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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Chapter 6: Group Focus Session 3: Supporting Transitions


Group Size: Seminar group-8-12 students

Time Needed: 45 to 60 minutes

Physical Set up: Circle or at a conference table

Materials: Overhead projector, Handout and transparency of the Personalities of Change matrices, Activity Sheet, Student journals

Procedure: Meet & Greet:
Share journal entry from previous session relating to support needed during transitions.

Record student responses and inform students that their personalities influence the kind of support they will need during the change process. Have students analyze their responses according to the prototype matrices. Discuss whether the matrices reflect their needs according to their talent prototype.

Tell the students that they are they have been chosen to be members of the Ambassadors Club in school. The charge for the committee is to find ways to support change for those who will be leaving the school and those who will be arriving.

Distribute the activity sheet, "Different Strokes for Different Folks" and have students work in pairs. They must first decide which of the strategies listed align to transition needs according to prototype. Then add additional ideas until all types of needs are met.

Follow up: Share ideas and discuss any insights gained during activity.

Reflection: Journal entry: Do you think there should be a Student Ambassador's Committee in your school? Why or why not?

Practical Manager: Champion for Pragmatism
Gernerally Cautious about change!

How we view change:
Generally opposed to change.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
What support we require during transitions: Proof of the need.  Understanding the efficacy of the recommendations.  Schedule for the transition.  Need all the details worked out ahead of time.  Need to proceed slowly.
How we help during transitions:  We can organize things during the transition.  We can keep records and receipts.  We will follow through.
How we can hinder the process: Perfectionism.  Over committing.  We can get confused if we are presented with too many options.

Learned Expert: Seeker of Knowledge
Change is okay under the right circumstances.

How we view change: Will support change if there is a logical reason for it.  If people have researched it first and found good reasons for it, we will support it.  So we often say things like "Yes, but...."
What support we require during transitions:  Carefully researched plans that are logical.  We need to be provided with the big picture.  What is the vision at the end of the tunnel?  We need to understand the benefits of the change and how the change will help us grow intellectually.
How we help during transitions:  We will research the aspects of the change like finding facts about the new location.  We can evaluate objectively.  We will be able to share the big picture.  Act as the voice of reason if others are upset or arguing.
How we can hinder the process:  We can become bossy and act like we know it all.  We can make sarcastic comments when we are feeling overwhelmed.  We may become disinterested especially about mundane matters.

People Person: Master of Harmony
Enjoy change especially if we are all in it together.

How we view change: Enjoy change, but only when it feels right.  "I have a gut feeling about this."
What support we require during transitions:  People to suport us.  We need to be assured that our friends will be included or involved in some way.  We nee to feel included in the decision-making.
How we help during transitions:  We can act as a cheerleader.  We can take the pulse of others around us to see how they are feeling about the change.  We can provide a hug when needed.
How we can hinder the process:  We might protect others from responsibility.  If we are sad or overwhelmed we can appear unfocused.  We might not attend to the schedule or detailed directions.  We must learn to be an "in the box" thinker.

Creative Problem Solver: Flair for Adventure
Lovers of change.

How we view change:  Change is necessary.  We love the process.  "Go for it."
What support we require during transitions:  We need to have some choice in the process.  Don't bother us with details.  We need to have fun or see opportunities for fun in the process.
How we help during transitions: We can come up with the most  creative solutions and be very convincing if necessary.  We have lots of charisma and a great sense of humor to help with the process.
How we can hinder the process: Be careful, we can exploit others if stressed.  We can be unpredictable and take risks.  We don't take no for an answer and can sidestep rules.

Differen Strokes for Different Folks:
A Table of Possibilities

Strategy                  Practical         Learned        People        Creative
                                  Manager         Expert          Person        Problem

Websites available
for international
schools within the

Before I leave
To Do list.

School memory

Column in the school
newspaper for "foreign
correspondents," i.e.
former students who wish
to stay in touch.

Create a list for the
region where seniors
will be attending
university, so they can
discover others
attending the same

Welcome committee
and peer mentor

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