Belonging Starts with a Smile

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Belonging

It turns out that belonging is a greater predictor of life-expectancy, well-being, happiness, and fulfillment than heart health, poverty, smoking, or obesity.

We can all affect the environments in which we live through our actions, because of the contagiousness of our behaviour.

Due to our nature as community-seeking beings, we were wired to seek out belonging through our connections to others. The mirror neurons in our bodies are designed to help us react and mimic the behaviours of those around us so that we will belong more easily.

In an attempt to improve their organization in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana-based Oschner Health System tried an out-of-the-box experiment. In his best-selling book “Before Happiness,” author Shawn Achor writes about the hospital’s decision to try to “raise levels of happiness first.” Oschner Health looked outside the usual medical literature and found a secret ingredient used by Ritz-Carlton hotels.

The 10/5 way “turns out to be the perfect example of how to transform an organization through positive inception. The 10/5 way involves just a few simple behavioral rules that all staff are trained to follow. If a guest walks by a Ritz employee within ten feet, the employee should make eye contact and smile. If that guest walks by within five feet, the employee should say, ‘Hello.'”

Despite initial skepticism, this deceptively simple technique “completely transformed the shared reality at the hospital. Not only did this improve patients’ satisfaction with care, it improved outcomes for the hospital,” Achor explained. He urges his readers to “try implementing the 10/5 way in your office or household.”

Just try it out.  Look at someone in the eyes and give them a big smile. Chances are, they’ll smile right back at you. Our neuro-receptors release oxytocin (the love/belonging hormone) when someone smiles at us and when we smile. Smiling, because of our mirror neurons, has the power to change our brain chemistry. When we witness someone smiling or laughing, our brain responds as though we were laughing and smiling. So, just being around happy, joyous people can change the way we feel.

How can you contribute to your workplace, learning space, or community in such a way that you ignite a culture of belonging? What action can you take to help someone feel seen, heard, and valued, today?

#smallactbigimpact #kindsight101 #podcast #21daychallenge

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No One Can Do – What You Do – Like You Do

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When we embark on a new creative venture, what often begins as a feeling of excitement can quickly transform into overwhelm.

Too often, when we express ourselves through art, take creative risks, or engage in work that challenges the status quo, self-destructive voices audibly whisper two of the following shame-fuelled messages:

“You’re not good enough.”

and/or

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

Those two powerful messages can stop us in our tracks, preventing us from sharing our story or our art with those who desperately need to hear it.
Fear masquerades as perfectionism and procrastination.
It’s a blessing to remind fellow creatives of their inherent value to the world.
Your story.

Your experience.

Your perspective.

Your pain points.

No one sees the world quite like you.

To be able to share your unique perspective with others is a gift.

It opens eyes.

It enables people to feel validated.

#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact#inspiration #journey #happyquotes#inspirationalquotes #create #make#write #sing #art #podcast#brenebrownquotes #resilience #grit#thedip

E: 70 Kindness Ninjas (With Allie Apels)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Kindness has the power to change even the toughest class!

Allie Apels is a mother of two, a wife, kindergarten teacher, and Sensei to her KINDergarten Kindness Ninjas based out of Airdrie Alberta, Canada.

She is passionate about empowering her little ninjas to become kind, contributing citizens, and change makers. With their red headbands, stealth, and sneaky skills; they’re encouraged to engage in random acts of kindness (aka. missions) and good deeds within their home, school, community, and World.

Most importantly, she focuses on teaching them how to spread kindness to themselves through mindfulness. They share their heart-warming stories with the World, in hopes to inspire others to join their movement. You can get more information on her website http://www.kindnessninjasrvs.com/, follow her on Instagram @joysofkinder or on twitter JoysofKinder @MrsApelsKinder .

Check out this video, too!

Byron Katie and Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations

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I was recently listening to Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul Conversations Podcast (which is amazing, BTW) and stumbled upon a conversation with Byron Katie about a really fascinating way that we can elongate the space between stimulus and response (a Viktor Frankel reference about the way that we can have more ownership and agency over the way we react to the challenges that life hands us).

She has a great 4-question framework that has done wonders in terms of re-thinking the worst-case scenario narratives that often start ramping up when things go sideways. I wanted to share them with YOU!

Imagine you’ve made plans with someone and you just can’t seem to get ahold of them. Perhaps, you start thinking that they are trying to avoid you or, worse, you think that something terrible has happened to them. Whatever your thought cycle, here’s a framework that can help you to dig yourself out:

  1. Is it true? Can I absolutely know that this is TRUTH? This is likely a story I am telling myself about what might have happened. 
  2. How can I check that this is true? I could call. I could think back to past behaviours to see what might be in line with who this person usually is. 
  3. How do I react when I believe this to be true? Unkind? Vengeful? Tearful? Guilty? Mind attack? Certainty-seeking? Imagining the worst?
  4. Who would you be without that thought? Peaceful. Trusting. Worthy. Enough. Faith-filled. 

The 7 Most Effective Work Questions (Gallup Poll)

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Here is a list of the 7 most important questions that enable you to evaluate whether your work is a good fit for you. These questions can help you to determine your overall job satisfaction and fulfilment. These can also help a teacher to think empathetically through the eyes of her students, when we swap the word “school” for “work” :

  1. Do I know what’s expected of me at work?
  2. Do I have the materials and the equipments I need to do my work right?
  3. Do I have the opportunity to do that I do best every day?
  4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
  5. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  7. What matters to me most about work and is that aligned with my duties?

When you’ve answered these questions, it’s important to evaluate how much you have within your sphere of control to change through your actions or by simply changing your mindset. Sometimes, questions like these can also be clarifying when it comes to checking whether or not your current employment is aligned with the direction you want your life to take.

E 69 – Everything is Figure-Outable (With Dan Buchner)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Dan Buchner is an award winning designer, entrepreneur, educator, and leadership facilitator and the ceo of Praktikel.

He designed and delivered custom Innovation Leadership programs for leading organizations such as Baxter Healthcare, Eaton Corporation, McDonalds, General Motors and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Dan is a sought-after international keynote speaker and facilitator on innovation practices and organizational strategies. Thousands of people around the world have had their thinking shifted and been inspired to action by his practical perspective on innovation, leadership and organizational change.

I wanted to have Dan Buchner onto KindSight 101 to talk about the ways that innovation, leadership and learning interconnect within this global world and the ways that edcuators can foster environments that encourage creative thinking vs. compliance.

Everything is figureoutable.

In this episode, you’ll learn the step-by-step formula for figuring anything out. You’ll learn the one thing that every student needs for success in the real world and how you can be the one to help them acquire it.

– You’ll learn how to balance the need for organization and the drive for creativity.

– You’ll learn how balancing the need for creativity is like balancing your investment portfolio.

– You’ll learn the most important skill and trait a teacher needs to have to be effective.

What an inspiration!

Leadership Pitfalls: The Recognition Gap

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Good leadership can be easy to spot, but deconstructing it can be so challenging. Over the course of the past year or so, through the interviews I’ve done with truly remarkable world-class educators and leaders, I’ve learned that so much of great leadership comes from trust and the deep, intentional practice of gratitude. Nothing makes you feel smaller than a leader who doesn’t see you. When you feel insignificant, or at least your efforts do, nothing is less motivating. In fact, it’s been proven that an ambivalent leader can be as damaging to his/her employees as an outwardly ineffective leader who puts his/her employees down.

I recently learned about the recognition gap, which applies as much to organizational leaders as bosses and managers, as it does to teachers in the classroom or parents in homes.

It turns out that 80% of supervisors claim that they frequently demonstrate outward appreciation for their subordinates, while only 20% of employees report that their supervisors express appreciation more than occasionally.

So, knowing that there is a gap in perception, it’s important that leaders, teachers, and parents find meaningful ways to see and appreciate the people they serve so that these individuals feel motivated, valued, and believe that their work matters.

Here are a handful of easy ways to do this at work:

-Start a Shout-Out Board to encourage employees to recognize one another’s efforts.

-Every day, focus on one employee or student and celebrate something about them in person or in writing.

-When someone goes above and beyond for the organization (picture that student who volunteers to stack chairs at the end of the day, your child who cleans her room without prompting, or the employee who contributes meaningfully at a faculty meeting), go out of your way to show them you see and appreciate their efforts.

-Call someone and tell them specifically what they mean to you.

-Write a quick post-it for 3-5 staff members or students every day specifically thanking them for the way they contribute to the climate in your class or school.

These little things don’t seem like a huge effort on your part, but they sure go a long way in building trust, rapport, and positive morale.

E 68 – Self-Care through Visual Storytelling (With Deborah LeFrank)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Deborah Le Frank believes that inside every person – is a collection of stories and memories. Her job is to draw them out of her clients creating a visually engaging Visual Life Story that is deeply meaningful and creates a legacy and connection between generations.

With the recent popularity of sketchnoting in schools, I wanted to have her on the show to talk about the different ways that we can use visuals to tell a compelling story about ourselves and our students. We learn the three life lessons that can help us live a fuller life and to help our students to do the same for themselves.

– We learn the significant moment in Deborah’s life that made her change the way she looked at the way we create and hang on to our memories.
– Some practical ways to invite sketch-noting into our lives.
– Compelling reasons to record a story from your life every month!
– The power of sketch-noting as a method to enable learners to capture their connections and realizations in a more full way.

You can find out more about her at [Visual Life Stories][1]
[1]: http://visuallifestories.com

Summer 2019 KindSight 101 Booklist

book-stackSummertime and the living is easy…

Here we are, hopefully one step closer to relaxation than we were back in June. It occurred to me a while back that it would be fun to share a few of my favourite books about school, kids, kindness, and the human condition. I can’t promise that it’s all light reading, but I always love the aha’s I come away with when I read a good non-fiction book.

These books aren’t alphabetical…or even in any particular order of importance. I haven’t even gone through and curated the list or annotated the titles…but I have created a list of books that have changed my life (one paradigm at a time).

Hope you enjoy at least one of these titles during these beautiful summer months:

  • Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last
  • Simon Sinek, Start with Why
  • Bob Chapman, Everybody Matters
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
  • Stephen Pressfield, The War of Art
  • Seth Godin, The Dip
  • Seth Godin, Purple Cow
  • Seth Godin, Linchpin
  • Seth Godin, This is Marketing
  • Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior
  • Dr. Brene Brown, Rising Strong
  • Dr. Brene Brown, Gifts of Imperfection
  • Dr. Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness
  • Dr. Brene Brown, Dare to Lead
  • Dan and Chip Heath, The Power of Moments
  • Dan and Chip Heath, Ideas that Stick
  • Trevor Mckenzie, Dive into Inquiry
  • Trevor Mckenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt, Inquiry Mindset
  • Dan Pink, When
  • Dan Pink, Drive
  • Dan Pink, A Whole New Mind
  • Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans
  • Tim Ferriss, 4 Hour Work Week
  • Susan Cain, Quiet
  • Dr. Jody Carrington, Kids These Days
  • Tamara Letter, Passion for Kindness
  • George Couros, Innovator’s Mindset
  • Teach Like a Pirate, Dave Burgess
  • Principal Baruti Kafele, Closing the Attitude Gap
  • Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage
  • Dr. Shimi Kang, The Dolphin Way
  • Dr. Adam Grant, Give and Take
  • Dr. Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg, Option B
  • Dr. Adam Grant, Originals
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Lean-In
  • Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point
  • Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers
  • Dr. Ross Greene, Lost at School
  • Dr. Ross Greene, The Explosive Child

 

E 67 – How to be a Connection Ninja (With David Knapp-Fisher)

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How do you make authentic connections with people?

How can we teach kids to do the same?

What are some of the keys that will enable students to be successful in the uncertain future world they face?

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

I want to introduce you to my friend, David Knapp-Fisher, a connection ninja, speaker, author, world-traveller, and speaking coach.

In this episode, we talk about his journey as an advocate for his son living through muscular dystrophy, what it takes to set and achieve audacious goals, how self-education is the key to the future, the importance of service and gratitude in helping you get where you want, and the four steps to creating lasting connections with the people you serve.

We’ll talk about simple ways you can improve your (and your student’s) speaking through an easy formula.

We talk about the following game-changing books and authors:

– Tim Ferriss (Tools of Titans, 4 Hour Work Week)
– Richard Branson
– Tony Robbins
– Marc Marron
– Thoreau (Waldon)
– Mike Vardy
– Janelle Morrison
– Chris Gillebeau
– Jerry Lewis
– Jim Rohn

Can’t wait to hear your takeaways from this action-packed podcast.

Check out his TED talk here: https://youtu.be/t186tlhjvMk

Check out his website here: http://davidknappfisher.com