Introduction to People’s Assemblies and the Three Pillars
People’s assemblies create a space in which each participant is respected and listened to without judgement. The three pillars are a way to provide a safe space and support empathetic interaction allowing all to share and to be listened to.
Creating a safe space where everyone can be heard, participate safely and openly without fear of judgement or ridicule and be valued equally also means being aware of potential barriers to engagement. We try to consider potential barriers to engagement (e.g. disabled access, sign language, interpretation and, crèches).
Active listening is focusing on hearing people before developing a response in your mind whilst someone is still talking. Active listening is vital as it enhances our capacity to empathise; when we fully listen to others, we gain more of an understanding of people, their views and their concerns.
Once the process for a people’s assembly has been agreed, it is essential that participants trust the process and trust the facilitators. The facilitators enable this trust by sticking to the agreed process and ensuring that everyone follows too.