Building Community Through Better Relationships

What’s At The Top?

Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?”, a local commentator asked legendary climber George Mallory decades ago. Mallory allegedly answered, “Because it’s there.” While the interview produced a memorable quote, actually climbing the world’s largest mountain is undeniably more complex. Even from an attitude perspective, the reasons vary. Desiring to defeat a unique challenge is an important motivator. Being the individual who defies death in this pursuit likewise provides a unique rush. Ultimately, a common motivator for any singular accomplishment is the ego-driven desire to be recognized at the head of their category. The specific drivers vary regarding their insatiable motivation. What’s at the top? Only the individual champion’s ego can accurately answer that question.


Validation can be one essential driver to legendary accomplishments. The conqueror can easily own the point of view that “I worked hard at it and I achieved it.” This conqueror can now accomplish the next task. “Faint heart never won fair maidens.”, according to the romantic poet’s perspective on this sentiment. Nevertheless, that viewpoint is easily accused of being self-centered. Rarely does an exceptional, never-done-before, feat compete in a vacuum. A clear viewpoint reveals that other individuals and ideas contributed to the superhuman accomplishment. Fundamental items like tools, training, and inspiration are essential to securing mindsets and foundations for great accomplishment.

At the core of the ego-fueled drive for superiority, an individual must possess supreme confidence. Core competence regarding necessary skills run a close second! Perspective completes the triangle because achieving singular feats require more than nerves and talent. An intelligence requirement provides a necessary level of respect for the achievement, as well as vision regarding the risks. That balance allows fearless conquerors to avoid destructively reckless behaviors while sustaining supreme confidence. That viewpoint empowers the drive for greatness to align with respect for the victory.


Although accomplishing legendary feats is a straightforward way for an individual to enjoy individual accolades, an unexpected benefit emerges. World-class performers are unique by definition. The individual efforts and competence that superior performers require make them singular, even in a team sport, or endeavor. That unity reinforces aligned efforts toward singular achievement. Consequently, even group efforts that result in singular achievement still form a unique team accomplishment.

Specifically, champions are unique because they reach the pinnacle of their particular arena. Whether the conqueror emerges as a Nobel laureate or a Super Bowl champion, additional team members contribute to the ultimate win. Consequently, champions rely on teammates, trainers, coaches, strategists, nutritionists and multiple other supporters to prepare the winners for their ultimate victories. At nearly every level, elite victories require several contributors who are part of the team that eventually unveils individual success. 


Ultimately, the champion does not achieve the accolades associated with reaching the top alone. Anyone who arrives at their particular mountaintop, benefitted from extraordinary drive, as well as detailed attention to teamwork. As any honest champion will admit, the crowning victory was not a singular success. The event that revealed their conquest undoubtedly provided a stage for recognizing communal greatness.

Champions realize that they do not perform in isolation. Consequently, they all have a unique camaraderie among the supporters that contributed to the conquest. At the literal mountaintop, one individual places the flag declaring the victory. Yet, even at that point, the individual is not alone. The people patting the conqueror on the back are contributors, not cheerleaders. At the mountain top is a group that cooperates for victory. Another mountain awaits. Get a team together to conquer the next desired mountaintop!

By Glenn W Hunter
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To contribute: Click on www.TYRS.org

April 30, 2021 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


“Stop that crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!”, shouts the frustrated young mother. Instantly, numerous, assorted emotions have now dramatically collided. One sentence instantly identified at least four different emotions dominating one scenario. The mother loves the child, or else she would not really care about the crying, nor the reason. The child expresses frustration because they have undeveloped communication skills to express their immediate problem. The mother internalizes anger because the child is not clearly communicating, in addition to the fact that the mother has conflicting priorities. The child feels neglect, because they have a problem and it is not being resolved to their immediate satisfaction. How in the world do people practically manage so many co-existing emotions in any routine scenario?

Behavioral Triggers

The important purpose of emotions is their role in assisting other people to understand and communicate better. The transacted idea involves human reasoning, as well as more basic feelings. This function is an essential part of the human condition. According to psychologist, Kendra Cherry, “Emotions help us to take action, to survive, strike and avoid danger, to make decisions, to understand others. Moreover, they help other people to understand us.” Plainly, the behavioral triggers launched by emotions are fundamental to human beings sharing their instinctive, as well as mental processes. Emotions facilitate communication of the heart, then the head.

Beyond this logical approach to processing emotions is the mental foundation that people want satisfaction in as many ways as possible. In the case of the young mother, she fundamentally wants to love her child. She wants the child to be happy. She also wants a clean house, a happy husband, and perhaps some solitary time featuring a hot bath, awesome tea, and a great book. Unfortunately, these priorities often collide. Emotionally, she must balance these priorities to achieve an optimal solution. Unfortunately, that outcome requires more bandwidth than is humanly available. Outbursts are the release of that pent up pressure.

Emotional Outcomes

So, what is the solution? Obviously, trade-offs and explicit priorities is a great start. Establishing a few non-negotiable outcomes clearly helps. The feeble, innocent baby often takes priority. Simply, neglecting a young life under development for momentary pleasure can result in grave consequences. Emotional outcomes have to remain a priority in social interactions. An emotionally damaged child can suffer trauma for decades into the future. How exactly does a rational person process these options for optimal benefits?

The question has several answers because each individual has different priorities. Even functional families that agree on major principles, still differ on particulars. When the baby throws their cereal across the kitchen, is the punishment a time-out or a spanking? What if the mess ruins mom’s brand new power suit? Clearly, multiple factors play into these decisions. Even the most well-balanced plans for punishments that fit the long-term and short-term benefits of everyone involved may waiver in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, the exception caused by unexpected events and unintended consequences must be managed justly, and often promptly.


As decisions are considered and resolutions are executed, people will continue to evaluate their needs in the midst of daily plans and unintended consequences. When time-sensitive judgments are being executed, the consequences will endure. Furthermore, today’s reaction is the next generation’s iron-clad rule. Emotional trauma will be a byproduct of many decisions. Corrective actions will be an ongoing challenge in the name of consistency and fairness. Nevertheless, at the core of emotional interactions, is the desire to have resolutions that work. In achieving these solutions, particularly where generational behaviors and practices are at stake, remember that immediate decisions will evolve into long-term consequences. Executing successful, emotional triggers may seem to require effective long-term planning, but what they really need is capable, real-time navigation. Emotional reactions have consequences. Be ready to navigate them over the long-term.

By Glenn W Hunter

Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services

To contribute: Click on www.TYRS.org

April 9, 2021 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons, Grades or Fogging a Mirror

School is an essential part of American life. But, what exactly happens in the process of delivering education to our youth? Furthermore, what exactly happens when schooling gets interrupted? As many communities across the country wrestle with assorted variations of this question, what is undeniably consistent is that education is enduring unprecedented shifts! As different approaches to normalizing education have emerged in the last year across assorted communities nationally, the essential point features that lessons have experienced interruptions. Furthermore, as interruptions have taken different forms, re-engagement will require different approaches to re-establish progress with youth’s school work.


Learning is the foundation that establishes education. Still, the activity and the institution do not necessarily align. Disparities in educational resources and backgrounds have been an issue since the founding of the country. Over several decades, improvement has been achieved to varying degrees. Still consistency is at best an aspiration, and at worse, a lie! Nevertheless, what happens when fundamental academic institutions are disrupted at every level? How do students re-engage to resume their educational progress across an entire spectrum of available learning opportunities?

Putting textbooks and lesson plans in front of students is relatively straightforward. The Social Emotional Learning component remains trickier. What trauma has impacted individual children as they have individually navigated learning in the pandemic? With public comments attacking the American consciousness from various and contrary viewpoints, how does youth process the messages? More importantly, how do they emotionally process all the verbal contradictions? “Wear a mask!” “Don’t wear a mask!” For learning to function as it should, students have to buy in! Such engagement happens best when it is heart to heart. All stakeholders must communicate encouragingly and emotionally to progress down a more effective learning path!


Nevertheless, without engagement no progress happens. Grades fundamentally measure progress. Yet, what happens when academic progress is interrupted? Then, emotional dysfunction and questionable performance emerges. Is interrupted progress really the cause of inferior performance? How is students’ progress measured consistently when they are having such widely varied experiences reconnecting with school? How does overall performance fairly measure outcomes when one student spent time away from school with designated daily study time, while another spent the same hours without wi-fi? If grades reflect comparative outcomes, then consistent inputs must be available first.

As education systems reset the ability to teach our youth, acknowledge the facts that the emotional weight of performance has social emotional components. When comparing students with lesser resources to students with superior resources, evaluating performance strictly numerically will yield erroneous consequences. Emotionally, students and families will recognize disadvantages. Furthermore, unfair comparison to performance metrics will eventually result in disproportionate emotional challenges among disadvantaged students. Flexibility in teaching and grading goes far beyond placating bruised egos and inferior learning. The outcomes now factor in potential hopelessness that has been communicated to previous achievers who suddenly were socially excluded from social-emotional support and resources which encouraged competitive performance.


According to legendary motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, “Success leaves clues.” Regarding Social Emotional Learning, youth must be encouraged in locating clues so that they experience positive reinforcement and affirmation regarding academic performance. Repeat for social performance, as well. Good behavior now has an opportunity to reset! Educators can now execute previous plans to encourage more socially inclusive behaviors. Under no circumstances should students be rewarded for fogging a mirror. However, with a clean slate that rewards classroom contributions, opportunities surface to reset expectations for desired behaviors. A door has opened for youth to experience fresh social-emotional encouragement to embrace the benefits of being more functional and positive contributors in the classroom, society, and their greater communities! Have them enter that specific door!

By Glenn W Hunter

Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services.

To contribute: Click on www.TYRS.org

March 31, 2021 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gonna Make The Honor Roll

A young man from an undesirable part of town had a secret! Considering the violence and lawlessness where he lived, secrets were nothing special. But this singular young man had a very specific secret. He liked school! He worked hard to fit in with his peers. But, astute teachers and nosy students could not help but notice. Some teachers who had settled comfortably in their own mediocrity refused to believe the miracle that was before them, especially in THAT community. In the spirit of John 1:46, “‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathaniel asked. ‘Come and see’ said Phillip.” Lo and behold, the young man was educationally gifted. He then decided and declared, “I shall make the honor roll to prove it!”

Be The Voice

Typically, teachers would have found additional work to challenge the rising star. Or, they would have empowered him as a positive example by having him tutor weaker students. But, they did not want to bring more work upon themselves, nor shine unnecessary attention to make other students jealous. Regardless, excellence emerged! That is what excellence does! Subsequently, the next growth step was now self-esteem. He needed to acquire Social Emotional Skills to match his intellect. The trauma of being an outsider required tools that supported confirming his inner excellence and confidence. Furthermore, he needed coping skills to overcome jealous taunts. His intellectual confidence could only protect him so far. Intentionality to embrace singular skills, and to reward any new talents, are necessary to build rising leaders! Although the environment may have remained consistent, progress regarding his individual development required more nurturing soil.

Beyond the bold public statement, the young man began doing the work. He read. He studied. He answered questions correctly. Yet, the youth demonstrated his excellence in relative silence. Nevertheless, as he quietly pursued his task, his gifts screamed for attention! The other students could not ignore his superior performance. Aggregately, they were not pleased. Furthermore, many teachers were unsure how to manage his level of excellence and discipline. He had disrupted the status quo, plus implicitly began to challenge peers and teachers to perform better.

Make The Choice

The classroom, the school building, and the learning center do not exist in a vacuum. Consciously developing well rounded skills must be cultivated to fulfill all the latent powers that are in this individual, and others. Math skills are a wonderful foundation; now they can provide a direct learning path to musical excellence. Likewise his mastery of essays, reinforced the foundation of a superior orator and leader who infused emotion into flawless prose. Stages and podiums were fast becoming inevitable destinations. Consequently, proven academic choices to develop this leader had to be intentionally introduced as quickly as his academic greatness sprouted.

These developmental choices go beyond celebrating one rising star. The true value is providing the courage for the next star. The positive momentum has to become the new normal. The next bright young lady can now be ready to demonstrate the ability to excel, too. Without intentionality, the next star student may choose to ease up a bit. The challenge with a positive example is that it is conspicuous and is easy to take for granted. Still, what educator is willing to embrace the unique genius of the next academic superstar?


When superior talent is left uncheck, too often it resorts to hijinks. Furthermore, inside every student with strong grades is the temptation to ease off the accelerator. The student that believes that by making the honor roll once, he can easily make it again probably has limited leadership for greatness speaking to him. “Excellence is not an act; but a habit.” Miss the joy of being exceptional, then witness the difficult challenge to regain greatness. Of course, repetitive stardom is achievable. But returning to the pinnacle becomes more difficult upon leaving it. Excellence is not sustained if it is achieved to make Mom happy. Ongoing growth, and continued high performance must be internally driven. When that foundation is reinforced on an ongoing basis, then the sustained excellence becomes replicable and contagious. That path paves the way to more robust learning environments!

By Glenn W Hunter

Chair, Board of Directors, Touchstone Youth Resource Services

Learn more about Social Emotional Learning, or to donate got to TYRS.org

March 9, 2021 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BYOB – Bring Your Own Blog/ Bring Your Own Beverage/ Bring Your Own Best Idea

WELCOME to our community of bloggers, storytellers, authors & content providers!!!

BYOB has come together as a workshop to provide a safe place to bring your writing ideas to other bloggers who want a little more insight and courage to get their personal masterpieces into the universe.

BYOB is a virtual community where bloggers come together monthly on the third Friday to exchange ideas and polish their written contributions to the world. Experienced bloggers, published authors, and aspiring writers all come together to share ideas and processes to get their brilliant ideas into the marketplace!

Whether you seek affirmation, storytelling tips, a nurturing creative outlet, or a nudge to press “Post”, BYOB will encourage you to get your best content circulating. You do not have to write a bestseller, you just have to be posted! Join us as we provide confidence and support in getting your best content posted!!

Better CommunicationBetter CommunityBetter World | AuthorBloggerCommunityContentPublisherStorytellingWriting 

February 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trauma Outside The School

A deeply respected and accomplished school administrator complained about students who have stopped attending school. The school children were not sick, but they had become sick and tired! Their parents felt that same way. Consequently, attendance stopped! The education system’s changes, as a result of the pandemic, have caused many new ideas to surface. School systems nationwide have approached education with assorted learning model innovations for example, virtual classes, reconfigured live classes, and hybrid formats. Some methods worked better than others in accordance with a multivariate matrix of academic outcomes or possibly because of socio-cultural influences caused by different locations. Nevertheless, in this administrator’s particular case, the children were no longer going to school virtually, physically, or in any other fashion.


When the parents were school aged, they woke up in the morning to prepare for school. They took a bus, carpooled, walked, biked or made other arrangements to get to a school building or buildings. The generation before them basically did the same. Then, a once in one hundred years pandemic struck! No one really knew what to do! Academic ingenuity entered the situation. With millions of kids, assorted politics, previously unfathomable health concerns and an unprecedented quantity of laws that have entered the discussion, consistency had been largely abandoned across learning environments. 

Some decisions worked better than others. Some communities and districts behaved more functionally than their neighbors. Yet over time, fear, confusion, and an increasing desire for normalcy seems to have hijacked reason. In too many households, both children and parents became sick and tired of the unknown, and even more afraid of the new normal. Many families’ decisions defaulted to stay at home and put school on the backburner. When more certainty emerges, discussions can resume.


Trauma has established a foothold in many communities. The dysfunction is real. Several school administrators are befuddled. Parents want a return to established school rituals. Reality has firmly established that option is closed to negotiation. Parents, students, and frankly teachers want the new normal to crawl back into the abyss from which it escaped. School leaders want learning to resume. Secretly, they all want to return to the now extinct education routines. Even school extracurriculars are stymied. While social distancing may actually work in theater, it does not translate well to football. 

Essentially, trauma has stymied social and intellectual growth. This version differs from typical external threats. The school leaders do not truly have broadly actionable options. Administrations and bureaucracies have effectively evolved to protect children and facilitate learning possibilities to a significant and functional degree. Except now, the pandemic really does not care about protocols and protections. It has established a cloud of fear, illness, death and randomness within the education system. Parents, students, and even teachers now cower under the new rules. The trauma now reigns.


Families desire to check out can be attributed to fear and uncertainty. Aspects of depression surface as families with students try to adapt in a newly uncertain world that does not seem to be progressing. But, ultimately it is trauma outside the school community that is driving people away from education and other established institutions. Trauma does not just project fear, it disorients to the point that functionality is negotiable. In the case of school systems dealing with the pandemic and ongoing educational requirements, the schools have limited resources to negotiate. At this point, few options are attractive. Nevertheless, from a Trauma Informed perspective, all parties need to find their personal normalcy and expect to prepare with flexible options. Normalcy may or may not come, but at some point the New Normalcy will be established and compliance will be expected. Then, the hard decisions surrounding compliance and punishment will need to be made. Be Safe.

By Glenn W Hunter

Board Chair, Touchstone Youth Resources Services. 

For more information or to contribute, please go to www.TYRS.org

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sick and Tired (Of Being Sick and Tired)

Two drivers on their morning commute in an urban area get too close for comfort. One yells an obscenity. The other chooses to express his response in sign language. They both perfectly understood the other’s perspective and continue to their destinations. For decades working Americans have wanted less stressful commutes to work. The trauma results from traffic, short tempered drivers, too many old drivers, too many new drivers, or just because it is Monday. Urban traffic has stretched bad attitudes and shrank tempers on drivers’ daily travels to employment for a long time. But, in the last year Covid 19 has seemingly invaded every aspect of American lives, including what used to be the workplace commute. The virus’ reach has impacted so many aspects of American’s daily existence, that people simply accept that they are now “Sick and Tired, Of Being Sick and Tired”.

Zoom Fatigue

As Covid 19 expanded its influence on the American workplace, physical work locations became more problematic and virtual meetings replaced them. Connecting with colleagues and customers from the comfort of home sounded great in theory, until workers realized that they nearly never left home, nor family members for that matter. Simply, focusing on communicating via screen created new problems. Workers soon became eager to replace work – life balance with work-life separation. If being “on” for your boss for eight hours was bad, being “on” for family members of assorted ages and background was worse. “Zoom fatigue” quickly became the popular term to describe being accessible via audio-visual communication without ceasing.

Fundamentally, fatigue is no joke. Where once fatigue resulted from physical exhaustion, intense exertion, or mental weariness, now staring at screens incessantly has become mind-numbingly exhausting. Only seeing people from their mid-torso and up results in greater annoyance. From a Social Emotional Learning perspective, people at work encounter more irritability and greater fatigue because now the technology seems to monitor individuals, as opposed to supervisors managing groups. People are not just concerned about getting caught slacking, they are concerned that a technological record of the slacking is now available at all times. The perceived additional scrutiny results in increased trauma. Ultimately, workers are wearing down emotionally because they continuously carry psychological burdens with fewer resources to support them.

Quarantine Fatigue

In the event that Zoom Fatigue did not social-emotionally wear people into the ground, then Quarantine Fatigue emerged as the second punch in the arsenal of corporate boxing. Quarantine fatigue was the next attack on unsuspecting citizens. As the Covid 19 pandemic ebbed, flowed, then surged, people were being required to adhere to Stay-At-Home orders. The result was that people who co-habitated could no longer escape. At its core, Quarantine Fatigue results from too much closeness overpowering individuals’ coping skills. Quarantine Fatigue is not the need to distance from others in your proximity, it is the inability to manage the trauma of being around them at all times! At the core, is the resultant fatigue a byproduct of never escaping the tools that people use for commuting and communicating, or is it the technology evolving to the point it channels our human bitterness more efficiently than people can personal space and comfort?

Essentially Quarantine Fatigue is the tiredness that results from being detached from others. The human experience features the ability to connect with other people, preferably in a multi-sensory fashion. Voice conversations are good. Being able to interpret body language in addition to verbal expression is much better! Positive connectivity resulting from multi-sensory contact invigorates people. The invigorated activity leads to productivity. When Quarantine Fatigue urges people to engage less, the associated energy required for productivity decreases along with it. Even introverts, who stereotypically prefer to be alone, in reality desire some connectivity. Often, their connectivity is strategically in moderation.


Being sick and tired of being sick and tired eventually diminishes productivity. The human experience is not really complicated. For desired outcomes, positively engage people visibly, verbally and emotionally. Personal energy increases productivity. Zoom communication is more effective than a phone call, yet still less optimal than personal interaction. Performing in a quarantined environment works well in the short-run. However, denying emotional connectivity ultimately results in sub-optimal performance. Nevertheless, deliberately maximizing the energy that any functional individual can produce can lead to extraordinary results. Minimize Zoom fatigue by visually experiencing the rest of the world through a window, with a pet or via one-on-one conversations. Multi-sensory exchanges make a positive difference. Acknowledge the rest of the world. The purpose is to experience life beyond the social emotional limitations of a stifling work environment. Then, get back to work! Maximizing your productivity is still good for your personal well-being and ongoing employment.

By Glenn W Hunter

Board Chair, Touchstone Youth Resources Serices. For more information or to contribute, please go to www.TYRS.org

January 11, 2021 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perseverance is Power, Knowledge Steers

The old saying states that “Knowledge is Power’. However, in our constantly changing world even knowledge’s role evolves. “Perseverance is power!” Effective immediately, knowledge has assumed a diminished role! To create momentum and ultimately progress, the ability to continue performing results in value, influence and growth. Knowledge still has a meaningful purpose. Its purpose is to ensure that mental energy and information grows in a positive direction. Knowledge steers this incredible, positive force!


American school systems provide 13 years of education in a typical K-12 system. Skills like reading, writing and arithmetic represent the classic tools that students receive. These skills remain a baseline, but the ability to grow those skills, integrate new skills, and synthesize deeper thinking eventually facilitate more powerful outcomes. The challenge is that these additional skills are not successfully emphasized nor distributed across the American cultural spectrum. More knowledge is undoubtedly good. Still, too many young people learned basic skills and declared that they have sufficiently learned. Whether no one corrected this common misconception, or the youth were ill-equipped to grasp the requirements of their education, they were wrong. Subsequently, the ability to facilitate learning growth through additional empowerment became a benefit directly related to additional privilege. The less privileged students across the spectrum neglected to continue expanding their learning at a comparable pace.


However, for those students that were coerced, incented, or privileged enough to pursue learning with rigor acquired more advantages than just more information. The additional knowledge bestowed a certain amount of direction. Furthermore, the lessons from perseverance imputed incremental benefits of confidence and power. Additional knowledge did not simply mean more information. When combined with perseverance the ability to synthesize and grow their intellectual foundation resulted in new experiences. Furthermore, it manifested a larger worldview. An urban elementary school kid with good grades may leverage his ability to advance learning within his community. Meanwhile a stereotypical suburban youth with the same prowess has a path for additional learning in other communities, perhaps through specialized programs, or by international exposure. In both cases, the knowledge steered them out of their immediate environment. The order of magnitude varied! Knowledge with perseverance opens windows and doors for advancement where less privileged opportunities merely take their knowledge to another closed off room.


Ultimately, knowledge is dynamic. For learners of all categories to benefit from assorted educational opportunities, incremental lessons need to be accompanied by encouragement and accolades. The victory is not the best grade today. True victory is the opportunity to benefit more from increased competition. Who really wants to be the smartest sixth grader in their school, when the rest of the world presents so many more opportunities for growth? Perseverance in gaining more knowledge is the power that truly makes the difference. For curious learners, doubling down on perseverance requires being surrounded by better minds, as well as better information. Individuals who want more, will find more, do more, then apply more! Next, they repeat! Knowledge has its advantages. It steers toward unimagined value. Yet, perseverance provides power to exceed the wildest ambitions!

By Glenn W. Hunter

Board Chairman, Touchstone Youth Resource Services

Learn more about social emotional learning, or to donate go to TYRS.org

December 31, 2020 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Normal, New Dysfunction

Somewhere in America, from a freshly redecorated home office, an employee communicates with a multi-tasking boss overseeing multiple employees under her watch, and her children who cannot be fired! With evolving telecommunication technology, remote workers can create visual facades and silence background family arguments in order to demonstrate professionalism. Parents have threatened children and placated customers simultaneously since the hold button first entered the workforce decades ago. The New Normal’s challenge is that these two important responsibilities now intersect because a pandemic has caused domestic and professional roles to collide shamelessly in the same physical space. 


Regardless of the environment, workers must find a way to get along. Despite numerous concerns of technological disruption within our work world, a physical virus completely disrupts how workplaces operate. A familiar refrain delivers a stark reminder of the new reality: “The virus is in the driver’s seat.” Consequently, the workplace continues to evolve, largely as a result of a microscopic adversary. Physical distancing is now a counter-intuitive, yet important, component of human interaction. Nevertheless, functional human connectivity remains essential to most job performance. So, what coping skills are necessary to influence and impact this new reality where people yearn to connect, just not closely?

A paradoxical, yet important, part of workplace interaction, as well as school environments, recognizes that maximum productivity involves both communal and individual performance. Successful people functionally cooperate! In virtual environments, individual performance appears to be easier considering that most likely workers are in an environment without interrupting colleagues. Nevertheless, too often personal lives collide with the reality that multi-generational families are confined to one dwelling unit. Less traffic may be in the environment, but more people, including students and the elderly occupy that space. Sometimes, families benefit from the availability of extra contributors for academic and professional purposes. However, virtual work’s urgency creates ongoing pressure that the next family emergency or outburst can put undeniable strain on the primary breadwinner’s professionalism. 


Vulnerability to concurrently combining professional and personal responsibilities are hard enough when priorities across generations can erupt at any time. But, the vulnerability has new, heightened urgency when it involves colleagues peeking into your home life. Regardless of the workstation and the work-life balance that a diligent worker displays in their presentation, inevitably, a personally improper conversation will be overheard, or an indiscrete family member will wander too close to the lens during a video conference.

Furthermore, realize that the video lens goes both ways. What are the consequences of a team leader revealing human indiscretions within their household, or personal space? Realistically, Vice-Presidents have family members of all ages in their household that may not care about discretion, too. From a social emotional perspective, an untimely revelation can lead to shame and lack of confidence. Some personal weaknesses should not be exposed. Subsequent judgment of underlings may also compromise a leader’s authority and performance. To combat effectively these threats in a practical sense, employees of assorted ranks need to acknowledge the potential of family-based indiscretions disrupting professional interactions. Proactively, embrace the power of empathy!


New Normal still means dealing with people. If colleagues are incompatible they are not going to like each other more because one set of kids has more trophies. In the event that best buds are involved, they are not going to like each other less because one has a child that is an emotional wreck and now everyone has seen it. Most importantly, virtual employees, like live employees, have a job to do! Then, stakes elevate upon realizing that jobs are not necessarily easy to keep. Nor, are they necessarily easy to find. Ultimately, workers in this environment have to confront dysfunction, anxiety, and uncertainty. Manage situations with empathy. Regardless of age, developing coping skills leads to more functional performance. Empathy makes the insanity more bearable. Listening becomes an empowering tool. Such positive examples travel well whether employees are in their house, or the downtown office. Better performance happens when people cooperate and collaborate. Teamwork makes the dream work!

By Glenn W Hunter

Chair, Board of Directors, Touchstone Youth Resource Services
Learn more about social emotional learning, or to donate go to TYRS.org

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


BYOB – Bring Your Own Blog/ Bring Your Own Beverage/ Bring Your Own Best Idea

WELCOME to our community of bloggers, storytellers, authors & content providers!!!

BYOB has come together as a workshop to provide a safe place to bring your writing ideas to other bloggers who want a little more insight and courage to get their personal masterpieces into the universe.

BYOB is a virtual community where bloggers come together monthly on the third Friday to exchange ideas and polish their written contributions to the world. Experienced bloggers, published authors, and aspiring writers all come together to share ideas and processes to get their brilliant ideas into the marketplace!

Whether you seek affirmation, storytelling tips, a nurturing creative outlet, or a nudge to press “Post”, BYOB will encourage you to get your best content circulating. You do not have to write a bestseller, you just have to be posted! Join us as we provide confidence and support in getting your best content posted!!

December 12, 2020 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment