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Let's talk about Support Circle

The MixThe Mix Staff teamPosts: 1,849 Moderator
edited January 5 in Live chat announcements
Hey chat-goers :)

As you'll be aware, we're currently on a break from group chat. During these times, we like to talk with you guys about how we can improve parts of the community. One thing we're going to focus on this time is Support Circle.

For those unfamiliar with these sessions, they're essentially Support Chats with more structure. Instead of it being a free-for-all where anyone can talk about anything at any time, each member has an alloted time to talk (usually about 15 minutes) while the rest of the group listens. For this reason, it can be a great place to go if you find it hard to get your voice heard in regular Support Chats, where things can be quite busy.

Recently, we've noticed less members signing up for these sessions. We're also getting the vibe that the sessions themselves are a little bit... disjointed. The impression we're getting is that people are less talkitive, and not everyone is staying for the whole session, which is causing a bit of disruption. Generally, the sessions seem to need a bit of a reboot.

So, we want to hear what you want from Support Circle. These aren't questions you need to answer, but here are some points to think about:

  • What makes Support Circle a positive experience for you?
  • What makes you leave a Support Circle and think 'I'm so glad I signed up for that'?
  • If you've never been to a Support Circle, what would you want to see?

Try and leave negative experiences to one side and focus on what you want to see instead. Let's talk about this and bring some new renewed energy to these chats. :)

Mike & the team

We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.

Comments

  • Millie2787Millie2787 WorcestershirePosts: 693 Incredible Poster
    For me when I’ve been in what makes it positive is when everyone gets along  and is able to offer there view,perspectives and advice on whoever’s turn it is where they see fit/ appropriate

    and I don’t really know the answers to the other 2 questions 😂😂

    Sometimes in our lives we all have pain,We all have sorrow, But if we are wise, We know that there's always tomorrow.
    The Mix
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,849 Moderator
    edited January 5
    Thanks for this @Millie2787! Super useful stuff.

    and I don’t really know the answers to the other 2 questions 😂😂

    Good point - I've just edited the main post to clarify that people don't need to answer those questions specifically, they're just things to think about when giving some feedback. :)

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • Millie2787Millie2787 WorcestershirePosts: 693 Incredible Poster
    The Mix said:
    Thanks for this @Millie2787! Super useful stuff.

    and I don’t really know the answers to the other 2 questions 😂😂

    Good point - I've just edited the main post to clarify that people don't need to answer those questions specifically, they're just things to think about when giving some feedback. :)

    Mike & the team
    Cool stuff I think as well what I’d like to see if people stay for the full session and not just come and pop off until it’s there go becasue there’s been occasions where it’s been left just me and the mod talking which as lovely as it is sometimes you just need someone else view aswell if that makes sense ?
    Sometimes in our lives we all have pain,We all have sorrow, But if we are wise, We know that there's always tomorrow.
    The Mix
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Posts: 274 Rampant Poster
    I think what makes a good Support circle is when people show up to the chats and actually contribute rather than just sitting there, waiting for their turn, and then not bothering when its anyone else speaking and especially leaving straight after their go. These aren't things that are the mix fault its users.......... 

    I think the reason I dont sign up for them very much is because like with the whole having ur own 15 mins to chat, i feel like I need to have something specific to say that people can give advise on..... I feel a bit pressured.......... whereas if i come to normal support chat i can dip in and out and not on the spot or anything like that. Also like something might come up on say a thursday and i think oh could do with support circle for this, but then by the time the next support circle comes its too late....... and like its hard to predict when u need it cos u need to sign up in advance........ 

    sorry i know u said dont put anything negative and i tried not to i was just trying to explain why i may/may not come to support circle and what makes a good one.......

    Hope this helps sorry if not lol 

    x
    The MixMegglesindependent_
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 2,905 Mega Poster
    edited January 5
    Hi

    I have views like Millie and Jelly but its kinda negative
    how comes you dont want negative experiences? Will there be another thread for that?

    Though i have positive things to say about it. Though ive not gone that many  but the times i have - i think is good as you get to be listened to and still able to support others & feels friendly and welcoming and think is good way to get support and attention ah
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care” Marvin J. Ashton 🌸🌸
    The Mix
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,849 Moderator
    edited January 5
    Probably my dodgy wording. :tongue: It's okay to use negative experiences to make your point, just keen to keep the focus on what we do want rather than what we dislike.

    For example, it's more constructive to say "it's easier to get support when the group is full" rather than "I hate it when there's just two of us". No need to overthink it - just about not making this a ranty thread. ;)

    We'll drop in here again with a full response once the conversation has unfolded a little more - thanks so much for your thoughts guys!

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Posts: 274 Rampant Poster
    sorry if i wrote something wrong i was just trying to help u can delete my comment if its wrong im sorry
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 2,905 Mega Poster
    edited January 5
    Ah oh yeah that does makes sense sorry.  Cause i was trying to be positive and say what id like to see but involved being slightly negative experience so was wondering aha 

    Dont think you said anything wrong @Jellyelephant ,


    I think it would be good if people actually stayed the whole time. Cause when im in support chat and it seems like people have left support circle to go to support chat after their turn has gone. So would be polite if they stay to listen to people who have just listened to them. And that puts me off from signing up as when i have gone to it & people leave then i think they dont want to listen to me and rather do something else. But yeah its the users not the mix. 


    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care” Marvin J. Ashton 🌸🌸
    The Mix
  • BubblesGoesBooBubblesGoesBoo Sunny ScotlandPosts: 1,979 Postholic
    I like support circle, I struggle to get support in support chat as I don't like interrupting others when they're getting support so I like how everyone gets a set amount of time in support circle. I would like to see others getting involved though, like most of the time it's just the mods that give support whereas I think it would be better if other users got involved too, especially if they've had similar experiences. it would be good if people could stay for the whole session aswell, I know im guilty of not staying lol, but Tuesdays is our busiest and longest day at work so im always tired when I get home, and take my meds at 7:30 so by the time 9pm comes my eyes are barely open haha, that's why I liked Sunday's ones, so I would like to see like maybe one week its on a Tuesday and the next its on a sunday maybe like alternate days. or maybe even some weeks it could be a bit earlier. 
    ' So I put a bullet where I shouda put a helmet, and I crash my car cause I wanna get carried away, that's why I'm standing on the overpass screaming at myself 'hey, I wanna get better''  
    The Mix
  • MegglesMeggles Unicorn. Posts: 1,048 Fanatical Poster
    People in support circle actually need to support people and not sit and wait for there turns. It feels like a toxic place sometimes when people make digs and get argumentative and competitive over when their support time should be. Mods should give allocated times to stop this from happening. It's unfair on the mods to always be giving the support. I feel if people can't stay for the whole chat or decide to put "brb" every time it comes to a specific persons time every chat, shouldn't be in the chat. 
    It shouldn't feel like an isolated place when only the mod cares enough to offer support. 
    I like support circle but a lot of time I feel isolated and also when people disappear and don't help me. And I know others feel that way too. 
    The Mix
  • LaineLaine Horse hugger Posts: 1,122 Fanatical Poster
    Support circle is great for mutual support i'd love it to continue and just see it get used mutually? 

    It's always been really helpful when I've gone for support I just feel we could be doing more for each other?  Even if you cannot think of what to say right now(because I've been there)  maybe acknowledge their feelings and just listen and respond to them x

    I've used circle a lot for some support(although I usually liked to save the spot for someone else :) )
    And a lot for supporting others, I usually signed up for listener but these days have stopped because the day it runs on isn't good for me xo

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 


    "So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older" ~ Avicii

    "
    All I do is sit and think about you If I choose then I lose.
    Distract my brain from the terrible news
    It's not living if it's not with you" ~ The 1975

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
    The Mix
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,849 Moderator
    edited January 8
    Thanks everyone! Some really interesting discussion going on here. :) Looks like we have two distinct areas to talk about here - how to participate in the chat and the scheduling of the session.

    How to participate

    Interestingly, it feels like everyone is after the same things:

    • Members staying for the whole session (important for making everyone feel valued and giving people an equal chance to get heard)
    • Everyone contributing, even if it's just acknowledging and listening to what someone is saying (showing that even if you don't know what to say, you're there and you care)
    • The group sharing experiences and actively supporting where they can (because real-life experiences and support from peers can be invaluable)

    We all seem to be on-board with these, which is awesome. :)

    We could focus on tightening up the moderation and sign-up process to make it clear that these things are necessary for the session to function properly, and that these are things we all expect of the group members. There are ways we could reinforce this - for example, removing or denying places to people who regularly don't work fairly strictly within that structure.

    As a sidenote: it also feels worth highlighting that it's very hard to have too many listeners. We do have limited places for support, but generally, the more listeners, the better. Signing up as one doesn't take a place away from someone who wants support, so there's no need to feel guilty there.

    Additionally, nobody needs to feel like someone else is more important. These sessions are for everyone, and there will always be more in future if we happen to max out for a particular chat. :)

    Scheduling

    It seems clear that having one fixed weekly day isn't quite working for a lot of you guys. Given the two per week schedule didn't work out too well, alternating the day (e.g. Tuesday one week, Sunday the next) might be the way to go here. If only one of these days works for you, it might mean you can come less frequently, but this could make Support Circle more accessible overall.

    What do we think about those two ideas?

    Thanks again everyone - your thoughts are all super valuable. :)

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,849 Moderator
    Your comment was fine by the way, @Jellyelephant. :) 

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • MegglesMeggles Unicorn. Posts: 1,048 Fanatical Poster
    I think you should go back to both Tuesday and Sunday
  • independent_independent_ Boards Baby ScotlandPosts: 1,126 Fanatical Poster
    On the few occasions when I've been to support circle as a listener I've thought it was a great place. I like the idea of maybe having it on a couple of different days on alternating weeks, I'm absolutely never (well very rarely and it's normally over Christmas when circle isn't on anyway) free on a Tuesday so I also liked the Sunday ones. I understand why you guys didn't continue them every week, but maybe occasionally a support circle on a day other than a Tuesday would be useful :)
  • independent_independent_ Boards Baby ScotlandPosts: 1,126 Fanatical Poster
    ...oops... totally didn't only read the first few posts before replying... yes I like both of those ideas :)
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,849 Moderator
    Thanks for your input on the schedule @Meggles @independent_.

    Let's do a straw poll - vote here on what days are convenient for you to come to Support Circle (select all that apply for you). Depending on what the results are, we could potentially change a fixed day or alternate the days based on that's popular. No guarantee we'll be able to meet exactly what the demand is, but we'll definitely take it into consideration and do what we can. :)

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,849 Moderator
    Just bumping this in case anyone has anything they want to add, either to the discussion or the poll above. :) 

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
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