Relive the Messages
”We need to be reminded more than we need to be taught”

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Workshop: Tough & Tender

  • It’s all about relationships.

  • The very best leaders are both tough (high expectations) and tender (high supports)

  • “Clear is Kind, Unclear is Unkind” -Brene Brown

  • A CharacterStrong Conversation meets at the intersection of clarity, competence, and consistency.

  • Clarity - Accountability = Holding another person accountable, face to face, for broken promises, broken expectations, or broken behavior. A gap between what is expected and what is happening.

  • Competence - Why don’t we hold people accountable? We either don’t know how or are afraid of what will happen.

  • “If you don’t TALK it out you will ACT it out.” -Crucial Accountability

  • Think CPR:

    • Concern = First convo is about an initial situation that happened. Facts not emotions. Don’t wait to have the conversation.

    • Pattern = If problem continues start to talk about the pattern of behavior you are noticing and the need for it to change.

    • Relationship = If the problem still continues you talk about the impact it now has on the relationship(s) and if things don’t change then a clear consequence has to happen.

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Pre-Con: Award Winning Culture

  • “Culture goes much deeper than a mission statement. It is how group members actually behave, repeatedly and habitually.” -James Hunter

  • Culture exists in three circles: Clarity, Competence, and Consistency. Oftentimes, campuses have 2 of the 3, but that leaves us with a few problems:

    • A Culture of No How: We know what is important and we see/talk about it often, but the staff or students don’t have the skills to bring the vision to life. It is a culture that is busy, but not productive.

    • A Culture of No Why: We teach a lot of skills, we talk about our culture often, but there is no deep buy-in or clear, unifying purpose. It is a culture that is busy, but not passionate.

    • A Culture with No When: Inspiration doesn’t mean application. A big message with little follow through is like going the gym ONCE. It is a culture of inconsistency - a culture of good ideas, but no habits.

  • A CharacterStrong Culture is when all three intentionally intersect. We do this by creating deep purpose in students and staff, teaching the competencies required for compassion and connection, and creating simple, practical ways to consistently weave these SEL and character conversations & skills into the daily fabric of our classrooms and campuses.

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Workshop: Closing the Empathy Gap

  • We must clarify, reflect, practice, and live Empathy.

  • Clarify:

    • Apathy: Walking by someone

    • Sympathy: Pitying someone

    • Empathy: Being with someone. “Sharing a baguette.”

    • Compassion: “To suffer with” + and active desire to alleviate that suffering.

  • Reflect:

    • What is a feeling you don’t like to feel?

    • Who do you need to “share a baguette” with?

  • Practice:

    • Yale’s RULER tool for emotional check ins.

    • What is your primary feeling today, this week, this year?

    • Asking meaningful questions and listening well to answers. Here is your homework link: https://www.characterstrong.com/empathy

  • Live:

    • 45% of our day is habit, which also means week, month, year, and life! Great leaders get thoughtful about what goes in that 45%.

    • Constraint creates creativity! We must teach young people to think about how they think about Empathy.


CharacterStrong Case Studies
See CS in action at a Middle School and High School