Week One ~ Making Connections

Here you are! Finally, after applying, waiting and wondering, getting picked, getting it all together, and enrolling – You are finally here.

So now what?

Well, that is a question only you can honestly answer.

Our intention this summer is to give you lots of space to reflect and investigate and hopefully discover more about yourself as you learn to work with others. We will keep reminding you that this is work, not school, and you will be paid based on your time and effort.

What you will find each time you join us is that we will always look to be transparent with our purpose, our intentions, and our expectations.

In a minute, we will define each of these words so that we are all on the same page.

Let’s take a few minutes to check-in and center ourselves with the Body~Mind~Heart Connection Process as we did in our orientation together.

Quick Reminder

When you see our colleague pointing to an image on the site – you are to click on the image to get more information.

Land Acknowledgment

In New York, we are on the ancestral land of the Lenape people.

We say this to acknowledge that, no matter when or how we personally arrived on this land, we each have a relationship to the life and the pain that this ground has been witness to.

Let us take a moment to reflect on the responsibility of that relationship.

Let us be stewards of this land and make a connection to it that allows us to leave it better off than when we arrived.

If you’d like to learn more you can go to these links to get a deeper understanding.

Tool ~ Mindfulness Check-in

As you can see from how we are encouraging you to begin your day and how we will start every group session together– we are creating space for you to understand how you are feeling at any moment. It’s why we ask the question – ‘what is moving in you?’

Our intention here is to help you identify your state of being because we believe that when we all understand how we are feeling, we are usually better able to understand how others are feeling. It makes building community and establishing trust easier. It makes having difficult conversations less challenging. It makes taking and giving feedback less stressful. It makes getting through the tough stuff less traumatic.

Purpose: The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ You Are Here

The purpose of this summer experience is to help you develop essential skills for use in your personal and professional growth.

These skills will serve you to help you understand your own heart and mind and they will propel you forward in any career or job you pursue.

This first week of training will help you make connections to yourself and others.

What is My Story?

While you are all here for the same reason – to participate in SYEP and earn money and experience, each of you is a unique human being with a story.

Your life story is the one you write for yourself every day. While it is true that in life, things happen to us based on life circumstances, what is also true is that we can choose how we respond to those circumstances.

So what is your story? What is the story you are telling yourself every day?

Pro-Action Plan Week One Step (1 of 8):

What’s My Story?

The first contribution you will make to your Pro-Action Plan is to build your “My Story” page.

Helps your team and your instructor learn a bit about who you are and what you hope to accomplish this summer.

This is part of your time and effort for Week One and should be completed by Friday July 15th at midnight.

What Are Your Intentions?

So what exactly are intentions? You’ve probably heard the phrase “I had the best intentions, and things still went really badly.” Let’s take a minute and define the word (Remember when you see our friend – click the picture she’s pointing to).

Here’s a little gem for you- in order for your intentions to work-You have to!

This means that when you become a person who can be really specific about what you would like to happen then you must take action toward making your intentions a reality. If you want to manifest your intentions you must do!

So think for a few minutes – over the course of the next 6 weeks what do you intend to bring about?

Pro-Action Plan Step Week One (2 of 8):

What Are My Intentions?

Take some time to decide what intentions you are going to put forth while you are with us. What do you want to manifest? What do you see happening?

Then on the “My Intentions” Page in your Pro-Action plan use the space provided to share your ideas.

Remember: you can choose any write your answers, or record an audio or video file to express your ideas.

Note: You will need to discuss your answers in our circles during our sessions together.

Expectations: I Am Because We Are

On our journey together, we need to establish how we will work together. To do this, we need to establish the right expectations.

Let’s start by saying that at least for the next six weeks – we are all in this together. And that makes us think of a beautiful term called Ubuntu (Pronounced – oo-buun-too). Ubuntu – is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” It is sometimes translated as “I am because we are” (also “I am because you are”).

What you have probably experienced so far in life is that many of your arguments stem from people having different expectations of one another. As we would say, our expectations do not meet our reality. Click the two pictures below to define expectations and then move on to how we will all work together.

Remember: This is work not school – To get paid each week – You must show up for the group work and do the independent work.

Over the course of the next 6 weeks what expectations do you have of us?

Pro-Action Plan Step Week One (3 of 8):

What Are My Expectations?

Take some time to decide on the expectations that you have for yourself, your fellow NYCID-izens, and your instructor?

Then on the “My Intentions and Goals” Page add your list.

Note: You will need to discuss your answers in our circles during our sessions together.

Tool ~ Restorative Practices

Our sessions together are not meant to be like school. Your instructor is not giving you information, and you are not writing it down to remember it for a test. This WORK is about your development as a person. This WORK is led by you and your team members, which means your instructor is your guide. They are people who will keep you on track and up to the task.

This means – you must be willing to lead the way!

Remember – your intentions don’t work – unless you do! We will take action on our tasks and hold each other accountable in the circle. And together, we will realize our intentions through thoughtful conversation.

Setting the Container – 

Setting the Container is a restorative term used to describe how our sessions will be conducted. It describes the commitments we choose to make to an another for how we will hold space and for how we will work together.

Click the Group Commitments below to read through what to expect in our sessions together.

-You are here ~ Be present ~ Be Kind ~

Treat others how you want to be treated

-Embrace “The Circle Process”

As shared the way we work at NYCID is using the Restorative Circle – We will never force you to speak so understand you can pass and we expect that you will participate as you become more familiar with the how we work together.

-Let perfection go and share your experiences

We must work together and learn from one another in order for our process to be fulfilling.

-What’s shared here stays here and what’s learned here leaves here.

– Remember impact over intention – Opps and Ouch

-Notice our own biases and judgments

We all have them. Let’s not ignore them!

-Realize our privilege

It exists and is based on different seen and unseen identities we hold – we deepen our connections to one another when we acknowledge as much.

-Practice self-care and community care

Take care of yourself – when done right – you will take care of others!

Tool ~ Generative Social Fields


The Social Field is the natural, pre-given structure of relationships among individuals, groups, organizations and systems that give rise to collective behaviors and outcomes.


All human beings participate in co-creating the complex social contexts they live in and engage with.

Our emotional systems help us maintain balance.

Life is challenging when we interact with the emotional systems of others.


We have the ability to co-create a generative social field in which we facilitate deep conversations about big issues, and shape a safe and supportive climate where individuals in our teams/systems can feel emotionally safe, connected and respected.


There is always a social field, either generative or degenerative depending on how people are showing up.

~ Qualities of Generative Social Fields ~

Take in the words on these two hands to get a better sense of what Generative Social Fields are and what the word Generative means.

A Thought Experiment

Take a moment to consider the Social Fields you exist in.

For example – your school or program is a social field.

Another might be your family. How do you show up in these spaces?

How do you contribute to your social fields?

  • In what ways are you making generative contributions?

  • In what ways might you be degenerative?
  • What might you take away from these spaces?

Pro-Action Plan Step Week One (4 of 8):

My Place in the Field

On your “Thought experiment Page” reflect on these questions. Feel free to enter a written entry, an audio entry, or a video entry on this page.

Note: You will need to discuss your answers in our circles during our sessions together.

When We Circle Up

During our sessions we will often break out into small groups (circles). In these circles we will share our reflections and discoveries.

Note: one of the team members should assume the position of circle keeper in the small room. Remember your commitments to one another from the main group.

In the circle:

  • Always remember to introduce yourself to new people in the circle
  • Round One: Describe one intention and one expectation you have for this summer.
  • Round Two: Answer any or all the questions from the thought experiment:
    • How do you contribute to your social fields?
    • In what ways are you making generative contributions?
    • In what ways might you be degenerative?
    • What might you take away from these spaces?

✋?✋?✋?Raise hands if groups is small✋?✋?✋?


Upon returning to the main circle – we will HARVEST (share) some of what was moving in the smaller conversations.

The Question in the main circle will connect back to our favorite question: What is moving in me?

Remember to Connect

As you move through the material and return to the site each time and as you move through your group sessions remember to always begin with your check-in.

Tool ~ Communicate Through Conflict Explained

How do you communicate when all of your emotions are heightened? When you angry? When you are afraid? When your sad?

Communicating through conflict is a skill that we must learn to understand well enough so that we can spend a lifetime working on being the best we can be for our families, communities, and those we work with.

The key – is to know yourself and then consider how you have come to know those around you.

During Orientation, you took your Conflict Management Inventory. You might now be wondering what your result means and why it was important to us to have you discover your style at the beginning of our training program.

Pro-Action Plan Step Week 1 (5 of 8):

Check My Style Out

On your “My Tools” page and complete the Conflict Style Task which asks you to first reflect on your own style and confirm if you agree with the results, and then identify people in your life who you feel have different styles than you.

Note: Next week – your group will do a wall walk to read all the “My Story” pages in your NYCID-Y

Tool ~ Taking Sides Session Activity

How do we process information in group settings?

How do we understand how to make contributions and bring ideas forward with confidence?

How do we understand group dynamics?

How do we see that we are all Taking Sides all the time and that to achieve goals in group settings, we need to be able to express our thoughts and ideas and work towards collaboration?

During your group session, you and your team will complete the Taking Sides Activity. Feel free to take a peek if you want an idea of what we are working towards.

For Group Session


What are the big takaways from the Taking Sides Activity?

Tool ~ Evocation Interviewing

It’s one thing to be able to feel your emotions, feelings, and mood and to learn to put words to each for oneself – to create an emotional fluency that allows you to understand your human experience better.

It is another thing to be able to have the confidence to share your experiences with others using this vocabulary.

This tool helps us better describe our experiences by challenging us to use our senses to breathe life into our memories and help others feel what we may have felt.

Pro-Action Plan Step Week One (6 of 8):

Consider a time when you felt successful.

On your “Thought Experiment” page reflect by taking some notes as you begin to think about what you might share in your interview; or write a small statement about your special moment to set yourself up for talking about this event in your interview.

During your Group Sessions – you and your team will break out into small circles and conduct interviews. Take a peek at the task below to prepare for the interview!


What was Evocation Interviewing like for you?





Tool ~ Ladder of Connectedness

As humans, we feel almost as though we belong when there is a deep emotional connection with others. The more we can create opportunities to deepen our connectedness with others, the more satisfying our relationships can be. When we can do this, it becomes not about you but not me.

It becomes about MWe – that’s the ME and the WE together.

The Ladder of Connectedness is a model showing the varying stages of connectedness we regularly experience with others. Through a self-reflective practice, we can begin to recognize how we’re showing up in the social field, how we might relate to others in a particular circumstance, and ultimately consider how we might move “down the ladder” toward a more compassionate stance.

Pro-Action Plan Step Week One (7 of 8):

When I Connect

On the ‘My Tools’ Page. Use the space provided for the Ladder of Connectedness.

There you will consider a situation you have been in your past where you can clearly see what state of connectedness you were in.

For Example: A time when you were so angry at someone that you were in capable of hearing their side of the issue – in which case you were in Emotional Distress.

Another Example: On a family trip everyone in your family was so happy to be away together and there was no stress, disagreement, or worry and everyone was in Agape – Profound Connectedness.

Circle Up – How are MWe?

During our session together let’s circle up and discuss The Ladder of Connectedness.

Be prepared to share your answer to the from above in the circle.

Round One: Where is your Happy Place?

Round Two: Where do you most relate to the Ladder of Connectedness?


What is important for you to note about what you heard in your circles about the Ladder of Connectedness?

Build Your Rock

Let’s consider all the things that are moving in your life right now. You have friends you want to hang out with. You have family obligations. Maybe you have football practice or basketball. Perhaps you’re trying to learn to play the drums. Maybe this summer, you wanted to chill after a year of stress at school. Maybe you love video games and enjoy the latest big game. How can you do any or all of the things that are moving in your life if you are not sure what is most important to you?

Your Content Goes Here

So Identifying what is most important in your life gives your life purpose. It helps you focus and stay on task. Now the truth of that matter is you have to work on those important things in order to manifest the results you are after.

And that’s what we mean when we say you have to Build Your Rock.

Pro-Action Plan Step Week One (8 of 8):

Build Your Rock

Your last step for the week is to make decisions on what is most important to you right now. Remember – where you put your focus is where you put your energy.

  • Is your focus on the things that are most important?
  • What are some of the things you might need to do in order to build your rock?
  • What sacrifices might you need to make?
  • How do you need to better manage your time?
  • What do you need to learn?

Complete this step on your “About Me” page.

Note: You will need to discuss your answers in our circles during our sessions together.

Circle Up ~ What’s Most Important

During our session together let’s circle up and discuss how you are going to Build Your Rock.

  • Round One – How are MWe?
  • Round Two – What are your reflections from the Build Your Rock Activity?
  • What did you discuss on your Pro-Action Plan?


What did you hear others say about how they will build their rocks?