Mike Cormier

Michigan, USA

From Challenge To Change: Embracing Gentle Teaching

Michael Cormier is the driving force behind 3rd Circle, Inc.

Mike has worked in the mental health field supporting an inclusive stigma-free, all abilities community for over 20 years, starting out as a Direct Support Specialist and moving into management as well as leadership & administrative positions, all while continuing his formal education.

Mike specialized in supporting families and working with people who presented challenges to caregivers, leveraging his background in human resources, mentoring, supervision, conflict resolution, and, most significantly creating a Culture of Gentleness. One thing that sets Mike apart from other supervisors and administrators is that he always maintains an active presence in the lives of those receiving support, a practice he continues to this day.

In 2016, Mike decided to strike out on his own to start 3rd Circle, Inc., in order to focus on the things most important to him: helping people of difference make connections, develop friendships (companions), and become part of their communities.

Mike has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the ARC of Oakland County’s Dove Award for Service Professional of the year, Innovative Lifestyles Impacting the Lives of Others Award, & most recently the Chamber of Commerce Chamber Choice Award with special United States Congressional recognition.

In his free time, Mike trains in Jiu-Jitsu Martial Arts & volunteers with various groups that help to enhance the lives of those with differing abilities, such as a Creative Arts program & Special Olympics. Mike is also a Certified Master Mentor as well as a First Responder & Instructor for the American Red-Cross.

Program Description

During this presention, Mike and Rex will discuss how their career paths led them to Gentle Teaching, and how they ultimately sought professions that lead to positive change in the lives of people. The challenges they initially faced in these careers led them to seek a framework that could help provide greater meaning and purpose. Gentle Teaching provided them with this framework.

The principles of gentleness and how they can be applied will be shared, and how we all can help others to feel safe and loved, and become more loving and engaged if they cannot find these things within themselves. Mike and Rex will walk you through how they incorporated the principles of gentleness towards self-reflection and acceptance. They will also discuss some of their vulnerabilities in this space to acknowledge that they are still works in progress and that the journey of self-acceptance never ends.

Lastly, Mike and Rex will discuss Gentle Teaching principles in their respective professional roles, and how using tools of gentleness can influence businesses, nonprofits and organizational culture. 

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