Learn from Success – Workshop Case

The LIVE2WORK workshop aims at focusing on what has been working so far, on inherent resources and strengths. Therefore, when talking about challenges, we want to ask the end users:

  • “What have you done that is already working?”
  • “How can you use your strengths/new knowledge to help solve some of the challenges you are facing?”
  • Discuss questions raised by end users in plenum and ask for input from other end users. Can their successes help the others in the group?

The workshop must aim to bring up challenges that the end users commonly face at work, opening up for the possibility of working together to solve a problem or achieving a common goal during the workshop. It will be the facilitator’s role to guide the discussions and create links between what has been learned and their realities in the workplace. This approach will inevitably result in a deeper understanding of how certain approaches can influence different outcomes.

To help you with this, it is advisable to make use of cases that have developed for use in the workshops. The case can be used during each of the toolbox dimensions: self-knowledge, world-knowledge, transitional skills, and decision making. The cases can be used at the end of the workshop day, to gauge the workshop end users’ progress and opens up for the sharing of experiences, as well as for confirming knowledge and understanding of the tools.

Applying cases as a learning strategy will inevitably:

  • increase awareness of challenges and provide a platform from where end users can formulate solutions
  • make possible the exchange of ideas and assist the end users share past work-related experiences (hence relating the content to their needs)
  • provide a platform from where a problem/challenge can be analysed to reaffirm key learning outcomes.

The added value of using cases in the workshop?

  • to practice the successful use of the tools
  • to point out which tools to use, when, and why
  • To be able to “test” and gauge the level of understanding of the end users for each dimension

Information regarding the use of cases in the workshop:

  • end users in the workshop will work in groups to discuss which tools and methods they will use to help the “client”, placing focus on the importance of the discussions.
  • end users will use the same case each day but will build on their discussions regarding solutions based on the new knowledge acquired each day.
    • Day one, the case will focus on the use of Self knowledge
    • Day two the case will focus on the use of World Knowledge
    • Day three will focus on the use of Transitional skills and decision-making

You can, as a facilitator add a twist to the case. Change the character “Sara from Denmark” to for example “Hussein from Syria” and ask what they would do differently in this situation. Here an additional question can be discussed in groups. “Would you do anything different in this situation? How and why?”

The Case – Sara

Sara is a 23-year-old girl who has just finished high school, done well in school, and has received her leaving certificate. On paper, Sara should be ready and able to begin to define a career plan, but she is can’t find her way thought the opportunities among the different educations and feel afraid in taking the right education/choice.

Sara doesn’t have much vocational experience, but she has had smaller vacancies; babysitting dogs, packaging for a company Sara lives at home with her parents, who make a sensible living. Her father is self-employed, and her mother mostly but had jobs on and off.

From the outside, it looks like Sara is a well-functioning young woman from a family with many resources and her future prospects look good. However, despite all this, she doesn’t seem to be moving forward. She is also very unsure about what she wants to do in the future and how she will get there. It seems like she is extremely vulnerable at the moment, and Sara is very indecisive about which future career choices she should make. Nevertheless, she has pointed out that she is very interested in art, cooking and catering, administrative work, and that she loves, and is very good at, drawing.

Cooperative learning – Questions for the group: 

  • In order to assist the participant in making a decision regarding her future career goals, what would be your first step?
  • Which tools will you present and apply?
  • In which way will these tools help the participant and what will she achieve?

Group presentation and discussion in plenum:

  • Group conclusions are presented in plenum
  • Plenum reflection on the presented ideas with facilitator and the other end users
  • Finish up with a summary of conclusions to close the workshop for the day

Tips for the group presentations, especially for workshops with a large number of end users:

  1. Each group selects a note taker
  2. The note taker will be asked to transfer the group discussion/conclusions on the board or flipchart
  3. The second group will do the same, but only add new information, which has not yet been written on the board
  4. The same procedure for the other groups, until all groups have been to the board
  5. Select the themes from the board and start a plenum discussion in order to let them (each group member) elaborate on the themes (explain what they meant) and to get different perspective on the theme
  6. Sum up the activity with important points and key takeaways from the discussion.

Working with the Case – Notes for the facilitator

This is a flexible concept, meaning that the way you work with a case, and whether you use the case provided, or your own, can vary depending on the experience, needs and previous knowledge of the end users. But here are some tips that can help you when discussing the case with your end users:

Day 1 – Self-Knowledge

  • Start the session with “the participant” from the case by establishing a goal (contract/expectations)
  • “The client” is now ready to work on his/her own goals based on what he/she CAN:
    • What are his/her values? (values image cards)
    • What are his/her character strengths? (Aware: VIA assessment – Explore: strengths cards – Apply: link the awareness to future goals)
    • What are his/her strengths form his/her own experience? (strengths by storytelling, strengths spotting interview)
  • Don’t forget to work with: Goals analysis – Wrap up activity. What are his/her goals, strengths, supports etc.
  • Finish the session with your workshop groups by drawing up a summary of which tools and methods you have talked about, working on to help the client. (I.e. use a flipchart. Keep the overview for each day and hang on the wall.)

Day 2 – World Knowledge

  • What do we know about “the client”? Quick recap from day 1
  • “The client” should now have a better understanding about him/herself
  • Today’s focus is on collecting, analysing, and interpreting information about the opportunities available to “the client” in his/her surroundings, and how he/she can use this to achieve his/her goals.
  • It’s important to focus on;
    • who does she know? (mapping social network)
    • what can she do? (competence tree, exploration of occupations)
    • Who can support her in reaching her goals? Who can be helpful? (identifying role-models)
  • Good to know:
    • “The client” needs to be aware of what barriers he/she might be facing in his/her surroundings environment and learn how to deal with these barriers/persons in order to get a positive result of the network. We will focus on the positive things that the network brings to the client”
    • Self-worth – Tip: During an intervention, the “client” can include the “end user” in his/her supporting network. The end user should therefore ensure that he/she is a positive resource in the client’s life. It’s very important to remember to include this in the mapping of the support network. Especially when the client has a small network. Also, If the session is carried out in groups or in a class setting, then the group can also be added to the support network.

Day 3 – Transitional Skills and Decision Making

  • Today’s activities will focus on skills that can be used in a wide variety of situations and work settings
  • If possible, ensure that the groups can spend a couple of hours on discussions and presentations in relation to this final case discussion activity
  • Place focus on how to deal with obstacles/ challenges they could face in their professional/ training integration and how to deal with it in a positive way (cognitive diamond, positive emotions diary) E.g. she does not have a lot of experience, but she finished her studies and has a lot of will to learn etc.
  • Again, make use of the perception model, when you can place something in the background or in the foreground to increase awareness of what the focus is and to make the client more flexible in his/her way of thinking
  • Focus on creating/defining goals and identification of tasks/step necessary to reach. Make sure the client’s goals become manageable and possible by helping him/her deal with the “next best action” through small steps of full control (identify obstacles and resources to overcome them).
  • Sum up activities to create an overview of:
    • Who “the client” is, i.e. characteristics and preferences
    • What “the client” knows, i.e. competences and experience
    • Who “the client” knows, i.e. social and professional network
    • Focus on perseverance and anchoring the goals (the SMARTE model)