(This is a 'migration' and updated post - it was first shared at the FUNdoing.com Blog. We are moving theory posts from FUNdoing to OnTeamBuilding as a way to organize content.)
"Over time, your character, competence and caring may be revealed by your actions. In a micro world, it is the right words used at the right moments that spark conversations and build bridges between people" Jeff Schmitt
The main purpose of adventure 'education' is to explore, learn and grow in the areas of personal and interpersonal relationships. Some recognize this as the development of pro-social skills and social emotional learning. Some years back now, I ran across a leadership article at Forbes Online from Jeff Schmitt. I thought it might be a good for educators (i.e., team builders) as well - at least it's a good reminder of the simple things we can do (model) to encourage pro-social development.
Adding to Schmitt's encouragement about using the phrases, it's also a nice idea to pass on (teach) this information to our participants when appropriate (e.g., a classroom teacher modeling, showing and practicing the phrases during processing sessions).
Schmitt shares 15 Phrases That Build Bridges Between People. Teaching and encouraging these phrases does not take a lot of time, only commitment. Hopefully we are already using them to strengthen the communities we belong to and the groups we work with.
Below is a quick reference to the phrases in the Forbes article. I've also included some additional phrases from my friend Phil Brown who shared them in a Comment at the original Building Bridges post.
Here are the additional phrases from Phil:
Phil also share some thinking around his approach to building bridges:
In addition to the phrases I use, I find that the tone of voice is incredibly important in making my participants feel comfortable. Being from England my accent helps a lot too, but I truly feel that (and I train my staff that) a calm tone is essential in making participants feel comfortable and looked after.
Jeff, Phil and I ask, "What phrases do you use to make people feel more comfortable, motivated, and appreciated?" Share your thoughts in the Comments area below.
BONUS TOOL (Print-N-Play)
Here (below) is a print-n-play tool (set of cards) you can use as a visual reminder of the phrases. During a processing session you can scatter out the cards within the center of your processing circle. Participants can scan the cards and use/practice (if they choose) any of the phrases when address others during the discussion. Again, this is simply a tool you can teach and use in order to practice pro-social behaviors within the appropriate context.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an educator, author and trainer. His passion is helping team builders learn and grow.