ABOUT AFTER PARTY (POST-WORKSHOP SERVICE AND FELLOWSHIP)
Reviewing the cycle two surveys, the biggest discrepancy in the impressions and preferences of the participants appeared to be the way we approach After Party. Obviously we cannot please everyone, and we won't try. The content of each weekly After Party is decided by the workshop participants who stay for this planned, scheduled, and facilitated fellowship opportunity. But the combined totality of a cycle's After Party is more alike than different from cycle to cycle.
Here's what After Party is:
After Party is a planned time after each weekly workshop when participants are welcome to stay to ask questions; to get to know one another; to share experience, strength, and hope; and to "cool down" from the spiritual "exertion" we've just undergone in the workshop.
After Party is a scheduled, optional adjunct to the weekly workshops and is facilitated by the workshop host or by a requested substitute.
After Party is planned and facilitated service and fellowship. The facilitator can only provide the service and support that participants ask for; anything else would be mind reading.
After Party is a place for additional, especially general, questions about the workshops and workshop topics to be asked and answered. The usual format when a question is asked is for the host to offer a response first, then our guest speaker if they're still with us, and then the floor is open. Being patient and waiting your turn is strongly encouraged and appreciated. Everyone present will have an opportunity to share on any topics discussed.
After Party is a place to ask specific questions about the practice of the DA and BDA program, about issues in our businesses, about doing business in a spiritual context, and to receive answers. Responses to these questions usually follow the same order as above.
After Party is a place to meet new DA and BDA fellows and to exchange contact information. BUT each individual is responsible to ask for what they need. We have made a voluntary participant contact list available, as well as a weekly Fellowship Drop-In, and it's up to each participant to use those resources to get their own needs met.
After Party is meant to be fun, informative, and friendly. It's not the place for isolators. We will not let you stay on the fringes during After Party. The host / facilitator may call on registrants by name to engage participation. We call on participants during the workshops now, too, whenever no one is willing to raise their hands to share. Everyone will be invited to participate; anyone can simply say "pass" if they're unwilling.
Here's what After Party isn't:
After Party is not a DA or BDA meeting. If we ask a question or make a comment during After Party, we will almost always receive a response. That is the purpose of After Party. If you don't want to be "crosstalked," please don't share or ask questions during After Party. If you want a meeting, please go to a meeting. This isn't that.
After Party is not group therapy. We do not concern ourselves with anyone's trauma, sense of safety and security, or other emotional needs. If you want therapy, please go to therapy. This isn't that.
After Party is not the place to exert control or dominance or to talk down to newer members. We're all equal at After Party AND we have a host and guest speaker to lead us. Please let our servant leaders lead.
After Party is not a place to tell other members, especially newer members, how to define their solvency (freedom from incurring new unsecured debt, one day at a time, no matter what) or how to work the DA and BDA program. Let's please share our experience, strength, and hope and consider our opinions and advice as outside issues.
After Party is not a space with rigid rules or guidelines, nor is it a free for all. After Party has a very specific purpose — to meet the needs of the workshop participants that were not met during the workshop just ended or during the previous workshops in each mini-conference — and is offered as a service to workshop participants. If we do not want the service being offered, we are not obligated to stay.
After Party is not a place to share about outside issues or services or fellowships, to network for business contacts, or to ignore the principles, tools, or promises we have just been discussing in the workshops.
After Party is not a soap box nor a speaker meeting.