Category: Acceptance

Pull back the curtain-Pay attention to the man behind it!

Growing up, our family tradition was to watch The Wizzard of Oz! It captured my heart from the first time I watched it, and it still does! One of the best parts is when they reach Emerald City. They finally get to make their way to see the Great Wizard of Oz when: Toto rips the curtain to the side; the Wizard of Oz realizes he’s been found out and tries to cover it up by shouting over his loudspeaker, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

No curtains were involved at the Oscars, when the most disgusting view aired for all to see. I stopped watching these shows a long time ago for many reasons. However, everywhere you turn the video of this scene has overshadowed anything that took place on this awards night.

I am sharing the article from Brian Dodd as I feel it perfectly captures the points I agree with when thinking about this display of actual behavior. The curtain did not have to be pulled back, nor did someone need to say pay no attention to that man; in fact everyone is sharing and saying look at this! However, the need to not only look at this but to take a step back and realize what it means.

We continue to provide platforms, reward behaviors like this, and accept them quickly to move on. Will Smith received a standing ovation after this display of behavior. His wife laughed after he hit Chris Rock. Then we wonder why?

  • Why are people so angry?
  • Why do people yell at each other?
  • Why do people escalate so fast and act out in violence?
  • Why do people think placing hands-on others is okay?
  • Why do our children think it is okay to………..

The role models in the world we are living in are not what they seem to be when the curtain is pulled back or not. I think we can do better!

It can’t be

Do you ever find yourself questioning? How could this happen? I do not understand. What I am seeing, hearing, it can’t be…… There are many things we are experiencing right now we cannot understand, but let’s work on breaking down how we handle situations or information we think it can’t be!

Fear is our most powerful emotion. Fear causes psychological changes, which result in behavioral responses. We have heard of fight or flight responding to situations we want to escape, like threatening conditions or danger. Our fear can produce additional anxiety, and conditional fear as society or the environment influences our feelings towards something. We have seen fear used to control others for decades.

What have you experienced in life, and fear took over your thinking? My example would be receiving a phone call from my doctor to deliver my biopsy results. I have had several biopsies done before, so I had no fear of the phone call. Then he began to deliver the news I was not prepared to hear. I am thankful my husband was with me to listen to what I said; it can’t be.

It is….

When we understand the fear we have is something we need to face, we have several choices to make in how to respond to overcome fear. We also must make sure the fear we have is genuine. In a society full of ways to reach out to us 24/7, understanding all facts is our best defense and offense.

  • Identify reliable sources to gather information
  • Take time to calm, reflect and regain stability before moving forward
  • Facing the fears you have is always a great way to overcome
  • Organize a support system; you need help from others
  • Talk about it with trusted support members
  • Get plenty of sleep, nutrition, and exercise
  • Connect for spiritual guidance
  • Journal writing

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

I understand how……

I understand how it can’t be, but it is, and the way we can handle all situations we face. It is acceptable to experience temporary fear in situations, and in some cases, our fears are prompted by social pressure. I have heard the coined phrases of “groupthink” and influences from social media. It is in how our mindsets focus on handling the information we see, hear and understand.

My mindset is focused on solutions and always wanting to “fix” everything in life. However, the “fix” everything is not always possible. The solution often lies in how we react, respond and responsibly handle the situations we face. Cancer humbles everyone. Covid-19 seems to bring an array of responses from individuals. Combine both, and you may receive a reaction of panic. However, the response from me was, “It can’t be.” This prompted my thoughts on how we react to situations we do not expect.

Steps to take

  • Acceptance- One of the first things we need to understand is there will always be things we can control and something we cannot. We need to accept what we can do in our situations.
  • Educate- Gather all of the information about the situation.
  • Determine Goals- Set goals to achieve “wins” in the situation. A complete win over the problem may not be possible, but little success can be achieved.
  • Lessons- Understand in life, we experience different hardships at times. Knowing in each experience, we have opportunities to gain knowledge to share with others.
  • Positive Growth Mindset- Maintaining a positive mindset and surrounding yourself with positivity will keep growing as part of your life.

Be part of the solution by being a “Thought Leader.” Think your thoughts, be in charge of your destination with the choices you make and the reactions you have to situations beyond your control. Faith, hope, and pray as you practice self-care to keep you ready for all of life’s it can’t be!

What Matters Most?

As a leader, especially during this time, the importance of “what we do,” “how we do it,” and “why we do it” are critical questions to ask. We have asked them before, but how does it help us to answer the biggest question of all? What matters most?

“Mother Norman, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband.”

“Oh daughter, I know, let me introduce you to my son.”

Going to the visitation of one of my co-workers from my early years was just like going to a family reunion to see relatives you haven’t seen in a while, even though you may not live that far from each other. “Mother Norman, ” as I have called her for years, was the teacher who I looked up to as I learned to be a teacher. She was one of many who helped prepare me for my journey through education. Her brother would become our Superintendent. He hired me for my first teaching position and then in my first administrator position. So many great learning opportunities and training. Thank you Mr. Tate.

I left the comforts of my hometown to travel a short distance to a larger school district up the road. My first year as principal was terrific. The staff, students, families and everything felt just right for me.

“Mr. Denman wants to see you in his office.”

I can remember hearing those words coming from the phone and the echoes of the voices telling me all day of the sudden leaving of the middle school principal. My heart sunk to my stomach. I could not let anyone see my feelings.

As I arrived to the office, it was true; I needed to move to be the principal of the middle school. I left the building headed back to my school processing all that needed to be done, when a call came asking me if I could return to talk to the Superintendent.

I entered Mrs. Mellen’s office, and she said, “ I am so sorry; I know I told you I would not move you, but I had no idea something like this would happen.”

I understand. Leaders have to make decisions based on what they believe is best. As part of this team and organization, I have to choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution. A great deal of work has to be done. One thing I ask is to have permission to talk with my current staff first before they hear it from the news.

“I don’t think you can get that accomplished before the board meeting tonight.”

I can and I will, if I have permission. “I will check with board president and a few others to get this approved.”

Thank you! Trust, my word and helping to guide them through this transition is essential to me. It will provide a better transition for all of us.

Telling news you do not want to give

  • Practicing solution-focused leadership provides a systematic approach to communicating any form of news you need to deliver.
  • First, identify the problem the organization faced. Point out the importance of the time of the year and the needs of all involved.
  • Then provide the possible solutions the organization could have selected from and weigh against outcomes. (In this situation, I was able to pull from the information I thought could be used. I had four years of positive middle school experience previously. Our team worked to secure a grant successfully to change the school to a middle school concept and turned it from failing to succeeding.)
  • Decision made and moving forward. Clear communication of the decision made and how you support being part of the solution is stated. We all must do this to continue the great work we are doing. Provide the connection between them and the decision and the overall mission. (In this case, the school was a feeder school to the middle school I was moving to.)
  • One last thing to remember!
  • We do all of our work together in all of these buildings as one. Students and sometimes staff move around from time to time, but one thing remains the most important. What matters the most? We love what we do for those we do it for and those we do it with because, in the end, what matters the most is the relationships we build along the journey.

Take-Aways

  • Practice solution-focused leadership
  • Relationships matter
  • Clear communication
  • Remember the what, how, who and why to understand What matters most!

How are you?

Do you ask this question to others? “Hi Jane, How are you today?” It is a simple question as part of our greeting and not an in-depth question many may need to answer. As schools returned to face to face, businesses are trying to maintain without workers due to no applicants, and companies are trying to ship materials to places in need as materials become available.

How can we greet our coworkers and employees in ways to help them and to check on how they are? At this time, it is so important to check on others and to let them understand they matter to us. Many things are causing stress to others and maybe even for ourselves. Letting others know is the best way to find solutions. I have a former student missing and a former student who just killed himself. My heart breaks for their families. These young men I think of as “my kids,” and I picture them in the time we were together. The charisma of both these kids is amazing, fun to be around, friends with many, and nice looking. If someone asked me, How are you? “I am fine, just fine.” Am I?

Most people do not tell others the truth. They mask things that are bothering them. People pass you all the time. Do you notice them? How much do you know about the people you work with daily? How about those you use to work with but not anymore? Neighbors? Family? Do you check on any of them? The truth is rarely told on how we are. https://youtu.be/lbqS806GU4I

Change the questions. Change the responses. Let the truth be told, and solutions will be found. #Bethesolutiondaily Find the resources to help others in need. Reach out to others when you are in need. You matter, we matter, together we matter, and we will be fine! Faith, hope, and love for one another.

Acceptance

“Life is not always what one wants it to be. A turn right instead of the left can make a difference on the path you choose. It is when you decide to make the best of it, as it is, even when the choices are not what you want to hear. Instead, you take each day as a gift to unwrap and to make it happy as you share with others.”

The pictures tell a story in your mind right away. You have a vision without any words of red lights, blue lights, sirens sounding, voices yelling orders, people gathering, and silence in the ears of a man who comes to the site looking for his family he just left ten minutes ago.

Have you had to accept a decision, a change or an individual as a leader? The scene from our car crash can be the same kind of sounds and feelings inside you when faced with trying to accept change. Emotions drive our reactions.

It is emotional when you have to face acceptance of decisions you have no control over. It is our choice to have the mindset of learning acceptance. Change happens often! Things can happen that will transform who you are and have an impact on your life. The problem is that we need to cultivate the ability to accept whatever comes and embrace it truly. If we can begin now, it will help us as we continue to grow. Change can often impact our lives in ways to help us as we affect the lives of others.

My accident closed one door I did not want to close but opened others I enjoy as I explore. What change are you resistant to? If it is a change that questions your values, patriotism, beliefs, or morals, then this is not a change you need to accept. Acceptance is a big word to discuss as many changes are happening each day.

I have accepted my changes from the accident. Although, I will admit I have good days and days when I am angry that I am not the person I was. We are not perfect. I can think of many incidents in my life when I was asked to accept something I did not want to at all. Change comes with many lessons we can learn. What change do you face?