Sun Prairie HS Football Coach Brian Kaminski recently shared with us their very successful “Safe Seat” program.
Coach picks a willing leader to take the “Safe Seat”. This is a controlled safe environment for individuals to express their feelings in front of the entire staff and team. This exercise really supports the idea that VULNERABILITY IS OK !!!! Anything we can do celebrate people actually sharing their real feelings is where real growth occurs.
Usually, the same 3 questions are asked but this can be tweaked
- What is your favorite youth memory?
- What are the biggest obstacles you have overcome in your life?
- What are your goals for the future?
Coach Kaminski feels that this has been one of the greatest tools for creating more team unity and an environment of trust. The amount of thoughtful conversation and real sharing of hopes and fears has been amazing. Every player and coach is asked to participate.
We would suggest allowing people in the Safe Seat to be able to come prepared with their thoughts written down so they don’t get caught in front of a large crowd not being sure what to say or forgetting things. A resource that we have found lots of great stuff from is Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” which really highlights the importance of creating a safe environement. Dr. Brene Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Please try this with your team or in any organization that you are part of (home, school or work).
Best of Luck to Coach Kaminski and thank you for your courage in Daring Greatly!