Today’s post is from our “Leading a Happy School” newsletter. If you’d like to subscribe to receive our FREE monthly newsletter click here.
Sometimes working in schools is a hard slog. There is pressure to get results, deadlines to meet, stressed parents with unrealistic expectations and the usual end of year demands. It can be tough.
Our staff need our help.
In his excellent book, How the Best Leaders Lead, Brian Tracy says that the deepest need in human nature is to feel valuable and important. Leaders who recognise this and act upon this advice do their salespeople a great service.
Tracy says we should practise the Four A’s:
Appreciation - It is helpful to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude. It costs absolutely nothing to thank people for the things, large and small, that they do for us. It costs nothing but, if genuine, has a huge effect on the person being thanked. Whilst many leaders in schools do this well, it can be something that we forget to do when we, ourselves are under pressure or stressed. The more specific and personalized the appreciation, the more effective it is.
Approval - Praise and approval also cost nothing. Brian Tracy suggests giving praise and approval on every occasion for every accomplishment, for every suggestion, and for every good idea.
Admiration - Admiration is something different again. I can give you my approval for doing something, AND I can admire you for doing it. For example, a teacher who has been slow to take up new technology in the past begins trying to implement a new program in their class. She does it for one day with no result. You say, “Good on you for having a go!. Although it didn’t all go smoothly today, keep going and you will sort it out and have it working well.” That is approval.
Fast forward one month and the teacher has been persisting. You say, “I cannot tell you how much I admire you for having the character to follow through on your personal commitment. You promised yourself that you would persist and you kept your word. I am so proud of you!” That’s admiration.
Attention Whether it be your spouse, kids, or team, everybody significant in your life deserves your attention. Listen to your team. Listen patiently. Give your people your time.
Take a list of your staff and reflect how long it has been since you sat down with each of them.
A colleague who trains the top real estate salespeople advises that we should meet with new staff…
- Twice a day for their first twenty-one days
- Once a day for the next twenty-one days
- Once a week FOREVER
Finding great people is hard enough. How terrible it is to neglect them once they join us! I know you are busy, but you can be busy giving your people your undivided attention, or you can be busy doing interviews. Either way, you will be busy.
Your people are your most important asset – Make your people feel important – especially at this time of the year.