Sunday, 21 May 2017

Working it Out

"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him"
Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s really not a nice feeling or experience when you have an argument or disagreement with someone. Well I certainly think so. Though really it is part of life, isn’t it? I do believe, though, that when we have a disagreement we are pushing our attitude of, ‘I’m right and you’re wrong,’ and that this is usually the main reason why disagreements or conflicts occur.

We can have disagreements with a family member, a friend, a colleague at work or our partner. Maybe you are experiencing a disagreement/conflict with someone right now. I suppose the one quick fix to healing a disagreement is to say sorry, right? I could be incorrect. However, for me sometimes sorry can mean nothing. It’s just a word that can easily roll off the tongue. I’ve found with the ‘sorries’ that the issue is not really resolved and will soon raise its ugly head in days or weeks to come. I suppose it all depends how serious the problem was in the first place.

One practical method is to talk things out, resolve the situation, have that two- way conversation. That’s very easy for me to write yet I find it’s not that simple, especially depending on the issue and person involved.  How often do we really truly listen? Are we not just sat there thinking of what to say next? It’s human nature, after all, to defend ourselves. We put our guards up, become defensive, fight and stand up for ourselves because we think we are right and they are wrong.

 Image result for conflict resolution in the workplace
I know that when I have a fall out with my partner, I can become quite stubborn and shut down. Oh the all so famous silent treatment. I can go for hours and days without talking. However, when I reflect back, who is it really benefitting?   Although it’s a cliché, communication really is the key. We may find it hard to digest what the other person is saying. Instead of being quick to jump in, let’s just take it in turns to speak and hear each other out. Take that deep breath and count to 10. At the end of the day, both parties have a common goal and that is to resolve the issue and merrily move on. There is no harm or shame in having a mediator if that is more helpful; it’s even better if the mediator doesn’t know either of you and so has no conflict of interest. It may come with a price tag; however, if it’s going to save your relationship, just do it!
I am a Fellow for the Clore 6 and during my six-month course I was assigned a life coach. I must say the sessions have been invaluable. To be given the opportunity to dig deep and explore my triggers really gave me a good insight into my character. It has been a breath of fresh air to share my true feelings with a total stranger. I did not at any point feel judged. Oh how nice it was to just talk openly and not be interrupted! One key model we explored was the Dramas and Winners Triangle.  Even though the model is based around depression, I feel it is suitable for anybody. I’m sure when you see the triangle, you will relate to a role.   

Just remember that every disagreement or conflict we find ourselves in will always have something to teach us about ourselves.  We need to stand up and take that R word – yes…Responsibility. And if the same issue keeps arising over and over, then we have the power to make the necessary changes.

Youth Elements has partnered with LEAP Conflict and will be delivering a one-day conflict resolution training session on Thursday 13th July, in Manchester. Places cost £199.00 (set price) and are limited. To book, please email me at   or call: 0161 286 1566


Books worth reading:
How to Deal With Difficult People: Ursula Markham
Now or Never, Your Epic Life in 5 Steps: Alexi Panos & Preston Smiles

Monday, 9 January 2017

Going it Alone

Youth Elements Celebrating 6 years of youth-led Services and Programmes

"Take pride in how far you have come,
and have faith in how far you can go!"
                                                            Christian Larson

It’s really amazing to think that Youth Elements will be celebrating its 6th anniversary next month.
The idea of setting up my own business was scary. I had a choice after my last employment - seek another position or do what was truly in my heart.
I had a vision, I had an idea and eventually I decided to act on it. The journey has been full of ups and downs, tears and laughter, disappointment and delight. However, it’s all been worth it.

I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to work in partnership with some fantastic organisations across the UK. Over the last two years, I have been working with foyer federations and housing associations to help set up mentoring schemes for young people and adults within their services.
This success has snowballed with the people who have been mentored going on to motivate, support and empower others.

It took me three attempts to gain Big Lottery Funding for our tabloid newspaper, Inspire. You really do learn a lot about yourself when you run your own business. I really believed in having a positive feel-good newspaper and, because of that, I was persistent and determined to get the project funded. We've now been funded twice for the paper.
I love how young adults really are at the forefront of the company. That will always be the unique thing about Youth Elements. Not only are we creating self-employment opportunities for our youth team, we are also instilling them with confidence, motivation, new skills and the self-belief that they can achieve success and turn their ideas into reality.

My highlights have been delivering our youth-led conferences One World All Different. I remember our first one in November 2011, with a youth group from Ireland. Over 75 professionals attended the event. I was nervous and stressed to the max. However, over the years these feelings have settled. Taking a step back, breathing and being kind to myself really helps. This year we will be hosting number 8!

My confidence and self-belief has grown over the years. At first I didn’t dare associate myself with Youth Elements or tell people I set up the company, as I was embarrassed, unsure if I was doing the right thing. I mean I was taking a step into the unknown. Nevertheless, over time and having a supportive network, I am proud of my achievements and success. I still have a lot to learn, really we never stop learning.

There's a lot to look forward to in 2017. We’ve just launched a new website, are hosting a celebratory and lunching event in the spring and are delivering a resilience and motivation programme with funding from Children in Need. I myself am taking part in Clore6 Youth SectorEmerging Leaders  this is a wonderful opportunity for me to develop the skills that will enable me to support even more young people.

Youth Elements has achieved so much but, with your help, we can do even more. Our success has come from building partnerships around the country and so, if you would like to work with us, please get in touch today!

Amina Waldron
Youth Elements

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