Social confidence

We develop young people's social confidence by giving them opportunity to talk about issues that they feel passionately about in progressively challenging situations.

 

An engaging topic of conversation

Our young people are often overly anxious about what others think of them in social situations. By using social action as a vehicle for development we get young people to regard opportunites for social interaction as an opportunity to change people's veiws about the issues they feel passionately about.

What’s more, young people often have lived experience of the issues they choose to tackle through their projects and are aware that they often know more about the subject than the people they are talking to.  Employees from our business partners are often fascinated by young people’s experiences and opinions on topical social problems and thus provide a genuinely interested audience.

 

Opportunites for practice

We provide opportunities for young people to practice interacting with people they do not know in progressively unfamiliar situations.

  • We start with getting people to voice their opinions within their team

  • Next we provide opportunities to explore ideas in small groups of three or four young people with a business mentor in a workplace environment.

  • Cross-school events give the opportunity to interact with pupils from other schools and give formal presentations in front of peers.  There are always at least two opportunities to do this.

  • Participants progress to giving formal presentations in a workplace.

  • The most demanding opportunity is a facilitated networking exercise where young people need to initiate a conversation with adults that they do not know.

 

A supportive environment

By providing a supportive enviroment, we ensure that young people have positve experiences.

  • Our Coaches facilitate group work to ensure that all young people’s voices are heard.  In some cases it can be weeks before a young people will speak up in front of others but we provide other opportunities for them to express their ideas in group work, such as on post-it stickers, so that we can ensure that they feel that their ideas are of value.

  • Our cross-school events offer a particularly supportive environment because participants know that everyone else attending is feeling just as nervous as they are. We ensure that teams offer each other a respectful audience and young people give each other positive feedback.

  • We train our mentors in questioning and feedback techniques in order that they give young people opportunities to talk about their achievements on the programme.  Our business

 

We also give young people techniques to manage their nerves in social situations, however the key reason why we are effective in developing social confidence is that we do this whilst simultaneously developing self-confidence.  By giving young people opportunities to experience success and be recognised for helping others within their community, they feel valued and more confident within themselves.  If you are happy with who you are, then you are much less worried about others judging you.