Tag: Advice

Leadership Reset…No Way!

Watching the Open golf tournament with my husband and a player hits the ball, it makes it to the green, it rolls and hits the flag, denying a hole in one. What? Wait a minute. I call interference. That should count. My husband only laughs at me. It is no laughing matter; I am sure for the golfers or leaders when they realize they have made a big mistake.

Some mistakes we make are lessons we can learn from. I just posted a blog about helping students understand it is okay to make mistakes. However, when you make a mistake with character, there is no turning back.

When staff members do not trust their leaders, it causes big trouble! Let me restate that remark. When staff members have valid reasons that are proven not to trust their leaders, this is critical. When you reread these statements, significant differences between these two statements can be found. In some environments, you have toxic individuals who always look for trouble—explaining my first statement. Disruption in your building or organization will happen if these are not addressed. However, when a leader does not lead with character, this is critical to the structure and organization. Trust will be gone, and no growth will happen.

Some examples would be:

  • Leaders have taken credit for staff member’s work.
  • Throwing staff under the bus- blaming
  • Fabricating- Lying
  • Inauthenticity-changing when it seems like the best thing to do for themselves
  • Point out mistakes, belittle, criticize in front of others constantly
  • Playing favorites (everyone can see and hear the ones who get the most attention)
  • Ego driven leadership style
  • Lack of communication and transparency -Staff avoid conversations for fear of retaliation
  • Staff feel in the dark, neglected, and avoided

We are human, and we make mistakes. Recovery from breaking trust with staff is not a reset you can do. There are many things to do when you make a mistake staff will need to move forward. The first is to own it. Apologize for the mistake you made and explain the action steps you will take to correct and prevent it from happening again.

Leadership is like everything else in life. The more practice you have, the better it gets. To change anything, you need to start with, as Michael Jackson says, “The Man in the mirror.” To be politically correct, let’s say, person.

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?

Advice vs. Advising

One of my blogs this week was on advice. I posed the question on Twitter about the best advice you have given and the best advice you have received.

As I posed the questions, I took the time to reflect on all of the advice I have received and the times I have advised others. I have been blessed to enjoy many opportunities, but one young lady stands out to me.

“Mrs. Yoho, you have a new student who will be joining your classroom. Could we talk to you in the hallway for a few minutes? Mrs. Smith will take over while we talk.”

“Mrs. Yoho, I believe you already know Mr. and Mrs. Jones. They have a foster child joining their family. Let me introduce you to Jessica.”

Great to meet you, Jessica. I am so happy you will be joining our class today. I have to warn you we can get a little silly from time to time, but we will clue you in on our classroom expectations and how we do things. Let’s meet the class.

I can remember that day so many years ago and the look on her face that day. Over the years, I can remember the many faces of Jessica and her outbursts as we would spend four years together. She spent one year in my 5th-grade classroom, and then the next three years in the middle school, I served as Assistant Principal.

Jessica’s story began with her parents leaving her in a car seat at the end of the driveway to her grandparent’s home. She was removed from this home when it was discovered her grandfather was sexually abusing her. She had been in a couple of other foster homes, which were unsuccessful in meeting her needs. Now she was in an established home I was familiar with.

I have changed the names in my story and do not want to give too much information that could reveal the identities of others. Jessica began to have many issues. Then one day, as we were in one of our discussions, her words came out to a story my mind could not piece together.

“Mrs. Yoho, he is making me watch stuff and wants me to do things.”

We need to tell someone about this. It would help if you talked to someone about all of what is happening with you. It is okay to trust to tell someone when someone is hurting you. We need someone to help us.

Sometimes you can provide a little advice and guidance. When you recognize the information you are receiving is more than you can advise on, it is essential to make the other person know someone else needs to be involved.

One of the lessons I learned was always to begin conversations by letting the other person know if they share something about hurting themselves or others, you have to share with someone who could help.

Jessica’s story ended with her being safe with people who cared for her. She was able to turn things around in her life and begin to make some positive changes. She mailed me a long letter and a poem she wrote about me.

Keeping your door open to allow others to seek advice is the first step in hearing the needs others have. Taking steps to offer support is the step to begin the process of healing. Be the solution daily. It is never easy; you will experience lots of pushback, but in the end, others need to know you never gave up in a world so many do.

Advice? Take it, give it or refuse it?

Can I give you some advice? Have you heard that before? Well, if I were you, I would…. I would have never made that decision. What were they thinking?

As a leader, many people will look at the decisions you make and provide advice. Do you accept advice from others? How do you determine who and what advice to follow? In addition, people will seek advice from you. When and how will you provide advice?

“Whether you’re receiving or giving advice, flawed logic and limited information complicate the process. Advice seekers must identify their blind spots, recognize when and how to ask for guidance, draw useful insights from the right people, and overcome an inevitable defensiveness about their views. Advisers, too, face myriad challenges as they try to interpret messy situations and provide guidance on seemingly intractable problems.”-The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice by David Garvin and Joshua Margolis, Harvard Business Review, 2015

In the following chart from the article, understanding the different types of advice needed helps guide a targeted response. Many times people may be seeking validation in which they are not interested in hearing anything other than their own opinion.

We can explore this topic a little deeper with more thoughts, questions, examples, and discussions. It is an important topic, skill, and need in our role as leaders and learners.

What is the best advice you were given? What is the best advice you gave? Please share with all of us! Thank you for being a solution daily. We need you.