Orenda Week 8 Social Fluency Pt. 2

During our Week 8 workshop, we built upon last week’s topic of social fluency. Last week we covered frameworks and techniques around how to make new friends and build deeper relationships. This week we had a “buffet-style” workshop where students could choose from a list of topics that they wanted us to teach. We then set up a variety of different stations that would focus on discussing that particular topic.

Here are some of the topics that students voted for:

  1. How to give and receive compliments

  2. How to advocate for yourself, your needs and your own space

  3. How to persuade other people

  4. How to deal with someone who is a wall

  5. How to respond to someone who disagrees with you

  6. How to deal with someone who is passive aggressive

Practicing through Role-Playing

Students selected three of the topics listed above to learn about for 25-minutes each. They rotated around and got advice and feedback from the coach at the station, but also from each other. For example, students at the station discussing how to give and receive feedback shared their situation.

One young student described how she feels awkward when she someone compliments her. She doesn’t know how to respond and as a result stutters or fumbles in an embarrassed manner. Students shared with each other different ideas; through the help of a coach they came to identify three broad types of responses they could give in the future:

  1. Reflection: Compliment the person back. “Thank you! I think your shoes look fabulous as well.”

  2. Expansion: Expand the conversational topic around the compliment received. “I’m glad you noticed these shoes. They’re my favorite pair. I actually got them a year ago as a gift from my dad.”

  3. Deflection: Move the conversational topic beyond the compliment. “Thanks for noticing my shoes! Anyways, how are things going with you?”

Students then took these topics and practiced them with each other, trying on these different techniques so that they could say it in their own style.

Next Week

Next week, Orenda is showcasing a stimulating educational documentary called Most Likely to Succeed. The film challenges notions of what success looks like in the 21st century and discusses what schools need to do in order to adapt to the changing economy. We hope to share it with our parents and teenagers so that we can discover what skills, mindsets and educational strategies exist to help children succeed in our modern world.


If you are interested in learning more about participating in Orenda Academy, please fill out this link: Spring 2018 Interest Form.

You can also email us at brandon@orendaacademy.com