The framework of Developmental Assets® offers a lens to reflect on how you lead a class, training, or workshop that models some of the core principles of asset building. Here are ideas for leading an event, organized around the eight categories of Developmental Assets.


  • Greet people warmly and openly as they enter the room.
  • Encourage participants to seek information, advice, and counsel from one another.
  • Be intentional about giving participants recognition, encouragement, and approval throughout the event.


  • Involve youth as full participants in developmentally responsive ways.
  • Create a safe environment–encourage participants to move beyond their “comfort zone” in meeting new people and sharing their ideas with others.
  • Recognize and acknowledge each person as a resource to the whole group.

Boundaries and Expectations

  • Start and end the event on time.
  • Set clear ground rules regarding mutual respect among participants and be willing to intervene to protect participants when the ground rules are violated.
  • Be clear regarding the goals and objectives of the event and the degree to which participants’ expectations will be met.

Constructive Use of Time

  • Keep the group size appropriate for the nature of the event.
  • Be responsive to the energy level of the group and be prepared to add quick energizers if they are needed.
  • Allow adequate time for informal networking.

Commitment to Learning

  • Understand and be responsive to multiple learning styles among participants.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and curiosity for the subject matter.
  • If you are unable to answer a question, admit it. If participants consider the question to be important, decide with them how to find an answer.

Social Competencies

  • Welcome and affirm the value of diversity within the group. Listen for and challenge comments that reflect stereotypes based on race, class, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • Work to insure the involvement of all participants and adjust activities if need be to accommodate participants who may be physically challenged.
  • Acknowledge and openly address conflict.

Positive Values

  • Demonstrate care and concern for others.
  • Act with integrity. Do what you say you’ll do and freely admit it when you don’t.
  • Model restraint and healthy values regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Be conscious of inappropriate messages that may be sent to participants, including youth, when jokes, stories, and other banter involve substance use.

Positive Identity

  • Maintain a positive attitude with all participants.
  • Accept the fact that you can influence but not control event outcomes.
  • Celebrate your own learning and the learning of others.

Want to learn more about how to lead workshops on the Developmental Assets? Join us for Everyone’s an Asset Builder.



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