• Connection is Key: Developing the Whole Student
    communication,  education,  faith

    Connection is Key:
    Developing the Whole Student

    In previous posts, we talked about how competence without character is dangerous, and character without competence is ineffective. Competence and character grow together. But in preparing the whole person for real life, there’s a third necessary area of development: connection. I’ve spent a lot of time coaching communicators. Often communication skills like public speaking are refined in competition — which is the fastest way up the learning curve. In these settings, competence and character are readily evident. And so is connection. Here’s a story of what happens when we don’t add in that third element of connection: Nathaniel was standing in front of me, ballots in hand. “These judges are…

  • All I Want is Character
    communication,  education,  faith

    All I Want is Character:
    Developing the Whole Student

    I had just finished speaking to a group of parent educators when a mom approached me. “I don’t think it really matters whether my children master any of their academics. My son isn’t very academically inclined. I’m mostly just interested in his character.” “How will you help them grow in character?” I asked, genuinely interested. “Well, uh, I’ll teach my son to be nice to his sister.” “Good start,” I replied. “What other character traits would you like to see him demonstrate as he grows up?” She thought a minute. “Well, perseverance…and follow through…and respect.” We continued talking. She began to see that every character trait that mattered to her…

  • The Dangers of Competence without Character
    communication,  education,  faith

    The Dangers of Competence without Character: Developing the Whole Student

    “You’re wrong. My daughter could never do something that dishonest. Have you seen her?” Malinda sat across from me in the small university room adjacent to tournament headquarters. Her voice shrieked and quavered. “Sylvia’s one of the most competent young ladies her age.” Sylvia’s competence was not in question. She had been disqualified by tournament officials for plagiarizing evidence in her national championship debate round. Sylvia denied it. Her teammate Missy was horrified — she had no idea what had happened. Still, the consequence was the same for both of them. The guilty and the innocent. Both extremely competent. Both disqualified and embarrassed. Both shedding lots of tears. They left…

  • What Story Will They Tell?
    communication,  education

    What Story Will They Tell?

    Originally published in Outcomes Magazine by the Christian Leadership Alliance. “Our board would like you to come fix our Millennials.” The administrator of a small nonprofit was on the phone explaining that her organization established a “junior board of Millennials” as part of their succession plan. The Board of Directors, composed of Baby Boomers and Traditionalists, wanted these Millennials “fixed” to embrace the organization’s mission and operational strategy their way. The catch: board members didn’t want to invest their own time or resources in the fix. You can guess what happened. Every invested Millennial volunteer left that organization – and they left with a story. What story do your team members…

  • A Cultural Christmas Letter
    communication

    A Cultural Christmas Letter

    Merry Christmas and “God Jul!” I pray that you and yours are experiencing the joy of this season with snuggly clothes, good foods, and heart-warming friend and family traditions. As I’m writing this, I’ve been spending the morning rolling our family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner – Swedish meatballs! I love sharing the Christmas traditions of my Swedish family with my household: recipes like potatis korv and persimmon pudding from “the old country,” exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve (after dinner is cleaned up, of course), and 11pm services featuring Swedish prayers and carols at Grandma’s Swedish Lutheran church. As the Institute for Cultural Communicators celebrates more and more cultural communication by…

  • This Is My Story - TeresaMoon.org
    communication

    This is My Story

    Originally posted on April 4, 2018 on teresamoon.org This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long. Hymn Sings were a regular part of my church experience growing up. This hymn was a staple. The song leaders – Bert Rydquist, Doug and Lois Larsen, and Pastor Notehelfer, good Swedes in the Swedish Covenant church – led the congregation in a way that engaged even the youngest song-sters. We enthusiastically followed our musical directors along with the entire congregation, belting out the lyrics and holding the vowels as we watched for their arms to cue us to breathe and sing the next word. My young…

  • ICC Membership - TeresaMoon.org
    communication,  education

    Membership Matters

    Families are looking for help to guide the next generation. I founded the Institute for Cultural Communicators to be a global community that empowers students through competence, character, and connection. Learn why ICC is changing the world and next-gen leaders by watching the video below.

  • Leadership 412 - TeresaMoon.org
    communication,  leadership

    Leadership 412

    It was Sunday morning and my family was out of town visiting a Christian fellowship with friends. A teenaged young man had been invited to share his testimony of participation in the youth mission trip. He approached the platform reluctantly, accepted the microphone with his right hand and tossed it to his left like a football, then continued tossing it back and forth throughout his address. The next few minutes were awkward for the young man and the congregation. “Like…uh…we….like…..uh……flew in a like…..uh….you know…..plane…and stuff. And we like….uh…you know….helped out some like people…with like…you know…stuff. I’m s’posed to like tell you like…my uh testimony…and stuff…and like y’know it was like…