Set a Good Direction
Person-centered planning tools like PATH, MAPs and Essential Lifestyle Planning allow us to think broadly and creatively, identify what’s important to a person as well as what’s important for that person, and most importantly, to have conversations that build connection, commitment and energy. Start with what creates a good and meaningful life for any of us.
Open the Door and See All the People
When we get connected with a workplace, learning place, or community association, it can be fruitful to have a conversation about who else is in there, where those people are connected, and what capacities and interests they might have that could be of interest to the core member of the Star Raft.
Where Are You Anchored?
Either presently or in the past, every single person is ‘anchored’ – in family, workplaces, learning places, associations, and friendships. Inquiring about where someone is anchored can reveal places in which that person has ‘standing’ and influence – places where they have the power of introduction, welcome and encouragement.
What do you Carry on Board?
Every person carries gifts, capacities, interests, values, skills, projects, dreams, questions, aspirations, and more. Conversations aimed at discovering what people ‘carry on board’ open the door to discovering points of common interests, shared values and commitments, and other points of alignment and potential for sharing.
Identify and Mobilize Capacities and Interests
Our teacher John McKnight says, “A great community is one that systematically identifies and mobilizes the gift of every single one of its members.” This idea is at the heart of the Star Raft’s effort on behalf of the core member and each of the companions. All of us thrive when our gifts are recognized and brought to life.
Move from Activity to Connection
When we catch sight of a person’s Interest, it’s tempting to move rapidly in the direction of finding an ‘activity’ that reflects that interest (all too often in the context of ‘programs’). It’s actually more adaptive and fruitful to think and work systematically in the direction of companionship, connection, and contribution in ordinary community settings.
Find the sweet places in community
When we’re moving from activity to connection, it helps to look for the ‘sweet places’ in community. Sweet places tend to be small and intimate; they’re based on cooperation rather than competition; and they know how to seek out and mobilize people’s gifts and capacities. Habitat for Humanity, a drumming group, Toastmasters …
Mobilize your Personal Network
Your personal network of friends, family, and associates is the place where you have standing and influence, where you are trusted and appreciated, and where your generosity is recognized and reciprocated. It is the most fruitful place to invite people to hear the story and simply ‘come and help us think about this for a while’.
Build your Star Raft
Hopefully many people will join the conversation over time, but at some point it is important for the emerging circle to become aware of itself as a circle – on purpose, focused, creative, and enduring. People will come, stay for a while, and may eventually move on, but the ‘centre will hold’ if we keep inviting and engaging new people.
Pay it Forward
Coming soon …