Skip to main content Skip to footer

33 Ways To Build Better Relationships

Associate and author of Independent Thinking on Restorative Practice, Mark Finnis, suggests 33 ways we can build better relationships to make everything better.

  1. Be who you needed when you were at school
  2. Connect before content
  3. Make regular deposits into the ‘social capital’ bank
  4. Small ripples create big waves — do the simple things well
  5. Don’t worry about doing things 100% better; rather, do 100 things 1% better
  6. Know your children well and allow them to know you well
  7. Don’t be afraid of the ‘L word’… Love. Spread it thick
  8. Some children come to school to learn, others to be loved
  9. Every child (and adult) needs a champion
  10. Engagement has three forms — physical, emotional and mental
  11. The language we use creates the reality we experience
  12. ‘Difficult child’ or ‘child with difficulties’? ‘Troubled family’ or a ‘family with troubles’?
  13. Get involved earlier in the life of the child, earlier in the life of the problem
  14. Separate the deed from the doer
  15. Healthy relationships are built on high challenge and high support
  16. Punishment creates resentment rather than reflection — separate the deed from the doer
  17. There are always three truths — my truth, your truth and the truth
  18. The best apology is changed behaviour
  19. The small stuff is the big stuff
  20. Create a sense of belonging
  21. Catch ’em getting it right more than you catch ’em getting it wrong
  22. Magnify strengths rather weaknesses and focus on gifts rather than deficits
  23. The language we use to describe an experience often becomes the experience
  24. Difficult conversations, do they have to be? Remember though, there is no easy way to poke people in the eye. However we do it, its going to sting a little
  25. Strike when the iron’s cold
  26. We learn to care by being cared for
  27. If you’re not modelling what you’re teaching, you’re teaching something different
  28. Listening is what you do to understand, not time spent simply waiting to reply
  29. Silence isn’t a gap in the conversation, it is part of the conversation
  30. Culture exists in every organisation, but is yours by design or by default?
  31. Everything looks better when you put it in a circle
  32. Smile at children, its good for you both
  33. There is always another way

To find out more about booking Mark Finnis for your school, college or organisation call us on 01267 211432 or drop us an email on

About the author

Mark Finnis

Mark is one of the UK's leading practitioners in restorative practice, helping schools and other related agencies and organisations embrace this powerful approach to their work. He is the author of Independent Thinking on Restorative Practice

Enjoy a free consultation. Make a booking.
Haggle a bit. All acceptable.

Give us a call on +44 (0)1267 211432 or drop us a line at

We promise to get back to you reassuringly quickly. 

Let's assume you're happy to receive cookies from this website