Every day, we receive messages from others in many different ways. We also send messages in various ways as well. Managing all of these communications can be overwhelming, but we can also mishandle messages.
What we say, the body language we use, and the tones used to send messages to others. I know for myself, my facial expressions can tell you precisely what I am thinking. At least, that is what I have been told.
All of us enjoyed the treats brought in for our “Feast Friday” in the staff lounge as we were placing more plates and food out, in walks, Lauren.
“I can’t believe we still have her as our Principal. She is the worse we have ever had. She left a note on my desk saying she had been in to check out lesson plans and could not find mine. I am hoping to stop back later today to see them. Really? Doesn’t she have better things to do?”
“I am with you, Lauren; I got one of those little notes too! I am tired of being checked on.”
“I don’t like it either.” “Anyone else has anything to say?”
I left the staff room without saying a word but felt awful. I loved our Principal, and this little negative group was saying horrible things. They should not be doing this. I hate to see them coming. I was a new person on staff, and I just wanted to fit in, but I was having a hard time. I did not know what to do about the “TNT club” (Teachers in Tenure club).
I found the courage to go to speak with the principal about the situation. I explained how everyone contributed to a negative conversation about her, and I did not say anything. I finally left the room.
“I see, ” she says. “You are telling me you stayed and did not say anything to anyone, then left the room.”
“Yes, I did not say anything and left.”
“Oh, but you did say plenty.”
“What, I did not say anything.”
“By not saying anything, you spoke volumes to them. They believe you agree with them.”
Wow, this is a lesson I shared with others every chance I could. I included it with the students. If someone is making fun of someone and you do not say anything to get it to stop, then you are part of the problem as well. Standing by and allowing “bad” things to happen without saying something is a problem.
There is so much to learn about messages. What messages are we sending to others? A great book to read is Kids Deserve It! by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. In their book, they have this question: “What if we looked for solutions instead of complaining about what’s wrong?” It speaks to me, how about you?
Talk to others to understand how they feel about the messages being sent? A friend of our family often says, “I was transmitting when I should have been receiving.” Listen to hear what is needed. Then take action.
Thank you for being part of the solution daily! After all, Kids Deserve It!