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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

I’m embarking on a new RL challenge that has been serendipitous. I always love that – when you get the exact tool you need – unexpectedly. The new challenge is joining a Children’s Challenge Speakers Bureau for the United Way here in Arizona. It is something I will volunteer for – but something that can be done in conjunction with the other things I do for my job. Yes… one more plate to spin, one more ball to juggle, but… I felt like I have been blessed with the ability to speak to groups – and I have been more than blessed with healthy happy kids and I needed to speak out on behalf of those kids who struggle with just getting their basic needs met.

So… this speakers thing required 2 days of training. I met an amazing woman through the course of the training that I hope I will continue to build new professional bridges with. We both agreed there was a lot of potential. Her mantra was embedded heavily in the 3 days.

Affection ~ Inclusion ~ Control

She shared this with us because it is how she builds rapport with her audiences when she speaks.  She shared then numerous examples with us of how it can apply to day to day life – it could solve problems with 3 and 5 year olds, and it could solve problems with whole countries.  A very simple strategy – and one that I will try my best to practice.


  1. Show Affection.  Tell people you care about them.  Smile.  Make eye contact.  Use body language that shows affection (not lovey-dovey – but accepting).
  2. Remember Inclusion.  Allow everyone to be involved.  Allow everyone to offer their thoughts.  Solicit opinions.  Listen to those opinions.  Include all in the necessary dialogue.
  3. Share Control.  Remember that in compromise control can be shared.  You can still achieve your goal, while acknowledging the needs and concerns of others, and allowing them to have control as well.

To make it a little more concrete I’ll share my example from an interaction with my 5 year old son.  Mornings at our house are a little crazy.  It is a race.  It is an adrenaline producing experience.  It definitely makes just the rush from caffeine seem mild 🙂  to say the least.  Anyway – Dave always does a great job in setting out the clothes for the kids so that by the time they get up – it is a no brainer – grab your clothes and put them on… move on to the next task.  

So… one morning this week after hearing this strategy… I had an incident cross my path immediately to practice.  Simon decided he preferred to wear some older shorts/overalls that were his favorite as a 3 and 4 year old.  Yes, they are cute. They were my favorite too.  They were designed to be baggy.  They were in the pile of clothes to donate to Goodwill.  In a squeeze, yes, unfortunately, they still “kinda” fit Simon 🙂  Simon decided THOSE were what he was going to wear. He needs help undoing the buckles to use the restroom – so I knew they really weren’t an option.

Simon was very upset about not being able to wear these overalls to school.  He was in tears and very angry.  I held him and talked quietly about how much I loved those overalls too.  We both agreed they were our favorite.  (hint: affection)

Then, Simon and I talked about some alternatives.  I agreed to not put them in the Goodwill pile and we brainstormed some times when he could wear them (at home, on the weekend,  even to sleep in if he wanted! LOL).  (hint: inclusion)

He agreed to wear his other shorts and decided he would put the overalls on as soon as he got home.  He was still sad but agreeable – and far from the headstrong temper tantrum mental state he had been in when we began  (hint: control).

NOW… mind you… this all took place in probably less than 5 minutes.  This was in no way a Dr. Phil show length activity.  Less than 5 minutes and we both felt good about the outcome.

Maybe we need to pass those 3 little words on in big and small ways to those around us, and to unexpected strangers that cross our path and may need a dose of that as well?


the little guy I love so much

the little guy I love so much

By the way – once you take notice of this strategy – you will see it everywhere – non-examples abound – and you will see opportunities to put it to work yourself if you are brave enough to try 🙂

An important note to include I almost forgot…  One of the things this facilitator shared is that in the absence of this strategy – in the absence of affection – inclusion – control, passive- agreessive and downright defiance will always prevail.  


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