Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

Grades, autonomy and authenticity

Image courtesy to WikimediaGrades are great of if you get A’s, especially if you’re among the few who get an A+. Even if you get an Aor a B+ they can still feel good.

Grades are less fun when you get a B or a B, and they start to become painful if you get a C or less.

Instead of inspiring us to bring out the best in us, to nurture our own aspirations and values, to reach out for our own desires and dreams, grades teach us to strive for the goals others have set. They turn autonomy and authenticity into compliance, sometimes even fear.

What if every student always gets an A? By default? What if the student and teacher collaborate to figure out what the A is for? What if they clarify the observations underneath their appreciation? It might be the speed of their work. Or the congruence between their writing and the dictionary’s writing. Or the autonomy they pursued when they handed in an empty paper.

There is always a unique contribution, a precious quality in every action.

My dear friends, what would your A stand for? Maybe for your efforts to stay focused, your willingness to work on hard stuff, even if your attention is drawn elsewhere? Maybe for your ferocious trying to get it, even when you struggle? Maybe your courage to make mistakes and keep on trying to capture a new skill?

Thanks, Marshall Rosenberg for your work on Nonviolent Communication and for your revolutionary insight to speak from our hearts and our needs, instead of our evaluations and rewards.


You want help to appreciate your efforts to learn? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary, discovery session. I would be delighted to talk with you to see if and how I can help.