Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just 90 Seconds...

While attending the Washington State Mentors' Conference last week, I listened to many useful presentations.  As Elia Moreno, the keynote speaker and a session presenter, said, the nine principles below are what we learned growing up but somehow have lost.  The principles apply to everyone we encounter, not just those in poverty. Discuss with your mentees. Excerpts from her session PDF:


“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can.” --John Wesley

Impacting Students in Just 90 Seconds

Because poverty has emerged as one of our most critical issues; our communities must become more proactive and systemic in responding to this devastating plague and the students living in this crisis. It is essential that we have a new insight and a deeper understanding of the importance in showing value to all we encounter.

Let’s peel back the layers and discover, the kind of worth and value that requires no words when given. Because poverty attacks an individual’s self-esteem, the person living in poverty usually becomes convinced that the deficiency is within rather than the situation they are living in. This is a myth the person is not deficient; the situation they are living in is what is deficient.

Poverty greatly affects the educational environment in academics, discipline, and absenteeism. Implementation of these Just 90 Seconds principles will allow you to better connect not only with your students but also with their families.

1. Choosing to intentionally impact others (For example, don't be listening or talking on a cell phone when you are checking out with a clerk, at a meal, etc.) 

One way or another in every human interaction, we give or take value from another.

2. Approaching with gentle steps (If you are angry or having a bad day, how many innocent people--family, coworkers, clients, service people or others will you harm with your negative attitude? Be thoughtful of others you encounter even indirectly.)

3. Smiling with purpose (No explanation needed!)

4. Greeting in a way that allows others to feel welcomed (Consider body language--open or closed, facial expression and smiles.  Acknowledge people around you with a sign or a word.)

5. Making Eye Contact (Make eye contact, not just look at the face.  Disregarding humans is easy with technology. Sometimes we behave as if others are invisible.)

6. Ignoring Distractions (Tell me what you want because I am in a hurry. Pause and deal with the person before you. 'Talking with someone while checking the clock, looking at others in the room, etc.  Focus!)

7.  The Art of Listening (Let people talk until they are finished. Don't interrupt.  Don't act impatiently. Don't touch or nod.)

8. Affirming by showing value (Elia and a group of civic leaders went to a distant town to live three days on the street as homeless people.  No one offered her a drink of water. How valuable was Elia when no one felt her worth a drink of water? Even "church" people found her unworthy of being in the house of God.  How can we assert the value of another?)

9. Closure (In mentoring, we teach how to close a mentoring match, but do we commonly wrap neatly a meeting or conversation in an appropriate, pleasant or uplifting way? Are we thoughtful of coworkers, family members, service people, etc.?) 

Elia Moreno is available to host on-site training over this material. If you would like more information, please contact us at Consulting@NoExcusesU.com.

Building Resilience in Our Youth, August 20, 2013, Seattle University

More tomorrow...

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