Holistic Educators and Resilient Teachers - Online

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Reflections on our October 26th meeting.

“Trust is cultivated through speech, conversation, commitment, and action. It is never something ‘already at hand,’ it is always a matter of human effort. It can, and often must be, conscientiously created, not simply taken for granted.” 

- Flores and Solomon

Check out John and Bruce's great work in the books below.

By John Creger

By Bruce Novak


  • Connection is a prerequisite for trust.


  • Conversation can be the conduit for connection.


  • Listening is a key element in building trust.


  • Everyone’s got a story and providing a safe space and opportunity to tell it builds trust.


  • How we respond to the stories of others will build or erode trust. We need to check to see if we’re really listening. Often we spin off into our own stories, give unsolicited advice, or simply wait for our turn to speak.


  • Allowing students not to speak until they are ready shows respect, maintains their dignity, and builds trust.


  • Authenticity builds trust. Showing our humanity, not hiding it is an important component of authenticity. When we make mistakes and apologize, or something we do fails, we’re modeling what it is to be human, and we're implicitly giving permission to our students to do the same.


  • Cultivating truth tellers who will give us feedback that we may not want to hear, or information that we may be missing, is key to our success. We encourage honest communication and feedback by cultivating a ‘self’ that is approachable and open.


  • Sometimes, as with the article we read, it’s important to understand a little about who the person is that wrote it. Often the ‘who’ is more important than the ‘what’ of what was written.


  • Transparency is an important element for building trust. When we’re transparent about communicating our agenda and motives, others are less likely to believe that we’ve got a hidden or self-serving agenda.


  • Making an effort to be transparent shows that we’re sincere, and sincerity is another important building block of trust. Insincerity erodes trust.




Recording of our Oct. 26th Meeting

How can we take the ideas we explored in this 30,000 foot discussion and apply them to our work as educators?

Choose several students with whom you’d like to build more trust. Deliberately create situations where you engage in conversation with them...with the underlying intention of listening deeply and building trust.


Perform a personal ‘trust’ audit: 


  • How well do you trust your students? (1-10) 

  • How well are you trusted by your students? (1-10) How might you ground this assessment?


  • How well do you trust your colleagues?

  • How well are you trusted by your colleagues? (1-10) How might you ground this assessment?


  • How well do you trust those to whom you report?

  • How well are you trusted by those to whom you report? (1-10) How might you ground this assessment?


  • Self DeceptionWhere am I deceiving myself? (ex. I tell myself, “I’m not going to have that difficult conversation because the other person won’t change their behavior anyway.” But the real underlying reason I’m avoiding the conversation is because I’m afraid of how the other person will react.)


  • RationalizationWhere am I rationalizing my behavior? (ex. I don’t take time to get to know my students (or colleagues) and I rationalize my behavior. I say to myself, “I’m extremely busy and can’t help it.”)


  • ProcrastinationWhat things that need to get done am I putting off?


  • B.S.Are there places in my life where I’m exaggerating or embellishing the truth?


  • Keeping PromisesWhen I make a commitment do I keep it? Am I reliable? If something happens that prevents me from keeping it, do I communicate immediately with the person to whom I made the commitment to let them know of the problem, and to renegotiate it?


  • AmbiguityHow often do I use ambiguous language like, “I’ll try.” “We’ll see.” “I think so.” ?


  • Making People AskDo I owe something to someone? Have I put them in a position of having to ask for it?


  • Failure to CommunicateHave I made commitment to do something for someone and not kept them informed on how things are going? Am I proactive about giving status reports?


  • TardinessHow often am I tardy?

Preparation for October 26th meeting.

In preparation for our October meeting please read August Turak's January 2016 Forbes Article,  Lies, Damn Lies, Rationalizations: 10 Paths to Power and Profit. 


August Turak is a successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, and award winning author who attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey since 1996. As a frequent monastic guest, he learned firsthand from the monks as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses. He shares those secrets in his first  book: Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity(Columbia Business School Publishing; July 2013).

Service and selflessness is at the heart of the 1,500-year-old monastic tradition’s remarkable business success. It is an ancient though immensely relevant economic model that preserves what is positive and productive about capitalism while transcending its ethical limitations and internal contradictions. Combining vivid case studies from his thirty year business career with intimate portraits of the monks at work, Turak shows how Trappist principles can be successfully applied to a variety of secular business settings and to our personal lives as well. He demonstrates that monks and people like Warren Buffett alike are wildly successful not despite their high principles but because of them. Turak also introduces other “transformational organizations” that share the crucial monastic business strategies that are so critical for success.

"Although all human motivation arises from a longing for transformation, there are three different types of transformation. When a thirsty man drinks he transforms his condition. When a poor man hits the lottery, he transforms his circumstance. And when Mr. Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning an utterly new man, he has experienced a transformation of being."

To learn more about Augie check out my online interview with him here.

or visit his web page at www.augustturak.com

© Pete Reilly 2018​

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