It can feel natural to devote your energies towards coping instead of thriving during a crisis. When national focus rests so squarely on one thing, the big picture can get a little fuzzy as it’s pushed to the peripheries. But at times like these, the principles of Advantaged Thinking are more important than ever for ensuring your young people, staff and service continue to thrive and grow. Here’s some inspiration from down under to get your Advantaged Thinking juices flowing!

Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) in Melbourne was one of the first Australian organisations to embrace Advantaged Thinking, working closely with Colin Falconer over the last decade. The team used these principles to help shape the design of the successful Education First Youth Foyer model, and last year produced an inspiring research report on its longitudinal impact. Alongside its support for the growing Australian Foyer network, BSL also leads a community of practice for youth organisations applying an Advantaged Thinking approach as part of on a national Transitions to Work programme across Australia.

Last week, BSL’s internal Youth Team held an Advantaged Thinking style think tank meeting to reflect on how Advantaged Thinking can support people through the current troubles. These are some of the insights they shared with us:

  • See it as a learning opportunity and focus on information sharing
  • Believe we will get through this, it will end
  • Be grateful for what we have, every day
  • Grab the opportunities as they arise, take advantage of the change
  • Invest in supporting people through the change, raising consciousness of staff
  • Focus on what we can do instead of what we can’t do
  • Be kind and respect each other, look after ourselves so we can look out for others
  • Practice good communication practices, it’s the little things that can make a big difference
  • Use this time to challenge ourselves and find comfort in Advantaged Thinking; know to think positively and look to resources for stability through the change
  • Important to acknowledge the efforts of everyone during this time, everyone is trying their best
  • Need to keep our eye on the ‘thriving’ prize; keep working towards the aspirational future vision and achieving goals
  • Control what we can control, establish good routines and focus on the little things
  • Rethink how we use the digital space, opening it up to future-focused work – it will support us going forward.

How is your service using the principles of Advantaged Thinking to get the best for young people during this ever-changing time? Let us know at [email protected].

The Foyer Federation is registered in England and Wales under company number 2699839 at Work.Life, Core Building, 30 Brown Street, Manchester, M2 1DH. The charity is registered under charity number 1040482.
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