared toward individual work or larger group interaction. 4. Time: The time estimate represents the minimal time that should be allowed to complete the exercises. More time may be required depending upon the size of the group and their level of interest. 5. Room Set-up: This section provides guidance for setting up the environment in such a way as to facilitate the exchange of ideas and ensure the comfort of participants. 6. Supplies: Each Values Exercise includes a short list of required materials. 7. Instructions: Before beginning, take a few minutes to read through the facilitator instructions for the Values Exercise you have chosen. You can choose which aspects of the exercise you would like to use and adapt the format as you see fit. We recommend that you use your own experiences and creativity to customize the starter materials we have provided. Remember, these are only suggestions to get you started; rely on the group to be creative as well. 5

6 The following six headings can be used to organize the Values Exercise: Values Definitions: Look for this icon for two definitions of the value. This is not an exhaustive list; the Internet provides a wealth of resources for exploring the meaning of each value. Additional Ideas: Look for this icon for a list of potential avenues you can explore. Use these as inspiration to start thinking outside the box! Open your mind and be creative. The possibilities are endless. Sources: Look for this icon for a starter list of recommended books and websites to support the journey toward a kinder world. Group Activity: Look for this icon for handouts that you can distribute to participants. You may photocopy them for use during your facilitated session. Pay It Forward Challenge: Look for this icon for optional exercises that can be used to pull the group together so that they will leave the session with the goal of practicing a particular value at a deeper level. The challenge can be individual or undertaken as a group. Reporting back is optional; however, we encourage follow-up with people s experiences because sharing broadens the exercise and makes it come alive when put into practice. Quotations Page: Look for this icon for an optional quotations handout. Use these quotations to promote discussion. They can be posted around the room, inserted into a PowerPoint presentation or used in any other way that the facilitator desires. 6

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