This philosophy has such a unique meaning and purpose in everyone’s life!

gentle teaching has taught me-trent

Gentle Teaching has genuinely transformed the person I am today, but most importantly, the person I am continuously working to be. Gentle Teaching has not only showed me a fundamentally different way of approaching life here at COR, but it has allowed me to approach my everyday life differently. Through my training, through the conversations, and through my supportive role here at COR, I have been exposed to the importance of empathy. Gentle Teaching has indisputably opened my eyes to the ability to understand why people react in the ways they do, why people feel the way they do, and furthermore, gives me the skills towards painting a picture of their reality to embody who they indeed are. This philosophy has such a unique meaning and purpose in everyone’s life, and I believe that is the pure beauty in it. For me, I have grasped raising Gentle Teaching as a way of living, not only for myself, but so that I can positively make my mark on each person I encounter. Gentle Teaching has embedded in me the importance to take on every day with the hopes of lifting others up through collaboratively and patiently working together. Applying Gentle Teaching to my everyday life has been a transformation I could have never imagined when I began here at COR. I have learned to value each person for who they are genuinely, but more importantly, to live a life of empowering each other. I have always been a team-oriented person. With the addition of this philosophy, they want for the empowerment of everyone around me, they strive to build everyone’s confidence with their own identity, and their meaning is amplified.

Trent,

COR Family Memberthis philosophy has meaning in it

 

Smiling, caring and listening is all a part of creating this gentle culture

Throughout my years of experience with COR (which started in October of 2015) there has been several challenging situations!

This culture of being genuine and gentle is maintained by being patient

However, this did not discourage me! Genuine care is the key to my consistent ability to support those in need.  Being genuine and gentle is maintained by being patient, forgiving and optimistic! Not getting caught up with the little things and assuring to leave at the end of the day on a positive note. COR allowed me and others to make a difference on a daily basis, and that is the long term goal. Making a difference every day allows me to come the following day demonstrating positivity and genuine care. “Be kind to one another”- Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen has been a television host that I follow and watch religiously; she reminds us to be gentle, kind and mild-mannered to each other. Every home deserves this attitude, and the individuals I support really need a gentle environment. This is a culture that will affect the world in a positive way. Smiling, caring and listening is all a part of creating this gentle culture within the team of individuals I serve.

Jason,

COR Family Member

Smiling, caring and listening is all a part of creating this gentle culture within the team of individuals I serve

It is an amazing thing to be surrounded by so many kind, genuine, and warm people!

The way that I create and maintain a culture of gentleness surrounding the women I support is through curiosity, warmth, and the building up of others. These three elements feed into one another and are tangibly helpful in sustaining the positive morale and affectionate atmosphere that are vital to a culture of gentleness.

curiosity implies -cor

Curiosity implies interest, attention, respect and good-naturedness, all of which are essential to building and maintaining a culture of gentleness. In the time I have been supporting at COR, I have consistently made a point of asking questions and approaching those I serve and my team with openness and attentiveness. I have found that it is much easier to build pleasant, amicable, and trusting relationships when the other senses your interest in them. Approaching the individuals I serve with curiosity means that I do not assume I know what they want, nor do I cut them off mid-sentence because I think I know what they will say. Instead, I try to listen with fresh ears every day in hopes that I might see and hear things that might otherwise get missed for that individual. Approaching my fellow team members with curiosity means asking how their day went and actually listening to the response. It means refraining from gossip or judgement when someone has made a mistake, and giving that person the benefit of the doubt. I truly believe that this is an essential piece to maintaining good team morale, and by extension, a happy and healthy emotional climate surrounding the individuals we serve.

Hence, I take that curiosity one step further by projecting genuine warmth and care to everyone in our circle. The most important aspect of the culture of gentleness for me is the sense of ease and comfort I feel when approaching others within our community. It is an amazing thing to be surrounded by so many kind, genuine, and warm individuals and to feel safe from judgement, ridicule, or rejection when moving through said group. It is important to me that others feel that same security in me, and so I strive to project amiability, not only to those I support and my teammates, but to everyone else within our immediate community.

That warmth and openness can be taken even further in the form of building up others around me. Greeting an acquaintance by name, remembering what they like, or asking a thoughtful question can make them feel seen and important. Encouraging and complimenting can likewise give someone a well-needed boost to keep doing their best. If I can build up the individuals I support, other supports or even COR friends and family members by doing any of these things, then that person I uplift is more likely to turn around and pay the same kindness forward to someone else. That, to me, is life force behind a culture of gentleness.

Ashley, COR Family Member

It is an amazing thing to be surrounded by so many kind, genuine, and warm individuals

Gentle Teaching has inspired me!

Gentle Teaching has inspired me to not only become a better support, but a better person, future educator, friend and family member. Gentle Teaching is not something I do when at work, but rather a lifestyle change to improve the way I live my life with the hope to influence those around me. It is important for me to build meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime with the people I support. Gentle Teaching has taught me the importance of valuing someone regardless of any mistake or negative behavior they might display. Gentle teaching has also taught me the importance of unconditional love — this can be shown in many forms, such as getting involved in the individuals lives, learning their likes and dislikes, sticking with them through hard times and providing reassurance we will get through this together.

Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am today by guiding me away from your typical caregiver role into a support who plays a more meaningful role in a person’s life. I am inspired to be a better person than I was yesterday and who I will be tomorrow.

I am inspired to be a better person than I was yesterday

Brooklyn,

COR Family Member

 

Gentle Teaching has taught me that relationship building is so important when helping people.

Gentle teaching has changed the way I have relationships in my personal and professional life

Prior to supporting at COR, I hadn’t heard of the term Gentle Teaching; however, it is the main reason that I wanted to support at COR. Growing up, I knew I wanted to help people, but there is so much more to just helping people. Gentle Teaching has taught me that relationship building is so important when helping people. I have learned that there are many factors that make up building a positive relationship. That is where the four pillars of Gentle Teaching come in. One must first feel safe. When someone feels safe with another person they can open up and create the basis of a strong relationship. I use this with the individuals that I support and with the people in my everyday life. This is a skill I have learned, that I will use in my future practice as a Social Worker, when starting new relationships with my clients. The next pillar is to feel loved. Every person wants to feel loved, valued, and respected. I want the people that I support and work with to feel loved, valued, and respected by me. The next pillar in Gentle Teaching is loving. I love this pillar, as it lets people know that it is okay to show others that you love and care for them. I used this everyday in my personal life and when I’m supporting by letting others give me hugs, high-fives, etc. Everyone desires human connection, and I believe it is so important to make sure people who want human connection, get that. The last pillar is engaged. I think this one is very important. Healthy relationships are ones that have good communication and engagement. I have learned from COR and my studies to have branching conversations with others. This means to not just listen to someone, but to actively listen by making eye contact, asking questions about what the other person is telling you, and being present the entire time. I use these skills with my friends, family, and partner when they are talking to me. I also use these skills when I am supporting, so that the individuals feel heard, valued, and respected. I hope to also use this skill in my future social work career, as I hope to be a counselor one day, and being engaged during a counseling session is very important. I also love that Gentle Teaching doesn’t use the reward/punishment way of altering behavior. By using the four pillars of Gentle Teaching, I hope that the people I support now and, in the future, will change and grow with me, by going at the pace that each individual needs. Gentle Teaching has changed the way I have relationships in my personal and professional life.

using the four pillars of gentle teaching

Amelia,

COR Family Member

 

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!!

One of the most important questions I ask every new applicant that wants to join COR is why did you apply here and most will say it’s because they want to help people. Whenever I’m gathering feedback in our annual survey about what everyone likes about COR, the vast majority of answers will say they love the people. And whenever I’m meeting with someone to do an exit interview, I’ll ask what they will miss the most about COR and everyone always says they’ll miss the people.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce I will be transitioning out of my role with COR to join the Human Resources Team at the University of Regina. This is something that found me by surprise and presents an opportunity to further my professional development in such a way that I couldn’t miss out on. Although I am excited for this new challenge, it feels bittersweet because I’m also saddened to leave you all. There’s nothing that can replace the culture at COR. We’ve got something really special here and I’m forever grateful that I got to be part of it. I’ve grown as a person in ways that I could never have imagined and probably still haven’t fully realized.

I remember applying for the position on a whim with tempered expectations and soon after found myself feeling excited about the possibility of becoming part of something very unique. I remember saying I’d be happy to fill any position available and upon stepping into my role I felt like it was too good to be true. I remember thinking about how I didn’t want to fail or let anyone down or have someone find out I wasn’t good enough. For the first several months I referred to a dozen different sticky notes and jotted down things like “don’t say shift!” or “what’s a CLSD?” What I learned very quickly was that COR is a safe place to learn and grow. You can make mistakes, step out of your comfort zone and truly make a positive impact in the lives of others. I’ve been lucky enough to be here for almost four years and in that time I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming many of you into this family and watching many others develop into absolute rock stars.

You are all amazing people and you have taught me so much in ways I cannot describe. You are the most caring, compassionate and supportive people I’ve ever met and I’m grateful to have worked with you. As COR continues to thrive in the community, challenge the status quo and change the way our society views and values people, I am excited to watch and support all the work that will continue to make our community a better place.

Thank you COR for taking a chance on someone who didn’t know much other than the fact he wanted to help people. I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to grow personally and professionally. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!!

Rory McCorriston,

COR Family Member

 

I have allowed the practices of Gentle Teaching to bleed into all aspects of my life

Making sure someone is feeling safe, loved, and engaging in whatever we are doing has allowed so many relationships to flourish and has made me a better care giver and support

When I started supporting with Creative Options Regina two years ago I had a very different understanding of Gentle Teaching. After supporting in this environment, having the pleasure of taking both Gentle Teaching Levels 1 & 2, as well as the countless other training’s provided by COR, I have completely transformed my understanding, and my way of supporting. Being able to support someone in such a positive environment, one that is flexible to the needs of the individuals rather then having them bend to the needs of the organization, has allowed me to see so much growth and positivity in the lives of the individuals I support, as well as one’s I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with. I have allowed the practices of Gentle Teaching to bleed into all aspects of my life. Making sure someone is feeling safe, loved, and is engaged in whatever we are doing has allowed so many relationships to flourish and has made me a better care giver and support.

I have allowed the practices of Gentle Teaching to bleed into all aspects of my life

Lauren,

COR Family Member

Patience, openness and my casual approach has helped me connect

I create gentleness with the individuals I support by being creative in how I approach teachings of connectedness, companionship and community. I come to a person’s home with an open mind and am accepting of other supports’ ideas, while trying to fulfill one’s personal desires. I have been able to help the people I support discover a sense of community, a sense of companionship with the use of my puppy and tried my best to connect to them on a deeper level.

create community connections

I taught them about companionship with my puppy, Ambrosia. When I started supporting, my puppy was about two months old and by regularly bringing her with me during my support times, they watched her grow. They were very engaged with Ambrosia and learned about gentle hands, exercise and appropriate levels of play with animals. Ambrosia was especially good at redirecting when one was was fixated on something. They enjoyed walking and going to the park, they would help me trim her nails and bath her, sometimes they even tried to play cars with her! Through the use of my dog, I helped the young men understand that companionship, hygiene, exercise and play are all essential parts of everyone’s life.

I have helped create community connections by exemplifying manners and polite greeting to strangers in public. The young men are very friendly and willing to greet neighbours, store employees and strangers. We sometimes visited a neighbour at her house after she invited us for a play date with her baby and puppy. I encourage the young men to be confident in public and show them I trust them by letting them work through transactions, conversation with employees and other interactions. I sensed that they feel fulfilled when they are allowed to be independent and have a sense of belonging when they interact with others. Other ways I have helped foster a sense of community are connecting with Pita Pit for recycling, bringing going to a MMA club to hit a punching bag, introducing them to my personal friends, going to the humane society to play with animals, playing with children at the park, and helping to use the one guy’s recycling knowledge at community parks and friends homes, etc.

In my support work, I try to be enthusiastic about the interests they enjoy, find common interests that we enjoy together, and encourage the opportunity to explore new interests. Patience, openness and my casual approach has helped me connect  and it did not take long to gain trust. At times, my commitment to our relationship was tested . I would open grounds for conversation after a difficult moment by apologizing first for not understanding, or making the person upset. In my opinion, that has allowed me to show the young men that I do not see myself any different than them and hold part of the responsibility.

 

-Jacob, COR Family Member

Proud Recipient of the 2019 Prism Award

On May 2, COR was awarded the 2019 Prism Award by the International Coach Federation – Saskatchewan Charter Chapter. We are grateful for the support of the ICF and Shana Ring (Destination Leadership) for their ongoing support and guidance in nurturing a ‘Coaching Culture’ within COR.

EMBRACING A COACHING CULTURE

There’s a stigma in the traditional workplace about performance management and annual evaluations. Employees might be nervous about attending such a meeting and supervisors may find the process to be tedious or time consuming. When the evaluation is all said and done, the paperwork is filed away in a personnel file for another year and the content of the discussion dissipates over time. As you may or may not know, COR is not a traditional workplace.

COR has committed to nurturing a ‘Coaching Culture’ whereby performance feedback can be requested at any point throughout the year. If you or your supervisor believes there are areas for growth, formal or informal feedback is provided on an ad hoc basis. One of the main job duties of supervisors and leaders at COR is to provide support to their team members; therefore, paid time is set aside on a weekly basis for mentoring and coaching facilitated through the process of a Coaching Conversation. In addition, COR actively employs three (3) people in our unique Mentorship & Outreach position. This mentorship role is to provide a team with on-the-job support, feedback and guidance. By providing ongoing support and coaching opportunities to our employees, we have taken the pressure off the annual evaluation. While this process still exists, we have provided balance by placing our emphasis on purposeful conversations about goal setting and personal learning plans. By focusing on goal setting, it’s important to often revisit what may have been set out during the annual evaluation because goals are ongoing and can’t always be solved in a one hour meeting once a year.

In order to ensure the success of our Coaching Culture, we needed to provide all our leadership with the necessary tools to become effective coaches. COR has made, and continues to make, a significant investment to train our Senior Leaders, Mentors, Team Leaders, and Assistant Team Leaders in Coaching Skills Training and Certified Coach Training in partnership with Destination Leadership and Turner-Larsen Consulting.

Rory McCorriston,
Director of People and Culture

 

“I had the opportunity to work with a large group of COR leaders on developing a coach-approach to leadership and communication in the workplace. This highly engaged group demonstrated a high level of passion for learning, growing and enhancing their leadership skills. Destination Leadership is honoured to partner with the COR leadership team, who is dedicated to investing in the development of their leaders and build a coaching culture now and into the future.”  – Shana Ring, Destination Leadership

 

2019 Prism Award2019 Prism Award