A friend of mine is a teacher in America. She’s been teaching a long time. As she was thinking about the start of the new year she posted this…
The climate of education has changed a lot since I started teaching sixteen years ago, but do you know what hasn’t changed? Kids. Despite what some will tell you, “kids these days”, at their core, are the same as they have always been: they are funny, they are figuring things out, they want to please, and they desperately want to know that someone sees them.
I’ll say a bit of that again.
They are figuring things out, they want to please, and they desperately want to know that someone sees them.
I strikes me that this applies to just about everyone I know.
Sure. You could probably name a couple of people who don’t “want to please” anyone at all and maybe even revel in being awkward. But I’d bet that they are figuring things out (really) and are desperate to know that someone sees them.
Most people get a lift when they feel noticed for doing things well.
Keep an eye on your colleagues. Catch them doing something right. Thank them for it.
John Adair. A proper academic thinker and leader on leadership. He proposed a model usually called “action centred leadership” that starts with three things that leaders have to pay attention to.
Following on from my post about People vs Process it is all too easy to focus energy and attention on “achieving the task” and neglect “building the team” and “growing the individuals”.
“Get it done, get it done, you’re really close to the deadline, are you going to make it, we have to meet the target, have you started that other thing yet…” Achieve the task. Achieve the task. Achieve the task.
Build the team….
“Let’s get together for ten minutes and talk about how things are going. I don’t want to discuss the timeline or workflow or deadlines or the project itself. I just want to talk about how we’re working. Are we communicating well enough? Is everyone clear what they’re doing and where we’re up to? Are we getting all the points of view on the table?”
Grow the individuals…
“How are you doing? You look a little stressed. What’s happening? Have you got what you need to get done what you’ve been tasked with? Do you just need a break? How would you like to lead the stakeholder meeting on Thursday? I think you’re ready… I can get someone else to handle that task you’re on now so you can prepare…”
As ever on this blog about leading from wherever you are, this all applies wherever you are in the team.
If you’re not in charge… challenge and encourage everyone (including your boss) to be working in all three circles. Suggest ways for the team to work better. Reach out to individuals and lift them up.
If you’re in charge… challenge and encourage everyone (including yourself) to be working in all three circles!
I’ve written a FREE eBook on 6 key leadership characteristics.
“But there are so many lists of leadership characteristics…” I hear you say. “What’s different about yours?”
Well… In the eBook you do get my list of 6 key characteristics: Vision, Focus, Confidence, Humility, Consultation and Decisiveness.
Then I give you something else. I discuss how four of them sit in tension with each other and what you can do about it.
How can you be both confident and humble?
How do you stay decisive when the consultation brings out wide-ranging views on opposite sides of the fence?
And then I give you a little bit more. A simple step by step approach to reflecting on how you’re doing in these areas, figure out your strengths and weaknesses, AND take steps to improve.
It’s only a short read. I hope it will really help you.
Grab your copy here.