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In the realm of challenging situations

For the past 15 years, I've had the pleasure to support teams as they work through challenging scenarios. For this week's REiL Blog, I wanted to share a few ideas that can help when tricky situations arise.

Acknowledge and be compassionate with ourselves when we're unsettled or we don't know how to respond.

This is a biggie. Often the default is to berate ourselves for not knowing, suppress the fact that we're unsure, or make the other person wrong as a way of avoiding what we're feeling. While each of these strategies can "work", there is only one which offers us relief and a greater sense of connection (not to mention humor!) and that is acknowledging what unsettles us.

Build rapport

Building rapport is one of the pro-active building blocks to minimize challenging behavior. Let me clarify what I mean by rapport. Rapport is being interested and engaged with those we work with. Rapport takes time and patience to develop. Rapport is not "liking". Liking is a preferential choice. Rapport takes persistence, whereas liking can be fleeting.

Gather tools to guide your practice when things get tough

Often, when things get challenging, we may simply react to what's happening. We may say or do something we regret later. A few suggestions for tools to guide practice are: clear and concise guidelines, a team slogan, or frameworks and models which resonate for you. A few of my faves include First Peoples Principles of Learning, Circle of Courage, and the REiL model.

To learn more about REiL Learning and how we could support your team work through a challenging situation, visit or e-mail Katy at


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