Recently I saw a toddler fall over then look to its father before responding, the father laughed and said, “that was funny”. The toddler smiled and got up. Equally, the father might have looked concerned and the child might have cried feeling it was hurt. In either case the child was learning its response to its internal feelings from the key adults around it.
Where a team leader checks in with each team member once per week then engagement levels for team members are 13% higher. Where a team leader checks in only once per month engagement levels are 5% lower.
Thucydides is the source of the quote “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”. It is tempting to use our power – through reward and punishment – to achieve our own aims not realising the true, long-term cost when we don’t empower.
When we believe are aims are in the best interests of the other, then we can readily justify this to ourselves.
Education is undergoing a major transformation, which has, at its heart, a fundamental shift in the nature of the teacher–student relationship. In a rapidly changing world, it is no longer enough for educators to equip students with skills for the predictable, algorithmic work that was characteristic of many nineteenth- and twentieth-century careers; young adults today must be prepared for work that requires creative and collaborative problem solving – they must be equipped for an uncertain and challenging future.
Why can’t leaders who deal respectfully and effectively with students apply the same skill set when dealing with their colleagues? Some must be doing it, but I speak with many who can’t, or rather, they haven’t really thought about it in those terms.
To be honest, this is an area that has puzzled me for a long time.