Network Weaver

Network Weaver Handbook – Virtual Sessions, by June Holley

7-11-2012 8-53-35 AM

Starting July 17th at 3E/12P, Network Weaver will offer free monthly virtual sessions covering chapters in the  Network Weaver Handbook. Each hour-long session will discuss basic concepts introduced in that chapter with a chance to ask questions. Those particpating will talk about how they plan to use activities in the chapter and get advice from others in the group.  

You can register for the first session here. The conference call number is (218) 339-2409  Passcode 57 8256.

You can obtain a copy of the Handbook at a reduced rate (usually $50 plus postage) for $30 plus $5 postage by sending funds to through or send a check to
      June Holley
      8 Lincoln St
      Athens OH 45701

For bulk copies (over 3) send a request to and I will quote you a lower rate.

Network Weaver Facebook Group

Please join our Network Weaver Facebook Group at
We have over 220 members who are generating lots of great discussions, sharing resources, and offering helpful advice. 
There are also self-organized discussion groups on network mapping and networks through a religious/spiritual lens.

Peer Support for Network Weavers

I’m doing some network coaching with a small group of network weavers and thought I would share with you some coaching frameworks and practices that help people quickly adopt and adapt network approaches.

Especially with a new domain such as network weaving, people may need some training to learn about network concepts and practices before they can apply them. However, I’ve learned that the smaller the training unit (15 minutes max), the more likely it is that people will be able to apply the learning.  Part of the training needs to be a quick activity to try out the practice in the training session. For example, if you’re talking about the importance of network maps, have the individual or small group draw a map of people and their relationships for a project they are working on. The final part of any training is for the participants to identify an action step they commit to undertaking before the next session. What happens when people try something out becomes the content of the peer coaching.

The next step is creation of peer support.  On occasion people will need individual coaching, but this is expensive and doesn’t make use of one of the benefits of networks  — access to the intelligence of others!  There are many models of peer support groups. One I’ve been exploring is Authenticity Circles (  developed by Carter McNamara.

The process of  peer support looks like this:

  • Each person gets time to explain a challenge or issue (focal person)
  • Others in the group ask probing questions that help the person better understand the challenge
  • Others offer advice or resources
  • The focal person summarizes new insights they have gotten
  • The focal person describes a next step they will take to address the challenge
  • At the end of the session, the entire group reflects on what they have learned and describes any new insights they have gained
  • At the next session, each individual reports on the outcomes of the action they took during the intervening month

Peer support groups can be virtual or face-to-face. However, I’ve found that it is good for people to meet face-to-face for the first session and have a chance to get to know each other as people (their likes, dislikes, interests, passions, family, etc). If this is not possible, I find it useful to use a platform where people can see each others’ faces (Skype Premium or

It makes sensel to set up a block of sessions (usually once a month for six months). At the end of this period the group can determine whether they want to continue.  Especially for groups where people are not familiar with peer support, It helps to have a facilitator who moves the process along. This facilitator might also be the one who sets up the times for the sessions and sends out reminders.

It’s also helpful to have everyone agree to a set of ground rules such as:

  • I agree to participate regularly in this group
  • I agree to prepare ahead of time so my challenge is well-defined
  • I agree to keep whatever is said in the session confidential
  • I agree to follow through on the action step I identify

In addition, the facilitator can model and suggest good questions:

  • What about this challenge has surprised you?
  • If you did this over again, how might you do it differently?
  • Have you ever experienced anything like this before? How did you deal with that situation?
  • Is there anyone in your project network who could be a support to you in this?
  • What would be good to clarify before you move forward?
  • What are a number of options for your next steps?
  • What are your thoughts about a possible next step? Why that step?
  • What are some resources you might explore?
  • What assumptions were you making? Have they been challenged?
  • What would success look like to you?

What has been your experience in setting up peer support groups? Have you applied that to helping people apply network weaving?


Network Weaver Handbook


The Network Weaver Handbook is a 400-page treasure trove of practical materials to help you start up or enhance your networks.

Each chapter contains a short section describing key concepts, case studies, resources and many activities. Chapters also include handouts, checklists, and worksheets you can easily duplicate and hand out to people in your network. 

Click here to check out the 
Table of Contents .

About this newsletter

This newsletter, which will be sent out once or twice a month, will offer useful information about network weaving, links to helpful websites, reviews of books useful to Network Weavers, and announcements of events and trainings. If you don’t want to receive the newsletter, simply click on the link at the bottom of this email to unsubscribe.


– June Holley
Network Weaver

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