Developing a collective perspective

Reflection is essential for one more reason. In your work as a peer navigator you will draw on your own lived experience, personal skills and training to help clients who may have different experiences. So how do you do this?

An earlier topic talked about reflecting on your identity, your power and privilege as the first step in creating a culturally safe environment. This means a space in which clients can feel free to express their own experience and perspectives.

This creates a learning opportunity for you, and it means no client comes ’empty-handed’ — when you are upfront about learning, clients always have stories to share.

The end result of continuous learning is what the W3 project calls ‘collective perspective.’ Led by Associate Professor Graham Brown, the W3 project looks at the learning practices and flows of knowledge that take place in peer services.

Individual and group reflection allow peer navigators to develop a collective perspective that includes awareness of the different needs, identities and experiences that exist within the broader positive community.

This makes it easier for you to connect with clients with different experiences and backgrounds from your own. It also means you can advocate for a broader range of client needs, not just relying on your own personal story/experience.

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