Teacher Appreciation Week is over, now we can all go back to normal.
A great question came across my eyes this week and it had to do with how leaders support faculty and staff. Good question, how would/do you support. The plethora of responses ensued with “chocolate and jeans”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with chocolate and jeans, that is unless it is used in a ‘Sheldon’ like behavioral modification scheme. Take your leadership to the next level and move beyond trinkets and gimmicks by thinking through the question a little deeper. What does the question of support really entail? It goes deeper, much deeper. It has to do with value.
Restate the question as a statement and present it this way, “I know that I am valued when…” It is a question of value. Am I important and how do you demonstrate to those under your care that they are valuable to you?
Four things immediately come to my mind when I think of value. I know that I am valued when I am acknowledged, heard, included, and affirmed.
- Acknowledged. I know that I am of value and you support me when you recognize that I am here. You take the initiative to greet me and call me by name. You take the time to recognize my presence and declare that I am more than something and that I am a someone.
- Heard. I know that I am of value and you support me when you listen to me. You take the time to focus on what I am saying, comprehend what I mean, and thank me for my input.
- Included. I know that I am of value and you support me when you ask for my opinion and you make me a part of your decision making process. I realize that you may not agree with me, but you keep me informed and you demonstrate that my thoughts and insights are a part of your commitment to excellence.
- Affirmed. I know that I am of value and you support me when you call on me for my expertise. I am a highly educated professional who knows stuff. I am a continual learner who is not a novice. You realize that I am tenured in the world of experience, mistakes, and successes. You seek me as a source of substance and I am grateful.
Move your leadership beyond symbolism and into substance by acknowledging, hearing, including, and affirming those entrusted to your care.