Rapport and Communication Breakthrough In Alice Springs

Rapport and Communication Breakthrough In Alice Springs

Alice Springs 2014 Week 1 – Amanda Hamill

My first morning with the group was definitely a very different feel to any groups I have been with before…………… my first thought was ” Wow a tough crowd!” Eight sets of very blank eyes staring at me. My first thought was I hope someone other than me will actually speak! As it worked out after some brief introductions communication commenced. None of the participants knew each other but of course they all had things in common.

I gave the group a fun, light hearted account of who I am, and what the course was about, still no talking. I suggested that noise and discussion was a great thing, in my effort to create a warmish atmosphere despite the 35degrees outside. The first day was all about establishing rapport within the group, and making it ok for everybody to bring themselves to the group. There was a good mix of ages from early 20s to mid 50s. I got the feeling some of the older men were of the opinion that it was going to be a complete waste of time, which was confirmed a little later in the day. So after a shaky start of brief introductions we worked on some engagement rules, which the group, were able to develop. Other topics that were discussed on the first day were values and integrity. Both topics were well received and after much coaxing, discussion and about values went on for the whole afternoon.

Half of My pathways went home sick so I volunteered to take as many participants home as I could fit in, I thanked the universes for this opportunity because it allowed me to gain rapport in a completely non obvious way, this continued throughout the week.

It was very apparent that although this was a Jump Start program it was going to be very flexible in how it all came together, and very different from what I had originally planned. It was necessary to change the way I communicated with this group, as much as I was the trainer it was very necessary to allow them to take the lead in many discussions. They were initiated each morning with a communication activity. I strategically arranged for the group to elect a group leader who would ensure times for breaks etc were maintained. I made sure everyone voted for my elder more dubious gentleman, which turned out to be the best thing. He rose beautifully to the occasion and became completely engaged, plus it meant I didn’t have to be the hard a#&e!

I was so very surprised at how emotionally intelligent this group was, in many ways more advanced than many groups I have worked with. The labels they use are different to my ‘norm’ which is culturally significant. My afternoon drives were my education time, I have learnt about language, tribes and dreamtime stories. One of the participants were able to share with me some of my own history as he came from an area in NT were my parents worked on a cattle station, so it is true, keep people talking long enough and you will find the connection.

As the week progressed job applications were developed for those who had clear ideas of the next step and three participants were offered employment! One has commenced already and two commence next week and the week after, both want to complete the course, which made me feel very happy. It took quite a while for me to work out if the participants were enjoying the course or not but by day three they actually told me they all wanted to be there………….

Imperative

The Community of Doomadgee, QLD Educate Phil

The Community of Doomadgee, QLD Educate Phil

Pop 1400 – Aboriginal community

Day temps 36-37

Overnight temps around 20

MONDAY Day 1

Landed at the Doomadgee airport just before 10am after flying out of Cairns at 6am via Mt Isa. Picked up by Les the site manager with another trainer who flew on the same flight to train ‘White Cards’ to the community.
I was taken to my accommodation by Les. The number 3 ‘dongle’ at the rear of the training room was to be my home for the next 2 weeks.

Les introduced me to Rebecca who was to be my mentor and ensure that the kids were picked up every morning. By midday Rebecca had rounded up 11 and we were away. Did a quick overview of our program and what they could expect, some said they were too busy to attend and had family matters to attend to. The number one driving factor up here is family and everything else is secondary. The group were all aged between 18 – 25
I jumped on the bus with them to go home and a few of the group wanted to show me their community plus a few of their local favourite fishing spots.

No Optus service, so no phone conversations with the outside world.
Telstra have a weak signal with low band width and drops in and out depending on the wind. Thank goodness I have the work ipad with Telstra connection :)

TUESDAY Day 2

To walk from one end of the community to other would take no more than 15 minutes, however if they were still asleep, or not ready for the bus, then Rebecca would make another trip to ensure they would show up.
There was funeral service scheduled this afternoon so many did not show today. Those that did listened to each others ‘stories’ for the morning, before finishing up at midday to get home to be ready for the service. We made them lunch and delivered them all home again on the bus around 1pm.

WEDNESDAY Day 3

Many of the participants had celebrated the funeral service fairly hard last night and consequently the turnout was low and the community was very quiet. This was a day where I really got to understand the community. They taught me some language, and we walked to the river where they chopped a tree branch to make me a boomerang. During the time at the workshop they got present to their creative, cultural and leadership skills. They realised that they were the ones to lead the community in to the future. No one else was coming.
A couple of representatives from Queensland Swim called in looking for volunteers to work as Life Savers. The boys did not hesitate in accepting the training. I drove them over to the Primary School pool at 4 pm where we spent an hour with the ‘dummies’ learning the DRSABC of Life Saving.

THURSDAY Day 4

By 10am and 3 bus trips, we had most of the mob in the ‘cool room’ ready to get the day under way. Today we discussed what was important to them and the community, plus how they could make a difference here in Doomadgee.
They came with amazing values, including education, knowledge and travel.
The only event that comes to Doomadgee is the Rodeo every August.
We looked at what is missing here and they came up with a ‘Doomadgee Sports Day’ where they could have specified aged groups competing in a range of sports. Already they have decided who would lead the committee and which sports they were going to have and the age divisions. Next week, 2 of the Gold Coast Titans are visiting and I’ll have them talk to our Leaders in our Mob.

Around 2pm news had gotten to us that a road fatality just on the outskirts of town had occurred. The families insisted that they come home. There were riots around as blame was being fought out on the streets. Extra police were flown from Mt Isa as the evening wore on. The Royal Flying Doctor Service flew in and transferred the body out just after midnight amongst the grieving and wailing of the locals. The last extra service flew in over our heads at 2:45am. There are still 3 others on the critical list from the accident.

FRIDAY Day 5

Today was declared a day of Shame by community. No one was on the streets and no attendees for any programs showed. There is only one store here and they were shutting at noon as respect. One of the Elders walked by and checked in to make sure we were not working.
Les suggested we stay locked in the compound until Tuesday, as Monday is Labour Day in Queensland. The weekend looks like a perfect time to catch up on my laundry and the back catalogue of reading material I have.

SATURDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY Days 6,7 & 8

The weekend included the Monday Queensland public holiday as Labour Day.
Plenty of reading and writing diary and blog updates.
Watched the Rabbitos win the NRL grand final.
Dropped a lure into the river at the end of the street, no takers.
Another fatality from the Thursday accident, and a young fella had his stomach cut open when he jumped into a local billabong. This resulted in two separate flights by the RFDS over the weekend.

TUESDAY Day 9

Had a new starter today. Many still away still in shock over the last few days events in the community.
I used this time to assist 5 of my mob in getting their ‘white cards’. I have a couple who struggle to write but can understand the requirements. They saw this as a potential opportunity for casual employment. Currently on the outskirts of town there are new besser brick houses on slabs being built by contractors. Occasionally they call in looking for labourers for the day who must have ‘white cards’.
These houses are being built to alleviate the overcrowding of current accommodation.

WEDNESDAY Day 10

Another new starter today. This was an amazing day where we addressed Integrity and applying it to a project that would benefit the community. We mapped out a plan to set up a Doomadgee Sports Carnival, to direct the energies of the younger kids into sport, as opposed to causing damage and vandalism around town. They have designed several underage teams, the team names, and across several sports including Rugby, cricket, AFL & basketball.
Elijah brought in his didgeridoo and played while Hilton & Randell showed me how to dance several dances.
In the afternoon we went out bush in search of a Gutta-percha tree to make some musical boomerangs.
On the way back we called across to the top of the Nicholson River and saw a croc sunbathing on a rock who took off when he heard us. This didn’t stop a few of my mob going for a swim. I declined as I think the crocs prefer white meat!
It was almost 5pm when I dropped off the last of the group.
Got to see the red moon (Mars eclipse) which matched the colour of the soil tonight.

THURSDAY Day 11

Today we had some awesome conversations around responsibility, skills and attributes. They saw they had the capabilities to tackle just about anything that was placed in front of them. Late in the afternoon two blokes from NRL Qld and two of the Gold Coast Titan players visited us. They are looking for leaders in the community to assist in setting up a Rugby carnival for U17 players next month with a view to running a carnival in March 2015. A few of my mob were keen to do this and amazed how their ideas from yesterday were showing up today.

FRIDAY Day 12

Final day. Started at 8:30 with Randell who wanted to finish off my boomerangs today. Five showed up today to meet with the NRL boys and the titans. We escorted Jake out to the airport and headed over to the Primary School for our meeting and planning. The meeting went through until lunchtime and lunch was provided by the school. The team were given a few set tasks to do and were keen to get underway. By the end of the day we had a team name – the ‘SPD (Strong, Proud & Deadly) Crew and the ‘Doomadgee Crocs’ even had a logo.
We did a quick trip across the causeway where they showed me the ‘family tree’ which is just outside the shire limit. It’s the place closest to town where they can consume alcohol legally. There is a stack of empty green cans and yellow cans under this tree. There were a couple of blokes sitting on eskys enjoying a few as we drove by, this is the middle of scrub at 40 plus degrees.
On the way back we spotted a few canvas dwellings set way back off the road. There are many who live this way, out of town.
Dropped them all back around 4pm and Les drove me over to check in for my 5pm flight.
Unfortunately he had to drive me back as there was a 2 ½ hour delay.
Flew out just after 7:30 and landed in Cairns (via Mt Isa) just prior to midnight.

My OBSERVATIONS of this community

• Family come first
• Time is concept
• Possessions are not personal
• Tidying up is not necessary
• Roaming dogs (buganewn) and horses (yaramin) are ignored
• The Bush is home to many
• Goanna is the preferred meat
• Gul Gul (long necked turtle) is the best seafood (2hr drive to the coast)
• Local fruits are the best at the end of the wet season (and free)
• Canned corned beef with tomato sauce can be every meal
• Fridays are optional
• Restrictive alcohol laws do not work
• Alcohol destroys families
• Nothing is urgent
• Connection is vital
• Language is alive
• Belongings cannot be touched, or moved, after death unless a smoking ceremony has taken place
• Uncles, Aunties, Brothers and Sisters are terms of endearment
• Listening and understanding is the key to connection and trust
• Unless you are trusted you will never see the true beauty and real gems of this land

Phil

Bounce Consulting WINS Silver Stevie Award

Bounce Consulting WINS Silver Stevie Award

Bounce Consulting WINS Silver Stevie Award for Company of the year in Business Services

Winners to Be Celebrated at Gala Banquet on 10th October in Paris, France

The International Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small – are eligible to submit nominations. The 2014 IBAs received entries from more than 60 nations and territories.

More than 3,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Company of the Year, Website of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others.  Bounce Consulting won in the Company of the Year category for Business Services.

Maria Smith, Founder & CEO of the dynamic life skills training company Bounce Consulting Pty Ltd is thrilled to announce Bounce has taken out the 2014 Silver International Stevie Award for Company of the Year in Business Services for Australia.

This is the second time this year that Bounce has performed well at the Stevie Awards. In May Bounce walked away with 2 silver Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. One for Woman of the year and the other for Services Company of the year.

 “It’s truly an honour for Bounce Consulting to be awarded the silver Stevie Award for Company of the Year in the Business Services Awards. To be recognised internationally is exhilarating. I am so proud to have such an amazing team and so completely thankful to all the Employment Service Providers that have trusted and supported Bounce and our programs!” ~ Maria Smith, Founder and CEO – Bounce Consulting

Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from May through early August.

“We congratulate all of the Stevie winners in this year’s IBAs,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.  “The quality of entries we receive improves every year.  This year’s judges were rewarded with the opportunity to review more than 3,500 stories of business achievement and innovation from around the world.  We look forward to celebrating the winners’ achievements in Paris on 10 October.”

Details about The International Business Awards and the lists of Stevie Award winners are available atwww.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Kelly Mason

Operations Manager
Bounce Consulting Pty Ltd

PH: +61 419 326 694
PH (Office): +61 3 5416 1254
E: kelly[at]bounceconsulting.com.au

Bounce Consulting WINS Silver Stevie Award

Bounce Named in 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards

Source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/Asias-Top-Businesses-Named-in-2014-Asia-Pacific-Stevie-Awards-1903854.htm


Bounce Consulting has just welcomed their second Stevie award

Winners in the new Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards, the only business awards program to recognise achievement in business throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region, were announced today with Bounce Consulting achieving a Silver Asia-Pacific Stevie under the Services Company of the Year – Australia category. Not only has Bounce been honoured with this award, Bounce CEO Maria Smith was also honoured with a Silver Asia-Pacific Stevie Award for Woman of the Year – Australia.

“It’s an honour, truly an honour to be recognised internationally with such an amazing award. I am so proud to have such an amazing team. A big thank you to all Bounce supporters and especially my bounce family!” ~ Maria Smith, Founder and CEO – Bounce Consulting

The Stevie Awards are widely considered to be the world’s premier business awards, conferring recognition for achievement in the workplace over the past 12 years in programs such as The International Business Awards and the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are the first new Stevie Awards program to be created in seven years.
Stevie winners will be celebrated and presented their awards at a gala banquet at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, South Korea on Friday, 30 May.

As well as Bounce other Stevie Award winners include:

  • AirAsia Berhad, Malaysia
  • ABS-CBN, the Philippines
  • Billabong International Ltd, Australia
  • Fast Retailing Co. Ltd, Japan
  • Huawei Technologies, China
  • Hyundai Steel, South Korea
  • Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd, Singapore

The complete list of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners is available at http://Asia.StevieAwards.com.

All organisations in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region were eligible to submit entries. Nominations of more than 500 organisations were considered for the awards this year.
More than 50 executives around the world participated in the first round of judging to determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners. A second judging panel will choose a very few Grand Stevie Award winners beginning the first week of May.

The Stevie Award trophy, made by the company that makes the Oscar and other major international awards, is among the world’s most coveted prizes.

For more information about the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, visit http://Asia.StevieAwards.com.

About the Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in five programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. Honouring organisations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognise outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com, and follow the Stevie Awards on Twitter @TheStevieAwards.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Kelly Mason
Operations Manager

Bounce Consulting Pty Ltd
PH: +61 419 326 694
PH (Office): +61 3 5416 1254
E: kelly[at]bounceconsulting.com.au

Job readiness training — with an Australian twist

Job readiness training — with an Australian twist

Source: http://www.telegram.com/article/20140223/COLUMN73/302239995/ | By Aaron Nicodemus

The Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board has brought in an Australian company to help low-income young people find jobs — and more importantly, to keep them.

Bounce Consulting, founded in 2006, has employed its unique brand of life-coaching and social skills training only in Australia. Worcester is Bounce’s first attempt to translate its success there to the U.S.

This week, Worcester youths age 17 to 21 met with Bounce trainers for a week-long orientation program. The youths will be placed in jobs throughout the community for seven weeks, to be coached by Bounce trainers before and after work. Eventually, 100 young people in Worcester will go through the Bounce program.

According to Bounce CEO Maria Smith, about 85 percent of the participants in Australia have gone on to get jobs, she said. In Australia, the program is not limited to youths but is available to job seekers of all ages, she said.

I asked her about job-retention rates, that is, how long those job seekers kept their jobs, but she did not have those figures at her fingertips.

“We are really bringing in a layer of emotional intelligence,” said Ms. Smith, who has been in Worcester for the past week. “This is a buzzword in terms of corporate America. Anyone can learn a skill, but it’s hard to teach social awareness, to show how to act in all kinds of social interactions.”

The program, she explained, first works with job seekers to get them to “engage” with the Bounce trainers. The trainers work with the job seekers to build their confidence, to clarify their employment goals and to develop realistic next steps to make those goals happen. That is in addition to the basic job-finding techniques of how to look for jobs, how to write résumés and how to act and dress in job interviews.

Bounce is a for-profit company that is funded by federal tax dollars in Australia, she said. Here, at least in Worcester, it will be funded with state money.

Jeff Turgeon, the executive director of the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, said the Bounce program came to his attention at a workforce conference held in Central Massachusetts, where Ms. Smith was a speaker. He was “blown away,” he remembered.

“It’s a new approach on delivering very old material in a totally new way,” he said. “There is a whole new level of focus with this program. They build up a rapport with the job seekers, they talk to them about verbal and nonverbal communication. It’s a completely different take on job readiness training, and I’m really excited about it.”

Bounce Consulting “offers life-changing courses and products designed to help job seekers build confidence, break down mental roadblocks and hone skills, changing the lives of countless executives, at-risk teens and even the homeless, as well as the broader business and professional community with ongoing training contracts in sales motivation, business planning, and community and personal development programs,” according to its press release.

Ms. Smith has published a book, “The Guide to Getting the Job You Want,” and has been in Worcester with two Australian trainers, getting the program here up and running. Eventually, American trainers will take over from the Aussies.

Helping young people find jobs has been a particularly vexing problem for as long as state government has been trying to help them.

While unemployment nationwide for all age groups hovers around 7 percent, for young people, the rate is usually double that rate.

According to data provided by Generation Opportunity, a conservative nonprofit organization advocating for economic opportunity for young adults, the overall U.S. unemployment rate for youths age 18 to 29 was 15.9 percent in December 2013.

For African Americans, the rate was 24.2 percent, and it was 16.7 percent for Hispanics.

If Bounce can turn some of these numbers around, perhaps it will be implemented elsewhere in the U.S.

Worcester, it seems, is the test case.

Maria bounces into the American market

Maria bounces into the American market

Source: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/2078170/maria-bounces-into-the-american-market/ | By Chris Pedler Feb. 10, 2014, 5 p.m.

EXPANDING: Maria Smith’s employment consultancy business is launching in America. Picture:

A BUSINESS and its Carisbrook origins is expanding into America.

Maria Smith’s business Bounce Consulting will launch a pilot program for the stage government of Massachusetts this week.

The program is a result of a meeting at the White House in July with President Obama’s chief technology officer Todd Park and a lot of back and forth since then.

Bounce Consulting focuses on helping people find employment and improve their lives against the odds.

“It’s been running for seven and a half years,” Ms Smith said.

“I think (the US) like (the program) because it has got results and we have a consistency to our product.”

Ms Smith said the unemployment scene in America is different to Australia in that there is no unemployment benefits or insurance.

“If you are unemployed long term you get support for about a year,” she said.

Currently the US unemployment rate is at 6.7 per cent. It has recently dropped but President Obama’s team is hoping Bounce Consulting’s program can make it drop further.

“It’s been pretty incredible. Obama’s legacy is to leave something for the long-term unemployed. We will see how it goes (in Massachusetts) and then decide whether to roll it out nationally,” Ms Smith said. “I’m from Maryborough, it’s exciting to have this experience.”

The program links in with employment agencies to give those seeking work valuable life skills, including people in prison and those who are homeless.

Ms Smith said seven staff and seven trainers, including people overseas, worked for the agency.

At the same time, Bounce Consulting is expanding through regional Victoria.

In March it will launch a youth program in Bendigo.

The federally funded program focus on youth health and well being as well as creating career and personal goals for the participants.

“Part of it will see the kids cold calling for job (opportunities),” Ms Smith said.

“We’re conditioned to apply online or just send your resume in rather than sitting in front of someone who can help you get a job.”