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Maximillian staff photo - the image shows Maximillian in front of some trees outdoors and smiling.
June 21, 2022
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There are many reasons for wanting to talk, and several ways of expressing yourself. I am going to look at several of these, and how our volunteers respond to them.

 

 

Often people just want to feel heard. This is the most common situation we have in our support groups. We train volunteers to recognise the feelings behind an issue as well as the practicalities. When someone says “I’m always putting the work in and they aren’t listening” the response might be “it sounds frustrating when they don’t see your effort.”

Other times they just need to vent. Maybe the person neither needs nor wants a response. “Ugh she’s so frustrating…” “okay” “…she keeps doing the same thing…” “uh huh” “…and I’m really angry.”

After this point might be a good time to respond – “you feel angry and frustrated because she keeps doing the same thing.”

Other times they might be processing their feelings out loud. Processing tends to include more “I think” statements. “He’s not listening to me and I’m really annoyed, and….I think maybe it’s just miscommunication.” This might be the point where our volunteers talk about the change in their perspective with them. “It sounds like you’re starting to look at a different perspective now.” This allows the person to reflect on what they are starting to recognise.

 

 

We spend time training our volunteers in facilitation and support skills because we recognise the importance of venting, processing, and being heard. Our volunteers are the backbone of the support that we offer.

 

 

Want to learn skills like those above and support our members at the same time? Apply here to be one of our volunteers.

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