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Biography Work is a process for enabling participants to reflect on their own lives. In a nutshell increasing personal awareness helps them take greater responsibility for and control over their lives. It also gives them a greater ability to face everyday difficulties and grow stronger through challenges rather than cracking and feeling overpowered. Clearly this is of great value both to the individual and the employer, especially given the number of people who become less productive because of stress.
The process makes use of and develops several skill areas, often called soft skills, which contribute to a better interaction with other people:
Listening skills by separating out the listening – reflection – judgement – action process for more effective listening and problem solving
Raising awareness of the need for personal growth for both personal and working life
Self awareness of what is important to the participant
Broadening of experience
More effective communication skills by raising participants’ awareness of objective and subjective aspects of communication
Learning to detect the learning opportunity in difficult situations
Awareness of the impression the participant makes on other people
The three ingredients of the process are to improve self-knowledge, find golden threads in their lives and gain insight in to the meaning of events in their lives.
The process’ focus on self-knowledge has a deepening effect on the individual so that s/he becomes a person of initiative. A further effect is that s/he has greater staying power in the face of adversity and is able to draw on creative soul powers when dealing with difficulties. Increased self-knowledge gives the participant more resources for dealing with everyday events.
The process’ focus on golden threads looks at the issue of key questions in the participants’ life. Everyone has events or questions in their life that keep coming up again and again. By becoming aware of these the participant is able to start taking active steps to dealing with the issue. Having dealt with the past the participant no longer has to keep returning to old issues and consequently is able to move on in life. The relevance of prioritising and goal setting becomes particularly relevant here
The process’ focus on meaning is the most difficult yet the most rewarding. Here we look at perspectives, which can enable the participant to put events into a meaningful context. At this level the participant experiences through his/her own life the challenge of taking responsibility for his/her life as well as the reward of gaining control. The participant sees the importance of becoming a person of initiative and as a result of the 3 areas of focus is better equipped to do so.
Feedback from previous participants on the course
The team members become much closer despite having lots to do
It is important to be able to be “somewhere else” (deal with personal issues)
Good to see colleagues from another perspective
Safe yet personal
Plenty of room for self reflection
Good that it wasn’t result orientated
It was helpful to have an outsider
It was related to the present and useful for looking a current problems
Great for getting to know colleagues, who were new
Safe yet with the possibility of testing personal boundaries
Felt safe being able to choose experiences ourselves
We worked on one level to solve the impossible
It increase knowledge about as well as insight and understanding for other human beings
Good for working together
Good method for going from the objective to the subjective and being able to keep apart thoughts, feelings and will.