Week One ~ Making Connections

Here you are – again!

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

For your second go-around with NYCIDY.

So now what? As you should recall – that is a question only you can truly answer.

Our intention this summer is to give you lots of space to reflect and investigate and hopefully discover much 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 come join us is that we will always look to be clear with our purpose, our intentions, and our expectations.

In a minute we will dive into defining each of these words so that we are all on the same page.

Let’s take a few minutes to acknowledge the past, and then check in and center ourselves with the Body~Mind~Heart Connection Process as we did last summer.

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 a reminder, we encourage you to begin your day, and we will start every group session with this check-in process.

We are creating space for you to understand how you feel 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 know 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 so far?

What is the story you are telling yourself every day?

Pro-Action Plan Week 1 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 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 six weeks, what do you intend to bring about?

Pro-Action Plan Step Week 1 (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 1 (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

We hope you recall that 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 are angry? When you are afraid? When you are 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, our communities, and those we work with.

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

If you recall all of this from last year – that’s great! We suggest you watch these videos again so the information can be fresh in your mind as we move forward.

Big Note: During Orientation, you were asked to locate Conflict Management Inventory from last year. If you didn’t get to that yet, please look for it in your NYCID_Proaction_Plan_THREE. If you cannot find it in your Google Drive, please retake the survey below! 

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 “About Me” pages in your NYCID-Y

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?

Anatomy of Difficult Conversations

When was the last time you had a tough talk with someone? Maybe it was an argument, and perhaps it was just tense because what needed to be said wasn’t being said. We all think we know what we’re doing when we get into difficult conversations. We all need work because, regardless of how much we may know about ourselves and others, difficult conversations are always hard, especially when we care about the other person.

  • Substance.
  • Who said what, who did what?
  • Who intended what?
  • What did you each contribute to the problem?
  • My feelings.
  • Their feelings.
  • My self-image.
  • Their self-image.

Choosing Your Purposes



Problem Solving

Listen first to understand, then to be understood. You almost never know everything you need to know about the situation. Seek out the pieces of the puzzle you don’t have.

You are an unparalleled expert on you. So, speak for yourself and how you are experiencing the problem. Consider sharing your perspective, interests, feelings, and requests.

You take the lead. Once you have listened to their views and expressed your own, then you should proceed to problem solving. Ask: “Can we find a way to move forward that works for both of us?”

Pro-Action Plan Step

Spend a little time thinking through a difficult conversation you may need to have soon. If you cannot think of one consider a conversation you have had previously and try to unpack the conversation using the anatomy as your guide.

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.

Circle Up – Difficult Convos

Round One: Have you ever made a joke during a difficult conversation? If so, what happened?

Round Two: What would you like to work on to become better at difficult conversations?

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


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 is always: What is moving in me?