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Your Tribe

by Steve Saville and Rebecca Thomas

photo by Christian Vizl

‘What connects a tribe is commitment to do the thing they feel they were born to do.’

-Sir Ken Robinson

Being in a school surrounded and connected with people who see the world as you do affirms you are not alone; there are others like you. Being part of this diverse family-like context enables you to challenge each other as equals and take criticism as an incentive to be better. What conditions are important to help us thrive in our tribe?

# Diversity makes us strong

Tribes where distinctive personalities come together to be collaborators, or competitors; share the same vision, or have an utterly different one; be of similar age, or different generation, are rich in synergy. You don’t even have to like every individual within the tribe, or agree with the work they do. What matters is the passion you have in common.

If we weren’t diverse within our tribe then we would become group thinkers. The danger of groupthink is, like schools of fish swimming in tight formation, it dulls individual judgement. As Sir Ken Robinson reminds us, being around a diverse group of people is important for us when finding our element,

‘You can’t be yourself in a swarm.’

# Interactions are important

Interaction with like-minded people through work is vital to personal development, it matters as much as having time alone with your thoughts. These tribe members whilst talking shop, and bouncing ideas around allow you to share and compare teaching techniques, indulge your enthusiasms, or even swap notes on the things that make you feel hostile.

# You can’t do everything alone

What connects a tribe is commitment to the thing they feel born to do. Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you not only affirms your own talents, but can influence and drive you to be even better. Finding like-minded people who share your passions enables you to see further, as you 'stand on shoulders of giants'.

As the year comes to a close, enjoy reflecting on time spent with the staff around you that you have shared the busy year with. In fact this Christmas party game maybe just the tonic you need to make the tiredness go away. As a Christmas koha from both of us, enjoy playing our staff party game for free. I did that don't laugh so did you Xmas edition.

Meri Kirihimete e te whānau, see you all in 2023 :)

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