Thursday, January 17, 2019

A lesson learned...

What an experience! The author of The Trust Edge, David Horsager, made an appearance at the Minnesota School Boards Association annual Leadership Conference this year. During his time with board members and superintendents throughout the State of Minnesota he touched on a variety of ways to improve organizational health. There is one piece of his presentation I felt compelled to share in this blog entry, it is a lesson learned years ago from a very wise woman, my mother.

Mr. Horsager asked the audience how we tend to say goodbye to our children as they are about to leave for an adventure with friends. Most folks responded with some version of "have fun." He then asked the crowd how our parents confronted this situation. Many responded with things, such as, "be good," "behave," and "be on time." Well, this sparked a memory for me immediately as my mother would always say, "love and like everyone" regardless of what adventure I was about to embark on. That simple statement holds true in many of our workings in schools and can be applied to all facets of life.

Each and every one of us have been faced with difficult interactions with others at some point in our lives and/or careers. In these times, many emotions are experienced by all parties. Some of those emotions are anger, frustration, disdain, and others. At the end of the day, it is my belief that we should all assume positive intent of every interaction and strive to "love and like everyone." By practicing this, we can all have a positive impact on relationships, organizational culture, and humanity as a whole!

Let's not kid ourselves, this is something that is difficult to put into action as we all have various situations we are dealing with. I'll be the first to raise my hand to say that this is something I forget from time to time. Human nature prevents us from practicing this skill. However, I have come to realize that if we continue to practice the idea to "love and like everyone," we will become better at the skill. Mr. Horsager provided a road map to accomplishing such a feat in asking three very important questions...How? How? How?

How will you begin to "love and like everyone"? By listening empathetically more and talking less.
How will you begin listening empathetically more and talking less? Taking notes and asking clarifying questions.
How will you apply the notes and the answers to the clarifying questions? I will analyze the information, identify the positive intent, and utilize the information to make informed decisions and responses.

Although there may be flaws in this logic, it is a start. Thank you mom for instilling this in Billy at a young age. You're a wise woman and I love you lots!

Mom's First Golf Outing at 71

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