What Teachers Can Teach Us About the FISH! Philosophy

Published On: January 15, 2024Categories: Blog

Educators everywhere are using the FISH! Philosophy to better connect students with their classrooms and their communities, so it’s no small wonder that these skilled and empathetic professionals have a lot to teach us about applying the FISH! mindset day in and day out.

The best part is that these lessons are universally applicable – you don’t need to be an educator or even work with children to apply them every day and make your workplace a more functional, more pleasant place to spend such a significant portion of your life.

So just what can teachers teach us about the FISH! Philosophy?

Stay patient to build stronger relationships

The first lesson every teacher learns – usually the hard way – is that every student is different, and no two student-teacher relationships are the same. While some kids come in well-socialized and open to learning, others are tougher nuts to crack. They may have difficult home lives, a lack of positive role models, or past traumas that result in them being closed-off, difficult to manage, or slow to trust.

But the best teachers know that they need to Be There for every student. By showing up emotionally, being that first person to reach out, and sticking around even during the difficult moments, students will eventually find comfort and joy in learning – and the same is true of the people you work with.

We all have our coworkers that make our lives just a bit less easy. Maybe they’re ineffective, or emotionally volatile, or unwilling to accept feedback and support. The truth is, very few people are “lost causes,” and just about every relationship can blossom and open up when approached with care and kindness – it just often requires us to take that first step.

Believe in everyone’s potential – and show them your support 

Every educator can agree that encouragement and positive reinforcement is crucial for teaching those trickiest lessons. Not every child “gets” everything on the first try, but when we treat every child as a student capable of “getting it” and vocalize our support and encouragement, they’re far more likely to try again and again until they grasp a new concept or skill.

And guess what? That doesn’t go away just because we grow up. Nobody is perfect and we’re all constantly learning, and that means we all need that support. The more you can find small ways to Make Their Day with words of encouragement, random acts of kindness, and other signs of support, trust, and cheerleading, the those around us will find the confidence to continue on their own path of learning and growing.

Act with intentionality and build a sense of purpose

When we think back to our favorite teachers, often they’re the ones who didn’t just spout facts at us or rule over the room with an iron fist, but encouraged us to take ownership of the classroom and foster our own sense of community. When students feel a responsibility towards their own education, they feel that sense of purpose that keeps them pointed in the right direction.

Of course, the same is true with employees as well. The more we can engage employees with organizational values, the more they’ll put in the effort to live up to their fullest potential. But that requires more than just painting your mission statement on the break room wall – the organization needs to act with intentionality in order to live up to those values.

This means practicing Choose Your Attitude every day, both as individuals and as an organization. It means greeting constructive criticism with gratitude and openness, not punishing people for sharing their feelings. It means pushing everyone to live up to the organization’s values, and not making exceptions for bosses or star employees. It means choosing to embrace challenges head-on, rather than shying away. When an organization’s management models its values openly, individual employees are more likely to follow their leadership.

Use Play to foster engagement and enthusiasm

Learning can – and should – be fun. This doesn’t sound like a controversial statement, but it really can be the difference between a teacher who just teaches to the test compared to one that produces enthusiastic life-long learners. Memorizing facts may be a necessity sometimes, but every classroom should have room for Play, where students are encouraged to explore new ideas, experiment, and learn from both their successes and failures.

As an organization, you should be striving to make room for this same sense of Play. When employees have new ideas – even (or especially) if they’re a little “out there” – then there should be space to explore without fear of judgment. Not every idea needs to be fleshed out to fruition, but making space for brainstorming, ideation, and team-oriented free-thinking will increase the likelihood of hitting on that brilliant new path forward that separates you from all your competitors and leaves your team feeling proud and empowered.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • Who was your favorite teacher in school? What’s one thing they did that could help make your office a better place to work?
  • Do you treat others in your workplace with respect and emotional openness, even if they don’t always return the favor? What could you do to foster more open relationships?
  • What are your organization’s values? Do you feel the organization practices those values every day? If not, what more could be done to bring those values into the workplace?

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Starter Kit

The first step in a successful FISH! journey is a remarkable introduction. A FISH! Philosophy kickoff event:

  • Inspires people to find the joy they have been missing at work.
  • Teaches four powerful skills you can use immediately for team and personal success.
  • Unites team members to accomplish any goal.
  • Is incredibly fun . . . and people learn more when they have a good time!

The FISH! Starter Kit provides all the tools you need to plan and lead a great kickoff.

Click Here for More FISH! Starter Kit Information

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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