Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tommy Watson - How do you see the humanities growing and active in your life/work?

Dr. Tommy Watson is a certified executive and professional coach, bestselling author, and popular speaker. He is a former Big Ten athlete and school principal. He resides in Charlotte, NC. Dr. Watson is the founder of T. A. Watson Speaking | Coaching | Consulting. He is the author of two books: A Face of Courage- The Tommy Watson Story & The Resilience of Champions!™.

I was recently asked, “Do you do diversity training in your work?” My response was, “Not exactly; however, I do conduct humanities training.” I elaborated by sharing, that my work focuses on what makes us similar as human beings opposed to what makes us different. The core of my work is centered on my personal experience of growing up with drug addicted parents, living in nearly 30 different locations, and being homeless while growing up in Denver, CO. I have found that one of the most effective ways to get others to walk in the shoes of someone different and become empathetic is through the use of stories. In my work with the Minnesota Humanities Center and my business, I use my own personal story to inform and inspire educators, parents, and students. In my workshops with educators, I am constantly humbled and amazed by the number of teachers who leave feeling hopeful about some of their perceived most difficult to reach students.

“The ‘I Am Tommy Watson’ activity made me think differently about how I will deal with the students that are a little more challenging.” -Teacher

I also get very excited from those students who walk away from my presentations feeling hopeful and with strategies to move forward and have a positive outlook on the game of life.

“…I loved the way you said that you had rough times but you still managed to make your way to a good and successful future. Thank you for making me have more faith and hope in me.” -Student

This same hope for humanity is what led me to write my latest book The Resilience of Champions!™ that focuses on habits of highly resilient individuals and organizations. At the core of each of us, we have the ability and fortitude to be ‘Resilient Champions!’

Finally, I share in the same sentiment expressed by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on humanity:

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

The work that we are doing at the Minnesota Humanities Center is the epitome of moving individuals and organizations from the confines of individualism and single stories to concerning themselves with the broader needs of all of humanity. Our work gives hope to all of humanity!

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