I spent an awesome day in training this week with a pretty special staff. They seem like a very strong team, and incredibly supportive of one another. They had an infectious energy. (There WAS spontaneous dancing and singing involved!!) It made me wonder – how does a team like this develop? How do you create such a sense of belonging with a group of people?
At the end of the day, I got a peak into at least one thing that helps. The principal stood up at the end of the day and called forward their administrative assistant. With it being administrative assistant’s day this week, many of us took a few moments to say “thank you” to those individuals who are so often the glue that keeps everything together in an organization. But this principal didn’t just present a gift and say thank you. In front of the whole group, she talked about how important this person is. She recognized that this is the first voice on the phone and the first face that is seen by anyone coming to their school, and how that sets the tone for every interaction that follows. She described a phone call she overheard this week, where the AA demonstrated kindness and patience in a difficult conversation. She stressed how important she was to their school. She was very deliberate and specific about what she appreciates about her. There were tears, hugs, and a standing ovation that followed. It gave me goosebumps.
How powerful it is to realize that people actually notice those things that you take the time to do well, and acknowledge that no matter how small it might seem, that your efforts make a big difference. It was obvious how much dedication this AA feels to this school, who so obviously values her contribution.
Whether it be a classroom climate that you are trying to build, or collegial relationships, or even the bonds within your family – wouldn’t a great start be to take a moment to show each person that you notice them, appreciate them, and see the difference they make in the world?