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Leading a Community in Right Relations Workshop

45-Minute Workshop

Suggested Participants

  • Congregational Leaders
  • Religious Professionals

Goals

  • Explore transformational leadership in the congregational context
  • Learn what makes for transformational leadership
  • Discuss congregational leadership styles

Materials

  • Copies of “Leading a Community in Right Relations” and “Leadership with Vision” for all participants
  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition
  • Copies of Handout 5, Assessment Questions for Effective Leadership, for all participants
  • Chalice or candle and matches
  • Newsprint and markers
  • Paper and pens

Preparation

  • Appoint workshop facilitator(s).
  • Distribute “Leading a Community in Right Relations” and “Leadership with Vision” and ask everyone to read them before the session begins.

Session Plan

Gathering and Centering, 2 minutes
Light the candle or chalice. Turn to “We Arrive Out of Many Singular Rooms” by Kenneth L. Patton, reading 443 in Singing the Living Tradition, and invite everyone to read responsively with you.

Focusing, 2 minutes
Review the goals of the workshop and the workshop process with the group. Invite participants to discuss and agree upon the group’s guidelines for openness and sharing. Say something like,

There is much potential for open sharing throughout this program. On many occasions we will invite participants to share what may be intimate material. Therefore, it is important that people speak only when they are comfortable; it is always okay to pass if people choose not to share. By establishing a norm of respect for each other and our expression within the group, we want to ensure safety and right relations for all participants.

Engage participants in discussing the value of respect and confidentiality in a group and the destructive effects of sarcasm and put-downs. Print your group’s guidelines for openness and sharing on newsprint, and post it as a reminder for each session.

Reflecting, 10 minutes
Invite the group to silently review Handout 5, Assessment Questions for Effective Leadership, and the eight characteristics of the transformational leader described by Ken Brown and Angela Merkert on page 21 of “Leadership with Vision.” Ask participants to take notes on what strikes them as particularly new, insightful, or challenging.

Exploring, 30 minutes
For 15 minutes, ask each person in the group to name one highlight they noted. Write them on the newsprint and follow with discussion, making sure that everyone gets to name at least one highlight from their note-taking. In the second fifteen-minute discussion, look for consensus about what makes for transformational leadership in your congregation. Post the newsprint where everyone can read it.

Closing, 2 minutes
Turn to reading 434 in Singing the Living Tradition and read it in unison.
Extinguish the chalice or candle.

2-Hour Workshop

Suggested Participants

  • Congregational Leaders
  • Religious Professionals

Goals

  • Explore transformational leadership in the congregational context
  • Learn what makes for transformational leadership
  • Discuss styles of congregational leadership

Materials

  • Copies of “Leading a Community in Right Relations” and “Leadership with Vision” for all participants
  • Copy of Singing the Living Tradition
  • Chalice or candle and matches
  • Newsprint and markers
  • Paper and pens
  • Index cards

Preparation

  • Appoint workshop facilitator(s).
  • Distribute “Leading a Community in Right Relations” and “Leadership with Vision” and ask everyone to read them before the session begins.

Session Plan

Gathering and Centering, 2 minutes
Light the candle or chalice. Turn to “We Arrive Out of Many Singular Rooms” by Kenneth L. Patton, reading 443 in Singing the Living Tradition, and read responsively.

Focusing, 2 minutes
Review the goals of the workshop and the workshop process with the group. Invite participants to discuss and agree upon the group’s guidelines for openness and sharing. Say something like,
There is much potential for open sharing throughout this program. On many occasions we will invite participants to share what may be intimate material. Therefore, it is important that people speak only when they are comfortable; it is always okay to pass if people choose not to share. By establishing a norm of respect for each other and our expression within the group, we want to ensure safety and right relations for all participants.

Engage participants in discussing the value of respect and confidentiality in a group and the destructive effects of sarcasm and put-downs. Print your group’s guidelines for openness and sharing on newsprint, and post it as a reminder for each session.

Reflecting and Exploring, 105 minutes
For 10 minutes, ask the group to silently review Handout 5, Assessment Questions for Effective Religious Leadership, and the eight characteristics of the transformational leader as named by Ken Brown and Angela Merkert on page 21. Ask them to note what strikes them as particularly new, insightful, or challenging. Go around the group for 15 minutes, asking each person to name one highlight they noted. Write them on the newsprint and follow with discussion, making sure that everyone gets to name at least one highlight from (if time allows, do a second round of sharing). In the second 15 minutes, see if there is consensus about what makes for transformational leadership in your congregation. Post the newsprint where everyone can read it.
Explain to the group that they are now going to write a covenant for the group. The covenant should describe how they seek to be together when doing the work of the congregation as leaders. Ask them to keep in mind the work they have just completed about effective transformational leadership.

Pass out the index cards and pencils. Ask each participant to do the following for 5 minutes:

  • On one side of the card, write three things that you promise to the group.
  • On the other side, write three things that you want the group to promise to you.

Ask participants to form pairs and share their promises for 5 minutes and their expectations for another 5 minutes.

Ask each pair to spend 10 minutes writing a covenant based on promises and expectations. Encourage them to work for consensus.

Have two pairs merge into a foursome and share their two covenants for 10 minutes. Then, by consensus, write a covenant for the foursome for 10 minutes. (If time permits and there are enough people to merge into groups of eight, continue.)

Ask participants to merge the statements together by consensus to create a group covenant. Work on this as long as possible. Then give it to a volunteer wordsmith to make the finishing touches and distribute it to the group for final approval.

Integrating, 10 minutes
With everyone back together, ask each participant to name one insight they had during the exercise.

Closing, 2 minutes
Turn to reading 434 in Singing the Living Tradition and read it in unison.

Extinguish the chalice or candle.

For more information contact safecongregations @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, April 22, 2011.

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