How to shift from good to exceptional impact…taking care of your team.
I remember one of my reports telling that I sent too many emails. He actually showed me a folder he created specifically for my emails-500. As you can imagine, I realized I needed to make a change.
Two lessons I learned: 1-Although I had lots of ideas, I thought that I was helping my team, it was overwhelming and 2-I had established a feedback loop so he knew it was ok to tell me to pause on the “help.” LOL. Clearly, I had some growing to do. But it got me to thinking about the ways I have taken care of my team since then and the way my teams have taken care of me. So here goes a few from my list. I call it “The one with the…”
- The one with the snack. I had a meeting and shared that I love unsalted popcorn! Yes, I do. I appreciate one of my former co-workers for sending it to me via Instacart. I also loved receiving a full box of snacks from a company as a token of appreciation. That was the coolest thing ever!
2. The one with the dinner. I took 2 teams out to dinner because I wanted to thank them for showing up. Nothing in particular happened, but I needed them to know they were valuable. Yes, I covered all expenses including the tip.
3. The one with email. I would send an email each Monday with a specific thank you for what each team member did that aligned to a core value. When I observed some folx, I did not send critical feedback the first day. Instead, I sent a “3 things you did well and keep doing.” Imagine the smile it put on their faces.
4. The one with the shout out. I was nicknamed in one space, “The queen of shout outs.” But I always like to make my shout outs authentic and to truly celebrate the win while making the person feel special. This cost $0 in dollars, but $millions in trust and loyalty.
5. The one with mental health. I supported team members when they needed specialized support with mental health needs. I was so grateful that they reached out to me in their time of need. I did not judge rather I asked what did they need and moved forward.
6. The one with the teambuilder. People know I am a sticker for beginning a meeting I am leading with a joybuilder. I guess that’s why I earned the nickname “The AP of Joy.” I have done Kahoot It! to 3000 Questions. You would be surprised at the amount of joy it brings to a team, especially when working on tough topics.
7. The one doing the work. I stepped in to teach for teachers on my team. Sometimes they needed a break. Sometimes they needed to check in with a students. Sometimes they asked me to model a lesson for best practices. If I say I am a leader, then I should be able to support my team in any capacity.
8. The one with feedback. I started out telling you about all my emails. The best way to take care of your team is to be receptive of feedback. We cannot operate as leaders in a vacuum. I loved getting positive feedback, but constructive feedback has helped me win time and time again.
I could share more, but the point is to get to know your team and that’s how you build trust. All of us want to feel like we are appreciated and there are different ways to do it. Try one of mine. I’m LaTonya Davis and I shift people from good intent to exceptional impact. Follow me here or on IG @K12TonyaDavis.