Recently I visited a nursing leadership class at York University in Toronto by way of Skype! The Professor is Dr. Adeline Falk-Rafael, and the class participants are enrolled in a program for nurses around the world who are seeking licensure to practice nursing in Canada. They had recently read “Peace and Power” (8th Ed.) and had a number of questions about the book. Several questions related to putting the ideas into practice in their leadership roles.
There are no easy answers to these questions, and no magic wands to assure success with any attempts to put Peace and Power ideals into practice. But here are a few ideas to consider when you want to do so:
- It is possible to use just one or two components of Peace and Power in a group and make significant changes in how a group functions. If you introduce the reason, or your intention in suggesting that the group use any part of Peace and Power, the group members may be more open and receptive to the idea. For example, if you suggest that the group use Check In to start your meetings, explain that the reason is so that everyone has a chance to speak and to participate in setting the agenda.
- Even though specific parts of Peace and Power can be used apart from other parts, Peace and Power ideals are more fully realized when the process is used as a whole.
- It is helpful for every member of a group to understand and want to use any part of Peace and Power.
- If a group wants to use the whole of Peace and Power, having everyone “on board” is essential. In order for everyone in the group to fully understand the process, the group needs to devote time to develop their Principles of Solidarity.
- There is a constant tension between the “real” and the “ideal” for any group using Peace and Power. This means that as a group works toward putting their ideals into action, people in the group need to always bring a generosity of spirit to their work, and use experiences of falling back into “old habits” as opportunities for learning and growth, not a reason for feeling guilty or punitive. Always treat one another with love and respect, even when actions do not fully reflect your values.
I invite you to leave your ideas and reflections here. Share experiences about using Peace and Power, or ask questions. And feel free to also provide your insights and “answers!”