SMART Strengths: Building Character, Resilience, and Relationships in Youth

High Quality Connections & Appreciative Questions

  • High Quality Connections between all members of the community will make people feel more engaged, open, and competent. Teachers can model respectful engagement by paying attention, showing consideration, and treating students with high positive regard. Building trust is essential. Acting with trust conveys belief in students’ integrity, dependability, and shows a desire and willingness to care. Students can build relationships and trust as they learn about the strengths of other students and their teachers. Using people’s names helps show that you care.
  • The authors present the term Green Light Responding. This is where you respond with appreciation and ask questions that make the person relive the experiences out loud. Sharing personal positive events builds social resources. You want your responses to be active, not passive, and constructive, not destructive.
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