Troubled times are where we really get to see what our leaders are made of. Now, more than ever, the world, and the state of education, is crying out for leaders who "get it."
The ones who "get it" know that what their people really want and value is the sense that they are seen, that they are heard, that they are valued, that they are trusted, and that they matter.
How do I know this? Because I asked them. In a recent survey of public school teachers, I asked this question:
Here are some of the responses I got:
Sending an email as simple as this along with a personalization or two, makes a huge difference at a time like this.
"You have stepped up during a time of uncertainty and disruption and that is not going unnoticed by myself and others within the leadership team and the community. I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge you for your continued service to our students, our families, and our community.
Please know that we understand that many of you are juggling your personal responsibilities to your children as you are also responding to families who are stressed from juggling their needs. You are an ESSENTIAL worker, which means it is ESSENTIAL that you take care of yourself during this time. Please reach out to let our leadership team know how we can continue to support you as you support others."
If you feel called (pun intended) to take it one step further, make it a point to personally call 1 or 2 or even 3 of your staff members each day for the next month and I think you will be shocked to see what that time investment yields.
If you're struggling for what to say you might consider something like...
"Hi. I just wanted to personally reach out and say thank you for being incredible at what you do. Thank you for being willing to pivot, for staying flexible, and for continuing to serve your students even while juggling your personal circumstances."
Can you imagine the buzz that would create for your staff?????? "The superintendent/director/principal called me personally to acknowledge me today."
Leading during times of relative ease and stability tends to produce "good enough" leaders.
These are the moments that your people will remember and it will endear them to you forever.
If this is not your strong suit or you find yourself struggling for inspiration around additional ideas for how you can ensure your staff feels seen and heard, please email me ([email protected])! I would love nothing more than to jump on the phone and brainstorm small things you could do that would make an incredible difference.
Now get out there AND LIVE YOUR LIGHT, LEADERS! THIS is not your time to play small with your emotions. This is your time to shine!
Fulfillionaire Facilitator, Educational Psychologist, Inspirational Speaker