In order to function effectively in a democratic organization with shared leadership, responsibilities and honoring all voices, the teachers at The New School recognize how integral it is to have good communication skills.  This week, as the students worked on their annual community agreements for the school, they are also learned how to better work within and as a group.  Lauren Tenney is an experienced facilitator, coach, and trainer working specifically with groups to improve function and communication.  Lauren provided an array of exercises to prepare students to actively participate in their own governance. Two days this week, the students are getting in depth training on being active listeners, offering constructive feedback, working through conflicts and being cooperative parts of a greater whole.  Through a series of role plays and reflection, students work alone, in small groups, and as a whole group to identify ways that they communicate well and to learn new techniques for approaching peers and groups.  For more pictures of this community building process visit our complete album here.