Facilitating for Bridges: Featuring, Dale Seely

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Dale is a great addition to Bridges as a facilitator where he has been serving in this capacity for about a year. “I am currently the Director of Programs for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Joseph County. In addition, for the last few months, I have also been functioning as the Director of Thrift Operations for the Society.” There were motivations for Dale to become a facilitator which involved engagement with clients, the ability to learn who he serves, and “also, because I believe that Getting Ahead has to be an ongoing part of what our organization does. I wanted to be in a position to fulfill the facilitator role on a regular basis” says Dale.

Even though Dale has been facilitating at St. Vincent De Paul for a short time, he has experienced aha moments with his clients. In Dale’s facilitation, “Aha” moments come when people realize how poorly they have been using time. Also when investigators get a handle on the abuse of predatory lending or how valuable it is to bring emotional reactions to situations under control.” There are other aha moments for investigators with the Hidden Rules module. “The “Hidden Rules” always give moments of insight about why sometimes it’s so difficult to understand and get along with some people. Great moments happen when investigators understand that what “has been” their life isn’t what “has to be” going forward.

The investigators that Dale facilitates are not the only ones who have a great learning experience, but so does Dale himself. “I have learned that I did not know as much as I thought I did about a lot of things. I have learned from investigators that “Getting Ahead” isn’t what I think it is that matters, but what they think it is that matters. I have realized that what I try to do as a facilitator is to help them add some tools to their life’s Tool Kit so they can make their life work the way they want it to. Anytime you do something like this, the individual facilitating learns as much or more as anyone in the group.

The name facilitator certainly has meaning to the investigators that go through the Getting Ahead classes, but it also has meaning to Dale as well. “For me, it means being a good coach. My task is to create a structure of thinking from the material provided in an environment that is friendly so that the investigators might feel free to grow their expectations and increase their desire for a life that is more meaningful and rich for themselves.

“It is also my task to create a sense of community within the group so they see each other as a partner in their self-improvement journey and a friend they will now claim for the rest of their lives.”

            Dale has advice for those that would like to take the Bridges Getting Ahead class which is to “DO IT! This is an opportunity to pause on the journey and see if where you are, and where you are headed is going to take you where you want to go. And if you aren’t sure, then Getting Ahead might be what you need to give you clarity.”

Lastly, Dale would like for you to know that “it is a mistake to think that Getting Ahead is just for people who are struggling economically. Getting Ahead is about the life journey, about being able to get to a point where you are controlling your life and not being controlled by crisis, the urgency of the moment, negative relationships or forces that you can’t deal with.”

“Getting Ahead is about all of you getting ahead - mind, body and spirit!”

-- Dale Seely