I am finishing up my mid-terms and am struck by the open, honest conversations each and every member of my staff has been willing to have with me. I asked the questions and they answered. Not yes- no, not one liners. I asked them what they thought and they told me. They asked me what I thought (darn them, it wasn't in the script!) and I shared that with them.
In preparing for the meetings, a light went on for me that maybe, just maybe, I had not been giving someone a fair chance. That maybe, just maybe, their job was not designed for success. That maybe, just maybe, if we work at this together, we can get it right. What would she think? Didn't know for sure, so I asked her. Know what she said? Maybe, just maybe, she had not been giving her all to the job. Maybe, just maybe, her personal stuff was brought into work. Maybe just maybe, she had different expectations about how her move here would be. So, where do we go from here? We go forward, I look at her position description, get some processes defined to assist and she shows up, really shows up, and let's us know she is here and has something to say.
I asked people to do things and they did them. Not surprising in and of itself but I was not aware until these meetings that some of my requests were pushing them far enough out of their comfort zones that they really were thinking that they could not do it and losing sleep over it. They didn't mention that to me at the time (wished they would have), did them anyway and now, to see the lights in their eyes, the confidences they gained - yes!
I will take what I received from them and use it to move us forward as a department and as a team. I owe that to them and the process but it will not add up to what they have given to me.
Boy, do I have an awesome staff!