Seth Godin’s “Tribe” advice, translated to Restorative Justice Practitioners.

Have you read Tribes by Seth Godin?  I recommend it.  The subtitle is We Need You to Lead Us.  I believe in the creation of leadership specific to Restorative Justice, we can’t lead in old models of hierarchy, coercion and force and expect to maintain and create really, Restorative programs, leaders, practitioners and advocates.  The overarching philosophies and practices of Restorative Justice need to be woven into the leadership practices of promoting Restorative Justice.  My pet peeve and motivation is to make sure we have a consistent definition and adhere to specific practices that really truly are “Restorative Justice”.

Storytelling.  A key component to healing, to restoration.  Story-trance and story-listening are skill-sets of a Restorative Justice practitioner.  Catch this from page 138 of Tribes:


People don’t believe what you tell them.

They rarely believe what you show them.

They often believe what their friends tell them.

They always believe what they tell themselves.

What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves.  Stories about the future and about change.

“They always believe what they tell themselves”.  What do you tell yourself about Restorative Justice?  How do you facilitate people telling different stories about themselves, or about the other person in the harmful act.  Are you helping groups and communities tell themselves they need restorative processes? 

You can’t learn much when speaking. 

You can learn a lot when listening.

Listen to the stories you tell yourself, about Restorative Justice.  Listen to the stories others are telling, and invite them to tell different stories.  Stories change our lives and change our perspectives.  Restorative Justice allows those most impacted by being in community together (school-based), or by harm (incident based) to focus on repairing the harm together.  This kind of process is not currently part of the culture, however, I believe, it is still part of who we are.  It is our story to tell stories.  I invite you, to allow that, to be a story you tell yourself.