Trust and love stand at the heart of effective communication. If we don’t trust someone, if we don’t think they have our best interests at heart, we will hesitate to have meaningful conversations with them, hesitate to learn from them. In today’s video, I talk about what trust is, how it is related to love, and what we can do to become the kind of person others trust.

You can download free forms to help with get better at building trust here:


How do we make sure other people hear what we have to say? Perhaps the best way is to make sure we understand them, which is to say we demonstrate empathy. In today’s video, I describe what empathy is, why it is important, and how to demonstrate it. In this time of polarization, trying to understand others may be one of the most important things we can do.

You can download free forms to help with demonstrating empathy here:

Please note: Radical Learners will be taking a holiday break from today until January 9. I’ll be posting my next video in this communication series then. Thanks for reading and watching.

How Fear Divides Us

The current political environment has made it very difficult for people to talk with others about things that matter. Friends have stopped talking to friends, family members have stopped talking to family members. Why are so many of us so divided? Why do so many discussions, especially political discussions, dissolve into anger? I think one main reason is fear. Our fear leads us to anger and our anger makes it impossible for us to hear people who see the world differently than we do. In this video I talk about how fear divides us, and I talk about what we can do to overcome our fears. We need to move forward together, not divided, and to do that we need to understand our fears.


One of the great challenges we face as we speak with truth about what is good and true is that we need to move away from judging others. Judgment is a relationship killer, and if we are going to connect with others, it starts with relinquishing judgment.


Trust—An Essential Part of Coaching

Our research has found that the most important variable in coaching is trust.  When teachers trust their coach and their school system, they usually embrace the help that coaches provide.  However, if they don’t trust the coach or system, they likely will not want to participate in coaching.  In this 4-minute video, I describe the five most important factors involved in building trust and how anyone can get better at building trust.

Also, you can download some free reflection forms for assessing how well you build trust, here: Trust Forms

How to Ruin a Coaching Relationship

Developing a healthy coaching relationship can take months or even years, in some cases, but a coaching relationship can be ruined in a few seconds.  In this video, I explain that judgment and gossip are two practices that can be especially damaging.

What Should A Coach Do The First Days on the Job?

A couple summers back, we hosted an Instructional Coaching Institute, and when I read the introductory surveys sent in by people coming to our week-long workshop, one thing I noticed was that many of our participants are just starting out as coaches.  Given that reality, I’m re-posting this video, which I first posted that July, so that coaches can get some food for thought about how to start out in their new position.

If you’re interested, I’ve also included some information about our institutes, which offer a comprehensive overview of coaching for all coaches.  You can read more about them by clicking here.

Understanding Teacher Resistance

One question I am frequently asked is what should I do about resistant teachers?  The answer, as most answers usually are, is more complex that one might think. In this video, I discuss that resistance involves a relationship, and to decrease resistance we need to first understand how what we bring to the relationship might create a misalignment with our learning partners. Then I introduce two simple questions that can help us identify the source of the resistance we experience with others.