Recently I had a discussion with a nursing class at York University in Toronto, Canada! No, I did not travel to Toronto – I participated over a Skype connection! The professor, Adeline Falk-Rafael, has used Peace and Power processes in her classes for many years. This class was a leadership class, and the students have been using Peace and Power as a basis for exploring ways to create effective group interactions in the workplace. One of the issues we discussed related to making positive changes in a situation that might benefit from using Peace and Power.
In my experience, it is not possible to use Peace and Power to the fullest extent in most group situations. But it is often possible to bring some components of the process to the group with great success – meaning significant changes in creating cooperative and satisfying interactions. One process that many groups welcome is a “check-in” at the beginning of a meeting, class, or shift, giving everyone a chance to speak briefly to what they need and want for the time together. Another process that often helps in a tense situation is to suggest that the group take some time to “circle,” asking everyone in the group to briefly share their opinion, feeling or thoughts about the issue at hand. One of the most important concepts that groups can use to great benefit is taking a few minutes for a closing critical reflection, giving everyone a chance to share their reflections on what has happened in the group, and what they want, need and hope for in the future.
The possibility of bringing these small pieces to a group is greater when you have experience with groups that do use the process to the fullest extent possible. Once you have this experience, you have confidence and a vision of what is indeed possible! So I encourage you to create a group where you can join with others in using the process to the fullest .. making those small steps more and more possible!