A human instinct is to affiliate and congregate with other humans to feel accepted, acknowledged, and included. For every teacher, the beginning of the school year is a time for actions and planning to build a community. Any gathering of people when given the opportunity to work and achieve together, will build the community with meetings and outings. Every lesson and every activity you coach from the GOTR curriculum is focused on building community within your team. As coaches, we learn our words and actions have power and meaning. In this episode of IGNITE, we will learn effective language and strategies for building a positive, supportive team.
- Use "team" language. Referring to the group as "Team" puts in their head "we are a team." Using these phrases help visualize and correlate the experience to the vocabulary.
- "That's what a team looks like while running their laps!"
- "A team encourages other teammates. I'm seeing a lot of that today!"
- "Our team is going to make some goals and empower each other to achieve them!"
- "Our team knows how to be compassionate and understanding. I see a lot of this in every practice." (Then give real examples of the behavior you have seen.)
- Remind the girls to pay attention to the answers and comments of the other girls. This encourages bonding and relating to others- some they know and some they may not know.
- Do a “feeling check-in”. If practices feel challenging or you want a quick activity to pull the group together, use a community building activity that involves asking individuals to state their present feeling (see list of *feeling words* below). You may also include them stating a goal they have for the practice or week. Common check-in language a coach can facilitate with includes:
- "(Insert name) how are you feeling today/about our practice/right now?"
- "What is your goal for practice/today/this week?"
- "Is there someone here who can help you with that goal?"
- Support your coaches with your words. It is important to model how to support each other as a team. The best way to achieve this is to verbally encourage and motivate your other coaches in front of the girls. When they see the coaches as a team, they naturally want to fall under that umbrella as well.
It's our passion as a coach to facilitate and lead a group of girls that achieve goals, bond with each other, and become amazing humans within our communities. No easier and better way of empowering others than with our words. Our words and actions are powerful and meaningful tools to build amazing team communities!
Shayla A. is the Coach Mentor for Girls on the Run Kansas City. Her background comes from the classroom, coaching, day treatment schools, wellness, and advocating for children with special needs. She enjoys empowering and advocating for girls and coaches in every challenge and celebration. Connect with her for support and assistance this season via Leigh Krtek.
LIST OF FEELING WORDS:
BOOK LIST TO DIVE DEEPER INTO THE POWER OF OUR WORDS AND BUILDING COMMUNITY:
Choice Words by Peter H. Johnston
The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton
TO WATCH A VIDEO ON HOW TO BUILD A COMMUNITY WITH YOUR GOTR TEAM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUFK3Jfudn4