|Photo by Nate Isaac on Unsplash|
I'm an optimist. Although I'm not an OTT perkiness personified optimist, just having a generally rosy outlook can annoy some people. I get that.
But I can't help who I am. So...you'll have to take the crunchy with the smooth.
Part of that optimism is my belief that people are doing the best they can in any given situation; it's important for me to be compassionate and generous. The alternative leads to the dark side.
Being a Libra is helpful. In my position I need the ability to listen to differing points of view with a great deal of patience. Phew!
Libras have a pleasing manner and are acutely sensitive to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others. This allows them to give difficult feedback, communicate sensitively, and say the right thing to preserve a relationship.
The phrase I tend to use a lot with staff and students is Stephen Covey's seek first to understand. It's a great way to open those difficult conversations because it signals the intention to listen and the upshot is by listening I can bust assumptions.
It's amazing how many times an event seems open and shut but then when the seek first to understand method is employed, the event becomes easily explainable.
Once, while a Deputy Principal, I was engaged by a neighbouring school to investigate a serious student complaint. It seemed to all and sundry like an open and shut case but when I talked to the student a completely alternative picture emerged. All I did was listen.
Seek first to understand.