Influencing Community and Neighborhood Life 153 Consensus strategies like bargaining and negotiating usually should be tried first. These are most appropriate when communities engage in locality develop- ment and the focus of change demonstrate an interest in members’ concerns. Conflict-oriented methods are needed when consensus has been unsuccessful or the focus of change demonstrates disinterest or an unwillingness to respond to the community’s requests. These strategies typically involve coordinated public actions like sit-ins, boycotts, protests, and demonstrations. To be successful, both sets of strategies require sustained participation of community members. Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person- in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies. Use empathy, self-reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies. Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies. Teaching Methods and Skills Students often have difficulty appreciating how they can engage in community practice, assuming that the problems that communities face are too big and com- plex and/or that they will not have the time for this work, given their responsi- bilities as providers of direct services to clients. The approach described in this chapter dymystifies community practice, making it more accessible to students. Definitions of Community and Stressors 1. Begin the discussion by asking students to identify locale and nonlocale communities of which they are a part. You can then ask them to identify the locale and nonlocale communities that they have encountered in their field practice.
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