Building Relational Trust Ideas from Across Ontario

Over the past several years, the Professionalism Teaching Policy and Standards Branch has had the privilege of facilitating Mentoring for All professional learning sessions with a wide variety of mentors in school boards across Ontario.

At each session participants shared how they are building (and rebuilding) trust. Below are their thoughts:

Building Inclusion
  • Learning about personal interests (e.g., sport, hobby, weekend)
  • Touring the school together
  • Creating a safe environment for sharing
  • Having an open door (literally and metaphorically)
  • Structuring goal setting conversation(s) to avoid misalignment of expectations
  • Using mediational questions to surface attributes
  • Modelling a genuine interest in learning together
  • Identifying a third point as a focus for collaboration (e.g., a specific student need)
  • Helping build connections with community and colleagues
  • Including the person in school (and social) activities
  • Demonstrating appreciation and belief in your colleague(s)
  • Providing an "oasis of calm"
  • Celebrating successes together
Modelling Mutual Respect
  • Respecting confidential nature of relationship
  • Remaining non-judgemental
  • Walking in the person's shoes
  • Avoiding the "you shoulds" via providing a menu of options for the person to consider
  • Following through on next steps
  • Being receptive to feedback yourself
  • Celebrating diversity of thoughts and perspectives
  • Focusing on each other's strengths
Sharing "Real World" Challenges
  • Sharing own challenges – levels the playing field and builds trust
  • Acknowledging the "messiness" of learning
  • Being vulnerable – opens the door to deeper sharing
  • Sharing challenges but also the "quiet victories" that occur each day
Listening, Listening, Listening
  • Being available to listen (both mentally and in real time)
  • Being authentically present
  • Recognizing the power of silence and the importance of simply listening
  • Listening to learn as opposed to listening to speak
  • Listening with uncertainty

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