ideas for incorporating digital tools to help create trust, rapport and a sense of lightness in any conversation

Digital communication tools are not new. For many years, people working in human services have been using digital tools to facilitate conversations.

Given that lots of people accessing services are ‘digital natives’, and they often feel more comfortable using tech-based tools and resources to communicate, being able to use digital communication tools has become a fundamental part of the work we do.

But all digital tools weren’t created equal.

We don’t want tools that are simply functional. We want tools that open up worthwhile conversations, invite people to reflect and ponder, support them to feel valued and heard, and encourage creative and engaging interactions.

In other words, we want tools that support the kinds of conversations we have face-to-face.

And herein lies the challenge.

How do we use the amazing array of technology available to us to increase our capacity to work with people in more flexible, meaningful and empowering ways?


our range of digital tools

As an Anglicare Victoria staff member, you have free access to a range of Innovative Resources digital card sets and other conversation-starting resources, supported by a fantastic Toolbox of digital extras. These digital tools are perfect for breaking the ice, enriching conversations and recording those conversations in respectful and inclusive ways.

In these Toolboxes, you’ll find a digital version of the cards (we also have hardcopy versions of all the cards), digital booklets with lots of ideas for using the cards, card hack videos, blogs, interviews with authors, and a range of other support materials. We are continuously updating and adding to these Toolboxes so feel free to check back regularly.

We are all time poor and super busy so these Toolboxes have ben designed to be accessed anywhere, anytime. If you are meeting a new client in the afternoon and you want to use a card set to help build rapport and connection, it is easy to watch a short Card Hack video to get some ideas for activities. If you about to head out the door to a peer supervision catchup or meeting, jump on and check out our one-page Ideas Banks to get some quick suggestions on how to introduce a particular card set.


how can I use these with clients?

A lot of work with clients is now done over the phone, on a tablet or using videoconferencing tools. While it is possible to access and use the digital resources on your phone, they work best when the person or people you are working with can see the cards or tools as well.

Try opening a digital card set on your phone or tablet and work alongside people, allowing them to scroll, select cards that resonate for them, then use these cards to guide the conversation. When we sit alongside people (like when we are talking to someone in a car), it can take the pressure off the conversation as the focus is on the tool, not the person.

Many of us now regularly use tools like ZOOM and Teams to communicate with people. Using cards in these spaces is easy – simply download the cards or access through the Toolbox and  share your computer screen with a person, family or group [add link to instructions]. You can scroll through the cards, invite them to select cards, add comments, highlight and save the selection to add to your records later.

The cards are perfect as conversation prompts as they are colourful and visually-engaging, thought provoking but gentle, and they invite people to reflect on their challenges and strengths in different ways. Using the interactive features helps add layers of meaning and richness as the conversation unfolds.

Using the digital PDF of the cards, you can:

  • swipe through the digital cards, one at a time
  • look at thumbnails of all the cards on one page
  • bookmark/tag images
  • add and drag notes anywhere on the images
  • highlight, add comments, draw and write in multiple colours
  • select particular cards to create a curated subset of images
  • take a screen shot and access the image in your photo gallery
  • send the image to the person you are working with so they have a copy
  • print the image and mail it to the person so they have a hard copy
  • save the image in your files as a record of your conversation.

The cards have a text to audio function so any cards with words on them can be read out loud.


using them in groups or online meetings

 If it is practical, start by giving the group some time to get to know the cards. Put the images onto your screen and scroll through so everyone can see. Point out the different features of the card set including the types of images, the format of the words (if any), the suits (if relevant) and any other unique features. Show them some of the features such as the scribble and text tools.



a few simple ways to introduce the cards

There are two general ways to use the cards – deliberate selection and random choice.

deliberate selection

As you scroll through the cards, invite participants to pick cards that jump out at them for any reason. Perhaps it is the image that catches their attention, or some other quality of the card.

As the facilitator, you may choose one or two cards to prompt an activity or discussion.


random selection

Another way of getting activities started is to select images randomly, for example:

  • Ask each person, in turn, to close their eyes and randomly say, ‘Stop!’ as the facilitator swipes through the images.
  • Use the timer on your phone set to a chosen interval—5 seconds, 10 seconds, etc. Stop on the image that is on screen when the timer dings.
  • Many videoconferencing tools allow you to put people into groups using ‘breakout’ rooms. You may want to invite two or more people to discuss what a particular card means to them, and then come back to the whole group.


some questions for reflection and conversation

Whether you use a deliberate or random selection method, you can then build the conversation by asking each person to read or comment on their card.

Facilitators can then ask individuals or groups questions like:

  • What does this card mean to you?
  • Have you thought about the topic on the card before?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how important is this to you?
  • Can you think of a time when this card was particularly relevant? What happened?
  • When this is happening, what is the effect?
  • When this is not happening, what is the effect?
  • Do you know anyone who is really good at this?
  • What do they do?
  • What is one simple thing you could do today or tomorrow that would make a difference?
  • How will you notice the effects? (Some people ask for feedback, and others prefer to notice carefully how it feels inside themselves and what the effect is on others.)

The digital resources are easy to download and will work on PCs, MACs, laptops and mobile devices. Once you have downloaded a digital resource, you don’t need to be connected to the internet to keep using it, and you can return and access the products as many times as you like.

Here [add link] are some simple steps for downloading and accessing a digital resource.  To see our current list of digital resources, refer to our digital applications page [add link].

Please contact us for support anytime on [add email link]