The other day before school started a peer said to me “Don’t take it personally but…. ”
Often leaders have said this to me. Teachers often say this to me.
It made me think about leadership. It made think about schools. The thing is what we do is personal. Very personal. I think leaders often forget that how they communicate their thoughts will have a huge impact on a person.
There is a famous quote “people will forget what you said but never how you made them feel” is so true, but sometimes people also remember what you’ve said, because of the way in which it was said.
I have recently read a post by Les McKeown (President & CEO of Predictable Success) on things a great leader should never say and I quote the following from him:
“Don’t take it personally”
Really? You’re talking to, let me check…yes, a person, about them, their work, their livelihood, their ideas, their sense of competence, their choices, their discretionary effort, their life’s work, and you’re telling them not to take it personally?
How about you give every person who works for you a free pass for a week to make whatever comments they like to your face about what you say, do, or suggest, in whatever terms they wish, so long as they preface it with “Don’t take this personally…”.
If you don’t think the act of working with others is in any way ‘personal’, perhaps you might be better thinking of a career as, I don’t know, a beekeeper, perhaps? They really don’t take things personally.
Relational trust is so important and I can’t but agree with this statement. I think it is vital to always show respect and courtesy to all those we are working with. What do you think?