Just some thoughts from my week.
If you are someone’s boss, here are a few things to think about:
- We need to find a balance of having high expectations of our people to get their work done with excellence, while also ensuring that if they need help, they know they can come to you for support. Weakness is not shown when asking for help, but weakness is often shown when you don’t ask for help when you need it most. Make sure the people you serve know that you are there to help them when they need it most, as their success, is your success.
- People are people first, employees second. If they are struggling with the “person” part, the “employee” part will also suffer. Maybe not immediately, but it will come. Let people know that you authentically care about them with a check-in here and a phone call there. Little investments in people will pay significant dividends later.
- Be mindful of the “plate” you are creating. Continuously adding without subtracting will lead to not only poor work, but resentment. Not being able to articulate “why” something is added to one’s plate will also lose the “heart” that is needed to get the quality you seek. See below.
Let’s flip this…
If someone is your boss:
- Give them the same trust in their work that you want for yourself. Relationships are a two-way process and sometimes if our boss treated us the way we treat them, we wouldn’t want to be there. They will make mistakes (as you will) but assume they are doing their best. If you don’t understand something, don’t complain behind their back, but ask questions for clarification.
- Put the same personal investment into them that you hope they put into you. Even though they are your boss, that doesn’t shield them from personal issues that they may be dealing with that can affect their work as well. Check in and see how they are doing as people.
- It is pretty rare that bosses don’t have bosses. The same appreciation you want to feel in your work, they may not be hearing in theirs. It is okay to “compliment up.” It doesn’t make you a “suck-up”, but only a person. If you see something good, let them know. It doesn’t matter if they are your boss or not; the kindness will be appreciated.
Education is a profession that is both taxing on the mind and the heart. The kids see how the adults interact with others and what they know, or experience is often what they mimic now and later. Acting with kindness in our heart toward one another, no matter our position in the organizational hierarchy, will not only be beneficial for one another but our students as well.
Leading with kindness in our heart is a sign of strength, especially in times when it seems hardest to do.