Every now and then I come across a message which reminds me about a focus I have in life — understanding. Remembering to ask the question WHY. There’s a reason for the behavior in front of you — for the way someone is presenting to you. THE POWER OF WHY was created with that mindset as its focus. It’s this framework that reminds me I have a choice on how I respond to others — that I can choose to be kind, inquisitive and compassionate regardless of what I’m observing.
Everyone has a story.
Everyone is living in their own context.
So, the purpose of this particular blog post is to remind us of that message — seek to understand and be kind. When I saw a recent social media post quoting the late Robin Williams, it resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you.
It’s a personal goal of mine — some days I do really well — some days I’m not as successful. But I keep aiming for the target.
That’s all I really want to say today.
STRIVE TO BE KIND. ALWAYS.
I first heard about the concept of Servant Leadership several years ago and appreciated its main ideas:
- A servant leader is someone who “shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people.”
It’s really about framing one’s MINDSET about how you relate to others in the workplace — about how one goes about their day — in other words, how a leader thinks, speaks and acts to support the people in the organization.
When I contextualize it for myself, I picture it being about my words and my actions that build the confidence, abilities and leadership in others. It’s also an area where I continually think of ways to become better.
Being part of a smaller school district, it is imperative that I lead in areas that build capacity — both in individuals and in our district. It is capacity that helps to build the redundancies in skills and knowledge which enable our district to withstand things like sudden illnesses or departures.
(More on Page 2)
This blog is about Social Media. But, before I delve into that topic I’d like to start by talking about something else — PERCEPTION and it’s incredible importance in our daily lives and our reality.
Perception overrules Facts every time. Facts represent the truth, but perception represents our actual reality. We remember facts because we process them through our senses (touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing). We filter them through these senses and, by doing so, actually interpret them from our past experiences — every time. And while we may want to believe that we are not being judgmental — that we are always being objective in our thinking and conversation — we are not. Our ‘objectivity’ is actually subjective in nature because we have created meaning out of what we have observed. This meaning is created when we link our present experiences to the previous — our past understandings, emotions and feelings.
Personal lens: The filter that we all use that interprets our environment. It shapes our perception of events through our own experiences, emotions and beliefs.
It is our personal lens that creates our unique reality — our perception of the world around us. It is why two people can ‘see’ the same thing yet come away with two completely different understandings of what they ‘saw’. For example, courts rely less on eye witnesses than they do on things like DNA evidence, because DNA doesn’t require a filter to exist.
People are shaped by their perceptions and are frankly not that reliable in their objectivity.