Key Messages from the Character Canada Conference
To say the last two days attending the Character Canada Conference was inspiring is an understatement. There was a wide variety of uplifting and engaging presenters speaking around the central topic of character and how it applies to business, education, and the community surrounding us.
Each of the keynote and breakout session speakers brought their own life experience and perspective to the topic of character. From education to sports and business to law enforcement their diverse backgrounds provided a well rounded outlook on the importance and impact of character in their respective fields.
A few of the stand-out takeaways for me included:
- It's never too young to start instilling character - Dr. Avis Glaze shared a story about a class who's substitute teacher was never called in. By 9:30 two of the students went to the principal's office to let them know that they did not have a teacher in their class. Immediately the principal ran down to the classroom expecting to find chaos at best, or an empty classroom at worst. However, what they discovered was that the students had found their teacher's lesson plan for the day and were working through their assignments. When asked why they were doing this, they responded that their teacher had been focussing on character throughout the year and this is what they felt was the right thing to do.
- People will never forget how you made them feel - positively or negatively. Erin Parkes explained how long after your interaction or transaction is done with someone, if you make their experience a positive one it will stick with them.
- Receiving a 'no' in life is not the end - Cliff Prang led an interactive breakout session titled "The Power of Looking Stupid" (which was as entertaining as it sounds) and used creative games to drive home important principles. One of these principles was to not dwell on a negative response, but to use it to pivot to another solution.
- The power of love, kindness, sharing, and respect (KIIZHEWAATIZIWIN) - Wab Kinew shared through personal story key moments in his and his father's life about how character attributes have a profound impact on the people around you. Learning from meeting world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama he realized that powerful people use love, kindness, sharing, and respect to learn from and impact those around them.
- Character takes a lifetime to build, but can be lost in a moment - Peter Legge shared about character from a personal and business perspective reminding us how long it takes to build, yet how quickly it can be lost. Furthermore, even when faced with a challenging situation maintaining integrity and character is always the right decision.
I would like to pass on my sincere appreciation to everyone involved with Character Abbotsford and Character Canada. The conference was an inspiration and it was encouraging to see so many people out supporting the development of character in our community and across the country.