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Peer Bulletin No. 75 (December 1, 2000)
ISSN: 1488-6774


Approximately 1600 people attended the International Coach Federation <www.coachfederation.org> Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia which was held October 26-28, 2000. While this is the premier conference for coaches, the messages of the various keynoters will be of value to everyone involved with mentoring and peer assistance.

Rey Carr has prepared a report which details the key points delivered by featured keynote speakers Julio Olalla, David Whyte, Richard Brodie, Rich Fettke, and Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Links are provided to books written by or references made by the various keynoters. He also summarizes the various issues and trends which emerged during the conference and describes the conference experience for persons who were unable to attend.

The report even has a section at the end where people can leave a reaction or opinion regarding the report or provide their own conference perspective. Judging by the number and quality of reactions so far, the report has added value for people who attended the conference and has provided an inexpensive way of being at the conference for those who could not attend.

Peer Network members can view the report at <www.peer.ca/coaching.html>.

The American Counseling Association (ACA) has announced a new national yearly award to recognize mentors in the counselling profession. The David K. Brooks Jr. Distinguished Mentor Award will be given to a person who has helped to strengthen the counseling profession by serving as a role model and mentor to others in the profession. The Award includes an honorarium of $50,000 and nomination forms are available by calling ACA Member Services (800) 347-6647 ext 222. Further information about the Distinguished Mentor Award as well as all other awards provided by ACA can be found on their website <www.counseling.org>.

All to often the term "evaluation" conjures up images of complicated procedures and extensive surveys. Practitioners are often worried about the amount of time required and, in some cases, the degree of intrusion into the operations of the peer program. A recent article summary added to the Peer Resources Annotated Bibliography <www.peer.ca/Docs.html> described a simple, easy to implement, and rich-feedback oriented evaluation approach.

The article, "A Recent Look at Peer Helper Training," published in Vol. 17, No. 3 issue of thePeer Facilitator Quarterly describes how this focus group approach to evaluation was applied to both high school peer helpers and their adult sponsors. The authors asked each group to respond to the following five questions (slightly altering the wording of the questions to make them appropriate for each group): (1) describe what an observer would see if the observer were to be present during your interaction with the person you were helping; (2) describe the steps in problem-solving that you engage in with the person you are helping; (3) what kind of referrals have you made; (4) in what kind of situations have you had to set limits: and (5) in what ways has being a peer helper influenced you personally.

The adult sponsors were asked the same questions, but the wording was changed to focus on the peer helpers. For example, the first question above would be altered to read: describe what you would see if you observed a peer helper interacting with the person he or she was helping. Each of the questions yields valuable information to prepare an evaluation and, as an added bonus for practitioners, provides feedback as to what might need additional training and clarification. Although the article focused on a student-led peer program, the focus group model and the type of questions asked can be applied to virtually all peer programs.

Everyone today is grappling with managing their over-committed work and personal lives, taking responsibility for their own career management, and ensuring their employability. Meanwhile, organizations understand they need to respond effectively to these challenges to attract and retain the new worker. One of the best career self-management programs has been successfully implemented in over 2,000 organizations worldwide by Dr. Barbara Moses, an international career guru, best-selling author, and Rey Carr's personal favorite for career journalism; and Joan Hill, a leading career development practitioner.

These two specialists are offering a Career Planning Workshop in Toronto (Canada) February 8, 2001. This workshop will focus on (1) key work trends that will affect your career and personal future; (2) how to operate in an intergenerational world; (3) the skills and competencies for future employability and success; (4) your unique profile, including your core strengths, competencies and preferences; (5) the environment you are most successful and effective in; (6) squished, squashed, sliced and diced, balancing work and personal life; (7) your key values, giving meaning to your life; (8) the new worker, including six motivational profiles; (9) new rules for career success; and (10) your personal development plan.

The cost for the workshop is $495 plus GST and includes your personal copy of the Career Planning Workbook and a light lunch. It will take place at the Hilton Toronto (416) 869-3456; 145 Richmond Street West (at University). Coffee will be served at 8:30 and the session will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. To register or obtain more information, contact Joan Hill, Tel: (905) 271-2914; Fax: (905) 271-0474.For more information about career planning, visit <www.bbmcareerdev.com>.

Written in non-academic prose and filled with practical examples, case studies and check lists, The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work by Suzanne Skiffington and Perry Zeus, is the most comprehensive book yet authored on the contemporary involvement of coaches in the business and executive development world. Both authors, who are located in Australia, have extensive coaching experience and in addition to writing this book provide coaching seminars and workshops, a coaching resource network, lectures, and a professional development club for coaches.

The new book can serve as both a reference text for experienced coaches and a "how-to" book for coaches seeking instruction. Topics include business coaching, executive coaching, the manager as coach, coaching skills and issues. All of these chapters include relevant examples, practical guides, and well-organized writing.

The authors underscore the importance of coaching as a learning opportunity and show how to establish a learning culture, help businesses identify their learning strengths and weaknesses, recognize learning styles of both individuals and groups, and provide tips on how coaches can build on learning styles to help clients deal with obstacles, resistance, and other barriers.

The book also includes a section on how coaching can be applied to the specific areas of call centres, sales, and career coaching. These unique applications reflect the authors' widespread experience, and at the same time highlight the ways in which coaching can be used to deal with modern technology as well as its potential outcomes such as job loss or change.

Because the book has limited availability in North America (since it was published initially in Australia) Peer Resources has made special arrangements with the publisher, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, to provide the book to PRN members at a discount. If you are interested in ordering a copy of this book which retails for $45.95, visit Peer Resources' Top Books in Coaching <www.peer.ca/coaching.html> or go directly to the ordering page at <www.peer.ca/coachpubs.html>. PRN members receive a $10.00 discount from the distribution price.


First, research from around North America confirms that early and prolonged tobacco use by pre-teens significantly increases the likelihood that teens will increase their use of and become addicted to other more harmful substances, including cocaine, heroin and other illegal drugs.

This research has been demonstrated so consistently that tobacco has been described as the "gateway" drug which invariably leads to the use of other drugs.

Second, research has led some of the most respected scientists around the world to conclude that the longer a young person can delay involvement with tobacco, the less likely they will become addicted to or engage in prolonged use of tobacco.

The powerful implication of the delay findings research is that intervention strategies must be directed towards young people early enough in their lives to prevent their attraction to tobacco. In this way their involvement with tobacco will be delayed, reduced or eliminated and consequently the "gateway" characteristic of tobacco will be counteracted.

Third, research studies of both a quantitative and qualitative nature have continually shown that pre-teens and teens are significantly influenced by their peers. Studies that I have personally conducted and studies by others that I have thoroughly reviewed have shown that peers can be used to be a source of positive, helpful, and beneficial decisions, behaviours, and actions. These studies contradict the common assumption that peers are only a source of negative influence or harmful peer pressure.

The implications from this peer influence research is that peers can be used to increase the resilience and strength of young people to learn a variety of skills and behaviours that contribute to their health and wellness. Typically these type of programs are called peer counselling, peer helping or peer education programs.

Finally, recent research conducted in New Brunswick has shown that when a peer helping program has been established in a school and then an additional peer program is added that focuses exclusively on peer-led tobacco reduction strategies, there is a much greater likelihood that students will delay their involvement with or attraction to tobacco.

In other words in those communities where peer programs have been established first and students are additionally trained to provide specific assistance with tobacco related issues to other students, those communities will not only find fewer of their young people smoking, they will also find fewer of their young people involved with other illegal and deadly drugs.

This Holiday Season is a good time to consider how and what we can do to pass on our wisdom and spirit. My hope is that all of us can reach out to at least one other person we do not know and offer the warmth of peer assistance, the support of mentorship, and the soul of coaching. All the best for the Holidays.

PRN members with at least one full-year as a member are eligible for discounts on all Peer Resources workshops. A full year as a member will yield a five percent discount on the normal registration fee. Two years yields ten percent; three years yields fifteen percent, and so on.

To register online or to obtain details about any workshop, visit the Peer Resources website at <www.peer.ca/trng.html>.

July 17-21, 2001, Victoria, BC

July 5-6, 2001, Victoria, BC

March 3-4, 2001, Kitchener, Ontario

(Includes a peer mediation focus)
December 11-15, 2000, Victoria, BC
March 12-16, 2001, Montreal
July 17-21, 2001, Victoria, BC

May 16-18, 2001, Santa Fe, New Mexico
July 9-11, 2001, Victoria, BC

July 12-13, 2001 in Victoria, BC

Previous issues of the Peer Bulletin are located on the Peer Resources website: <www.peer.ca/peer.html>. Your PRN userid and password are required to access previous issues.

If you want to reply to any of the items in this Bulletin, send your reply to the e-mail address listed in the item or to: <rcarr@islandnet.com>. Do not use your reply function or reply to this list.

The Peer Bulletin is distributed once a month by e-mail only to members of the Peer Resources Network. All content in the Peer Bulletin is covered by copyright held by Peer Resources. Permission to reproduce or redistribute of any items within the Peer Bulletin is given only to members of the Peer Network. When material is reproduced or copied it should include the following acknowledgment: Reproduced with permission by Peer Network member (name). Membership in the Peer Network is available on a fee basis from Peer Resources <helpful@islandnet.com>.

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