Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Listening

Today I asked my boss to identify my professional weaknesses. He cautiously told me a couple of things. (Apparently, one must be that I don't take criticism well.) He told me that he thought that I should be careful about personal friendships with staff members. I feel that I respect and like each of my colleagues. I respect these people for so many different reasons. Some of them are kind; some are helpful, some are reliable, some are extremely intelligent, some are extremely dedicated and hard-working, most of them have that special touch with kids, some are friendly... I could go on and on, but I think what he really meant was that they all need to feel the appreciation and respect of their bosses. I have always felt such admiration for my colleagues, but now I know that I have to share this with them – all of them. Not just the ones that I think I more receptive to my praise. I think I know why I haven't done this in the past. I have felt that my praise really isn't worth much to some, being only the VP. Most days, I really underestimate the effect that I may have on people, even as their colleague.

The other issue that he mentioned is "listening". We (probably all teachers and administrators) tend to want to solve everyone's problems. They come for help, and we assume that because we are the "boss" that they want us to fix their problem. I really don't think this is the case. Many times they just want someone to share the issue and affirm their point of view. Over the years, I have tried to remind myself of this, and I will continue to strive towards being the "coach" on the side. Perhaps, it is the motherly instinct (or parental) in us where we feel the need to control and solve all the problems.

We did go on to talk about our strengths, but I haven't enough time to go through all that. (Haha)....

1 comment:

Dean Shareski said...

Congratulations on your appointment as principal. It's exciting to see leaders being able to span their scope of influence in greater areas.

Looking forward to continued good things from you and your school.