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Guiding Circles Trina Bučko National Director, Organizational Inclusion Strategies. Agenda. Introductions Building the 10 minute network Background of Guiding Circles Overview Guiding Circles themes Four Challenges Guiding Circles addresses Part I : Understanding Yourself

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Guiding Circles

Trina Bučko

National Director, Organizational Inclusion Strategies

  • Introductions
    • Building the 10 minute network
  • Background of Guiding Circles
  • Overview Guiding Circles themes
    • Four Challenges Guiding Circles addresses
  • Part I : Understanding Yourself
    • Favourite Things Activity
    • Stepping Stones
  • Part II: Finding New Possibilities
    • Even More Possibilities
    • Expanding the Decision Circle
  • Summary, Q & A
  • How you can get involved
challenge our personal conventions perceptions
Challenge our Personal Conventions & Perceptions

Don’t see what is actually there.

background of guiding circles
Background of Guiding Circles
  • The Aboriginal Human Resource Council, in partnership with Guiding Circles authors (Amundson, McCormick & Poehnell), launched the program in 2003.
  • Combines contemporary career theories with an Aboriginal perspective
    • story telling, community involvement, medicine wheel.
  • Capacity building program that offers a flexible, practical and innovative approach.
  • Have engaged over 1800 practitioners and distributed over 20,000 workbooks.

Guiding CirclesPart II: Finding New PossibilitiesFocus: Career Exploration & Decision Making

What Can I do?

sample of our clients
Sample of our clients


  • York, Brock, & Ottawa Universities
  • Northwest, Nova Scotia, & Assiniboine Community Colleges
  • Toronto, Prairie Spirit, & Delta District School Boards

Youth & social initiatives

  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
  • First Nations Social Development Society
  • Corcan

Employers & Aboriginal employment strategies

  • Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines
  • Yukon Mine Training Association
  • Matachewan's Aboriginal Access to Mining Jobs Training Strategy
  • ShooniyaaWa-Biitong

Aboriginal communities

  • TetlitGwich’in Council
  • Kativik Regional Government
  • Meadow Lake Tribal Council Oil & Gas Secretariat
  • Carcross/Tagish First Nation
four challenges for the non mainstream client
Four challenges for the non-mainstream client
  • Need for culturally sensitive tools and processes
  • Sense of disconnection with the mainstream world of learning and work
  • Lack of positive & focused self reflection.
  • Enculturated humility

Need for culturally sensitive tools & processes

  • Majority of career tools use a business based language & approach
  • For some Aboriginal people, there could be conflicts in sense of individual vs. community decision making approach
  • Need for life story to be the starting point for career
  • Coaching setting is often formal

Disconnectionwithwork and school

  • Learning is often only recognized in the formal education sense of degrees, diplomas, etc
  • How do we qualify life lessons or teachings from family, community & elders?
  • Work is often recognized only in the “paid” work we do
  • How do we recognize the work done in our life roles with family or community?

Lack of Positive Self-Reflection

To answer the question


I must first know who



To answer the question…


One must be able to freely say…

I AM __________

lack of positive focused self reflection
Lack of positive & focused self reflection
  • “I don’t know…”
  • “I’m not good at anything…”
  • “They say I am pretty good at…”
  • “I can tell you a lot about this activity…”
  • “What are you going to do… maybe I should too.”

Enculturated Humility

  • “don’t brag about yourself..”
  • “you’re just like all the others..”
  • “don’t think you’re special…”
  • Often in community we are taught not be boastful…but what happens when we are sent on a job interview?
  • Sell yourself!
  • We need to help our people find a comfortable balance between these concepts


Five-year plan




Engage where the person is engaged in life!!


understanding yourself
Understanding Yourself
  • Connections
  • Telling Your Story
  • Patterns
  • Values
  • Favourite Things
  • Balance
  • Expanding the circle
  • 10 things I want in my work life
  • Stepping Stones
  • The Journey Continues

last time?

cost or free?

Favourite Things

up to 12 things I like to do

planned or spontaneous?

alone or with others?

mind, body, emotion, spirit?


Stepping Stones

1. vision

Imagine having reached your goal...describe what it looks like in detail

Often we rush from vision to action..

without considering or being aware of decisions

that need to occur daily

2. decision

What were the necessary steps you took to make your vision happen?

3. action

What are the key actions to help move you toward your vision?

finding new possibilities
Finding New Possibilities
  • Connections
  • Possibilities, More Possibilities, Even More Possibilities
  • Spirit of Entrepreneurship
  • Narrowing the Path
  • Career Info Circle
  • Getting the Info
  • Comparing Circles
  • Looking Down the Path
  • Expanding the Decision Circle
  • Career is a journey, a path … not just a destination
  • We must prepare people not for the one perfect job but for the life long journey
even more possibilities
Even More Possibilities

What is the problem with career goals like “nurse” or “teacher”?

Too general

It is difficult to make specific decisions from generalities

generating even more possibilities
Generating Even More Possibilities

Nursing… what are the possibilities

  • What do nurses do?
  • What are some of the kinds of nurses?
  • Where do nurses work?
  • What other types of businesses or organizations also use nurses/medical care?
  • What services support nursing?
nursing and even more possibilities
Nursing…and even more possibilities
  • Registered nurse
  • Nursing assistant
  • Dental assistant
  • Midwife
  • Medical social worker
  • Dietician
  • Doctor
  • Optometrist
  • Medical lab technician
  • Pharmacist
  • Nursing Instructor
  • Home Care Aide
  • Community Health Representative
  • Nutritionist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Equipment & Supplies Clerk
  • Medical claims assessor
comparing the circles

My Career Circle

Career Info Circle

Comparing the Circles

Who you are points to what you can do…


how do you get involved
How do you get involved?
  • Guiding Circles can be used by a variety of practitioners
  • 75% of training now delivered in-house
  • Sponsor training for community organizations & schools, summer camps, or youth initiatives
  • Use it internally as a career advancement, assessment and workforce planning tool
2011 public workshops
2011 Public Workshops

Part I: Understanding Yourself

  • Toronto May 25-26
  • Calgary June 14-15

Part II : Finding New Possibilities

  • Toronto September 27-28
  • Calgary September 20-21