What is a safe place?
This link eloquently explains the concept:
I don’t have the answers.
I don’t know the truth.
You can’t mind-read intent – there will be misunderstandings.
My language and phrasing may not be 100% right, but I’ll continue to learn.
I’ll listen without judging, then I’ll provide an opinion (I can’t help it).
We may not agree, but we can seek understanding.
We will, in partnership, find resources and advocates as needed.
As a Mentor
Part of my job as a mentor is to provide a place of openness. One of my favorite quotes is:
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction“
I’ve served as a teacher and administrator in higher education systems for over 30 years in different departments, colleges, and institutions. As a faculty member, I’ve made it my mission to be student-centered and to work with a wide-variety of students, and faculty, around the world.
I willing share my experience, my stories, my truths, my paths, and my techniques. Does that mean I’m right? Of course not, it’s just easier to learn from other’s bad judgements before trying it yourself for the first time. There are less bruises.
Sometimes, we just need an ear and a discussion. Not a problem resolved or an issue solved. We need some interaction and discussion and help to create a course of action leading to beneficial and productive decisions.
As a Coach
I have spent a majority of my adult live coaching others. This has been coaching in different sports, personal safety, and personal development. This is a more active mentoring role around a specific goal.
As a Champion
We don’t always have the tools to successfully champion or own cause, or to present our personal cases to others. We learn to build champions (or teams of champions) to assist strength our positions. In the spirit of an ombudsman, I can help investigate, find resources, and attempts to resolve the conflicts or concerns raised, either by mediation or by making recommendations. Finally, we sometime need to keep our voice confidential with the help of others that can carry forward complaints of injustice that need to be addressed.
What am I not?
I’m not a certified counselor. I’m not a healthcare work. I’m not a lawyer. I will do my best to assist you within the limits of my professional capability (if needed).
I offer my office as a safe place for discussion. Why? Everyone needs a safe refuge to talk. An open invitation for on-campus, off-campus, or virtual meetings. I offer an ideologically and physical space to discuss. Contact me anytime.
I’m trying everyday to better understand how to impact belongingness. The following image is from the Othering and Belonging Institute and provide the best model that I can find: