A key component of Bringing Yourself to Work is listening to one another. That means sharing our thoughts and experiences to better understand ourselves and each other.

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Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the importance of building quality relationships among after-school staff and the children in their care? Why is it important? How can it be done? What are your experiences?

Building relationships is best done when caregivers understand the components of a relationship: trust, empathy, affinity, and affection. Each of these can be built consciously, through performance, active and expressed understanding, discovered and created shared characteristics and experiences, and through “gifts” of kindness and helpfulness. Caregivers who are given these analytic tools can apply them in their work to bind
their charges to them. Caregivers can then leverage these bonds to make kids attach to stronger and more ambitious self images.

Richard Berenson
Venzyme Venture Catalysts
[email protected]

Most people who participate or observe the Wings program say it’s the best after-school program they’ve ever seen. In many cases, they can’t put their finger on why, but I can.

The strong bonds between the kids and our staff make our program so special. Sure, we have of fun things for kids to choose from, like Taekwondo, basketball, dance, reading clubs, swimming, etc. But what the kids (and staff) love are the relationships. At our closing ceremony last year, there were few dry eyes in the place. The power of the relationships formed was palpable.

How do we do it? Wings has a very intentional staff training and curriculum that is focused on the development of emotional intelligence. And if those skills are developed, the natural outcome is an ability for both the staff and kids to create powerful and meaningful relationships.

Ginny Deerin
President/Executive Director, Wings