How to Talk to Porcupines

  • On-Demand Webinar
  • Recorded on Friday, March 19, 2021
  • 1.5 hour training
  • FREE for YIPA members
  • 99% approval rating
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  • Already a member? Log in to your YIPA LMS to access this training

Learners' Own Words

"Allie was a great presenter. The stories she wove into the training helped to keep my attention, and I also appreciated the reflection guide included to take notes on and refer back to later."

"Loved so many specifics and the easy to remember items like ARISE."

"I would love to see this be a required training for more youth workers. Brilliantly put together and presented."

Your Training Description

Youth workers often encounter prickly personalities (porcupines) in their work with youth. Effectively redirecting youth can help both of you cross communication divides and learning how to break down communication barriers will help you better engage with the young people you serve. Explore principles of effective communication strategies including active listening, questioning, body language and non-verbal skills to positively engage with porcupines. Come ready to learn, laugh, and engage! You’ll leave with a new appreciation for porcupines.

Your Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to identify porcupines
  • Broaden your communication know-how to skillfully handle prickly people and situations
  • Implement your own action plan for de-escalating and redirecting porcupines

Your Trainer

Image of Allie Birdseye-Hannula

Allie Birdseye-Hannula is passionate about developing and delivering impactful training programs. She began her career as a youth worker and has an extensive background in youth program leadership and training development. She has continued to build her expertise through more than 10 years of communication coaching, mentoring, and program development for organizations across Minnesota. She holds a Master’s of Science in Teaching from the College of St. Scholastica and presented her graduate research at the 21st Century Teaching and Learning Conference held in Duluth, MN, in June 2017. She was a presenter at Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities Cafe Conversations, and led the YNPN Peer Mentor Program launch in 2019. Allie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College. She also held a Minnesota Secondary Social Studies Teaching License until May 2021. Allie holds an ACE Group Fitness Certification and a Coaching Behavior Change Certification. In her free time, Allie enjoys reading, sketching in a park, leading fitness classes, socializing, and sipping on a good cup of coffee or tea.

Your Competency Focus Area


Each of YIPA’s trainings are designed around a broad framework of eight youth work competencies. The competency focus of this training is: COMMUNICATIONS.

Gain communication flexibility which allows you to develop healthy, productive work relationships, engage in collaborative problem solving with youth, and improve individual and group facilitation.

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This training will count as 1.5 CE hours for most boards. Please contact your board directly with questions on submitting. You are encouraged to print or save this training information as a PDF for your records.