Category: #motivation

Motivation-Validation

Monday’s can be a day measured differently for many. It is based on the life experiences of the weekend, the feelings they have for where they are, expectations, mindsets, and the culture.

Life journeys are different for each of us. Many things are not visible and are hard to detect. It takes effort to work on really getting to know someone else. Sometimes individuals will tell you just what you want to hear to get out of the situation.

Making connections with others is vital in an organization, workplace, and especially a school. No matter the age or position, individuals want to be seen, heard, and validated.

Have you ever been asked to come to your boss’s office to discuss a private issue and then when you arrive they are not there? A teacher looks at you and does not know your name? A group of co-workers is gathered talking about a great book they have all decided to read, but you have never heard about it?

Many things send signals to others that we do not value them. Individuals will take this information and store it. Over time incidents like these add up and devalued them to the point where they no longer work at the level of their potential. In children, this can be a detrimental factor in the trajectory of their development. We know in adults and others this can lead to enhance already existing mental health issues or bring about onsets of anxiety and depression.

Make Monday’s different for others. Let’s make every day different, but we will start today! I had some fantastic people who would join in my silly stuff sometimes, and it made days fun! Our technology department would play Happy Birthday with actual names to people over phones speakers, do pictures on your computer screens to brighten your day when you came in to start your day, and some funny cat jokes with pictures on occasion. Thanks, Scott and Alan!

Check out this video on how this school strategically looked at how to make sure adults were connecting with all students. You can do things similar to this with staff through fun boards, chats, and contests. https://www.edutopia.org/video/making-sure-each-child-known

Be the solution daily in helping others know their value! Thank you for helping choose to be the solution!

Quotes and thoughts

I enjoy reading quotes. One of my favorite things is to see a quote and then see others’ responses to the quote. So many thoughts, ideas, and wisdom are shared. Here are a few to review…

Share your thoughts. Do you have a favorite quote you use? What is one that helps you the most? I have a few, but would love to know others.

Pop’in back, Getting to know you!

Relationship building is a priority for every organization during this time. Our world has experienced a great deal of stress, and we continue to have changes made to our daily lives. Bringing fun into the work environment and getting to know those we share time with are helpful in many ways.

Building relationships build trust, loyalty, and dedication. The stronger our relationships become, the more the work becomes not a what we do but a why we do! Bring fun, trust, validation, and dedication to each other. We need all of this!

I have a couple of games I have used to help with getting to know others. Both are fun ways to bring people back together after a long break like summer, spring, Christmas, or even short holidays and during a conference. These are also fun to do in social settings, in classrooms, or where you need to break the ice to start conversations.

I have provided some brief explanations and listed the materials you need to play the games. The questions to ask yourself are:

  • How many people will be in this group?
  • Which game fits this group setting?
  • How much time do I have with this group?
  • Is this something we can continue over several days?

Once you have answered these questions, you can determine how to set up the game and needed materials. Individuals will write and label their answers on three small pieces of paper. Then insert them into the balloon and blow the balloon up slightly. They place the balloon in the designated spot and when all are completed the game begins. (When I have done the Pop’in back game with balloons, I use a giant garbage bag to put balloons in, or you can utilize a designated area.) Then I can get one out to pop.

*If you are at a conference, make sure to announce only to do a balloon if they will be staying for all of the sessions. You don’t want to pop a balloon and never find out who dated Blake Shelton or is a secret millionaire.

Guidance for games

Questions to use for statements

  • What state are we in?
  • What company or school district do you work for?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you have grandchildren?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Do you have siblings?
  • What is your favorite season?
  • Have you been to Disney World?
  • Which would you rather have ice cream or cake?
  • Have traveled by plane?
  • Have traveled by train?
  • Have more than five friends?
  • Many questions can be asked but be aware of what you ask and how you ask? What is the purpose? This is to be uplifting, chances to connect and laugh. Stay away from topics that could cause trauma indirectly.

Please share if you have additional ideas or suggestions. Let us know if you try it out and how it went. I have done this activity with a large group (entire school district opening meeting, my hometown rural school). So much fun with everyone engaged, even those who never want to participate.

It only takes a spark!

“The power just went out; I can’t see a thing.”

“Hang on, I know I have candles somewhere. Oh no, only one match! I hope we can get the candle going with one match. Then we can start the others.”

Moving to the country on our own as a young family took a little getting used to. Planning out what was needed in emergencies like power outages, snowstorms, ice, and so much more!

Listening to the evening news, we hear about fires out west. It only takes one spark to get a fire going, and it spreads fast. This message was loud and clear.

“Please take out the red hymnal books and turn to page 495 and the song Pass it on.” My favorite song! “It only takes a spark to get a fire going. That’s how it is with God’s love.”

Putting the spark in Leadership

I have utilized these messages about a spark to light my path igniting the fire in others for many years. It is what leaders do. At first, I did not recognize it as a leadership trait, but it is! The best kind of leadership trait. It is support, passion, authenticity, relationships, and knowledge-SPARK, all in one!

As leaders, we do not recognize things as part of a “formalized” plan of skills. We do what we feel natural in doing. However, with this being said, leaders are constantly learning and absorbing ways to improve. They pass this on to those they serve, lighting a fire to ignite success.

In my solution-focused approach to leadership, it is natural always to look for solutions. When you focus on solutions, positive mindsets are the results. Supporting those you serve as they work to provide solutions is a positive part of the day. Positive support naturally creates a positive work climate where everyone feels safe, supported, and confident.

Showing our passion for what we do is a contagious attribute. The love we have is something we do not want to hide. Providing and sharing this passion with our team helps to keep the spirit going. Opportunities to try new things, ideas and to enjoy what we do.

During our time of support and showing others the passion we have for what we do, it is in how we do and not always what we say. Being authentic in what you say and do brings authenticity to how we lead. Authentic leaders and teams bring truth, honesty, and the spirit of collaboration. These components secure loyalty and lift the team to reach higher levels. This weaves into the natural building of relationships as the level of trust has been established through the work of support, passion, and authenticity. These components are all needed to work together to begin to flicker the spark.

The last piece most feel is essential. Leaders think they need to have the most knowledge to lead. It is not the leader who holds the knowledge; it is within the team. Each member brings their knowledge, strengths, and talents to support the passion for achieving success. The leader knows how to help get the team to the end goal as the team works together.

Take away

  • Support- Provide your team with the support they need to accomplish the goals. Keep the positive mindset with always a positive solution-focused approach.
  • Passion- Share the love for what we do! Celebrate the tiny, small, and big wins daily. It is contagious! Spread it!
  • Authenticity- It is what we say and do that helps to inspire trust in our teams. As this is established, loyalty follows as well as a foundation for our team.
  • Relationships- Building positive relationships focused on solutions keeps mindsets positive and establishes collaboration to accomplish set goals.
  • Knowledge- Recognizing the knowledge and skills of the team further enhances the foundation for collaborative success. Leaders only need the understanding of how to help the team utilize their talents together to accomplish success.

It only takes a SPARK to get a fire going, and soon all those around will: warm up to its glowing, grow within its light, shine brighter and be thankful for the spark! Thank you for being part of the solution daily!

Back to School 🍎

Fall is my favorite season! It is the time of year where you begin to harvest the fruits of your labor as a farmer. Pumpkins, corn, apples, marshmallows and chocolate, scarecrows, and school supplies are the best! The sounds of the shoppers looking for just the right color of a folder, the best bookbag, and don’t forget picking out the first day of school outfit.

My school year in 2010 changed forever for me. I barely escaped losing my life and was left with lifelong deficits to remind me of the gift of life daily. Children felt impacts to their lives as schools shut down, mask mandates, isolation from others, and a change no one was prepared to handle in their school year 2020.

Now 2021-2022 school year is upon us, and the memories of the previous shutdowns with mask mandates are looming. Illinois has just passed on information that all K-12 students and staff will wear masks as they return to school, even those who have been vaccinated.

Safety is always the priority of all school leaders. Safety means many things when we discuss children—the safety of body, mind, and spirit. Science directs us in our decision-making regarding health and wellness. Children are fragile and essential to all of us. As a mother, grandmother, educator, and loving human, what we do to them concerns me always. They are not able to make decisions for their overall safety for themselves, and that task is left to us.

There seems to be a great debate regarding vaccinations, masks, and everything related to Covid-19. Why? It is no longer about science but politics. I am not taking a political side, but the children who can not decide on their own.

Would you please push the political views aside? Doctors, scientists, pediatric specialists, and psychologists need to be heard to provide the guidelines for children. What are the best ways to protect the body, mind, and spirit?

I have included an article about the importance of connecting. My previous post about the Artifact Bag also talks about the importance of connection. Let’s not let 2021-2022 be a repeat for our children. We can find creative ways to embrace things we cannot control with stuff we can by connecting better.

Would you please focus on the magical joy of teaching and learning by connecting at the levels we need after all we have been through with Covid-19? “Education is something we do with children, not to them.”-Brenda Yoho

https://www.edutopia.org/article/rekindling-sense-connection-new-school-year?utm_content=linkpos1&utm_campaign=weekly-2021-07-28-A&utm_source=edu-newsletter&utm_medium=email

In the quiet

Since a young child, blank pages have called to me. Finding comfort in filling them with words whispered to me from the quiet. Echoes in the breeze carried messages of hope for the day, as sunlight brought warmth to fuel it. Shadows began to dance across the page. Soon darkness will be upon us with only a sliver of the moon and the stars to light the way. Rest is what we will need now as we wait for the sun to bring a new day and new pages to fill.

Find a quiet place, to have a quiet moment, and to enjoy the quiet time. How long can you stay? Is it very far? How will I know when I find it? Will anyone be there?

Many blessings to you on this quiet day……..

Kindness, Every Monday Matters

Every Monday Matters by Matthew Emerzian is a great way to kick off every Monday! Packed full of engaging ideas to take action at the level you select. The proceeds from the purchase of this book will be donated to Every Monday Matters to support its national YOU MATTER K-12 Education Program. The book and program help others know how much and why they matter.

As I write daily, it is always the focus to help be the solution for someone who pauses to read the words written. To provide hope, encouragement, ideas, wisdom, and ways to approach issues to find solutions.

Today, I hope to pass on the ripple of kindness as a way to be daily, not as a random act of kindness, but a daily dose. It does not cost a thing to spread this around. Instead of a frown, turn it around. Smiles are free!

So may I please ask for today if you read this blog, please give it a like, share it with others, pass on the challenge to see…..who can show the most kindness today! Take a count, a picture or two, let’s see just what you can do! Don’t be shy, share share and share! Don’t we need smiles in the news!

#Bethesolutiondaily @BrendaYoho

Things you can do Dad

“I write books and share tips and advice; the last thing I want people to think is that I sit on my high horse and have it all figured out. The truth is, my best advice and lessons come more from my mistakes and failures than success.”-Jon Gordon

I have always been a fan of Jon Gordon and the wisdom he shares. I started with his sentiments as they are so humble and genuine. Many leaders I respect and know feel this same way. This is why they have found the success they have earned because of their authenticity.

In his reflection of being a dad this past Father’s Day, he gathered his thoughts of his lessons learned to help other dads. They are captured in his list of a few things.

Here are a few things:

  • Focus on the moment instead of what’s next.
  • Support and listen to them instead of giving advice.
  • More trust and less fear.
  • Ask what they want to do instead of telling them what they should do.
  • Focus more on happiness than success.
  • Let them figure it out instead of figuring it out for them.
  • Bring calm energy instead of tense anxious energy.

It isn’t easy to find the balance between professional and personal. Many times mothers and fathers forget to take care of themselves individually. The most crucial factor is to take care of themselves as a couple. We face many challenges, but we have many places to turn for support.


Jon Gordon believes the best things you can give to your children are:

  • Love them
  • Believe in them
  • Guide them
  • Spend time with them
  • Listen to them
  • Pray for them

Thank you for being the solution daily. Positive Leadership is what Jon Gordon can help you achieve. Being a great dad is a plan we just gave you, but you already knew!