SECS operates as a Center for Working Families (CWF), which is a comprehensive approach to employment, self-sufficiency, and financial stability. Our work uses the Co-Active Coaching model to guide our work with clients (neighbors). Co-Active coaching is a model of being with neighbors that challenges participants and coaches to be intentionally collaborative and active in solving neighbor problems.
A particular form of curiosity between coach and neighbor in the model takes the form of what we call “powerful questions.” Asking rather than telling is at the foundation of our work, and the powerful question is a cornerstone.
There are more than a hundred such questions at appropriate times and we use them to guide neighbors deeper into understanding their situations, their wants, and their needs. We’ve particularly noticed that we hear some truly “powerful” answers to these powerful questions. One neighbor, for example, noted when asked “What do you want?” that “I wanna quit quittin’ and I wanna quit givin’ up.” Another man, when setting goals for his education noted that “I want to give my daughter a better chance at life and a better life and make sure that the people she looks up to are educated and know about how life stops when you are addicted to drugs.”
Powerful answers like these, we feel, should be shared. They tell a story of a community and some of its most vulnerable residents. It’s our goal, then, with our Powerful Questions project to share these stories through these neighbors’ words. We’ve collected some powerful answers to powerful questions already, but we will actively collect many more of these answers from neighbors involved in Center for Working Families programming.
Want to answer one of our powerful questions? Find us on Facebook and watch for our Powerful Questions posts. We also plan to be at community events late summer and this fall with the Powerful Questions Project.