One of the easiest and most practiced habits is to be critical. It is easy to find fault with situations, organizations, and especially people. It is easy to spew forth our observations, pointing out each fault in detail. Easy, but usually non-productive and more often than not, counter-productive, damaging relationships and creating animosity.
No one wants to be labeled a “quitter,” but there are times when EVERYONE has felt the pull to quit. It could be a job, a friendship, a project, an educational program, even a marriage. If you are human, you have fell the temptation to quit. Sometimes quitting is the right answer, but most of the time real victory and growth take place when you are willing to persevere; to stick with it, in spite of the temptation to quit.
Being present in the moment is one of the secrets of level 5 leaders. This is a skill that is often ignored or discounted by those aspiring to leadership who are busy trying to be all things to all people. Great leaders know how to come fully into the moment and focus their attention, intelligence, and relational energies in working with people and issues.
My understanding of resilience prior to this week was that it was something that people were just gifted with, like good eyesight or height. You either had it or you didn’t. Yet, in researching resilience I have learned that isn’t the case. Sure, some people tend to be more resilient because they are naturally optimistic. But what I have found is that resilience is a skill, something that can be honed. Read the full article HERE.
Do you express appreciation to those you lead? How do you do it? How often do you do it? Here is an even more important question: Do others feel as if you appreciate them? Perception IS reality and if others don’t feel appreciated, YOU are dropping the ball.
Sometimes issues arise between the student and the instructor. It can be attributed to a host of issues such as: the instructor is too harsh, the student hasn’t done the assigned work, the instructor doesn’t explain the material well, the student doesn’t pay attention in class, etc., and let’s not forget personality clashes. Scripturally speaking here are some principles that apply here:
Hebrews 12:14a – Make every effort to live in peace with everyone . . . .
1 Thessalonians 5:12 – We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you (ESV)
Matthew 18:15 – If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.
Proverbs 15:18 – A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel
The key in dealing with conflict with your instructor needs to start at that point, respect. You may not feel you are being respected, but that doesn’t negate God’s call for you to show respect. Not only that but showing dis-respect can have a negative effect upon any possible outcome.
So, what should you do?
Pray about it – Get the Lord’s perspective – some things are worth going to battle over and other things are not. Don’t let your ego and pride push you into a conflict where you have violated your own principles. If after prayer you still feel you need to proceed, then move on to the next step.
Present your case to the Instructor with respect and without blame. In most cases, the issue turns out to be related to misunderstanding or miscommunication. Laying blame only pours gasoline on the fire. Is your goal to attribute blame or to find a resolution? If you lay aside your ego and seek to understand as well as be understood this will solve most problems. This is in line with Matthew 18:15 and yet too often I find that students skip this step. If you still do not believe you have reached a satisfactory solution, go on to step three. Note that if you haven’t taken this step, the first thing the Dean is going to ask is whether or not you have discussed the issue with the instructor.
Contact the Dean with your concerns. Remember, there are two sides to every story and the Dean will also get the Instructor’s side as well as yours, so be sure you are focusing on a solution. Be honest. If you say the Instructor’s grades are too low, but you leave out the fact that your work has been turned in late or not at all, the Dean will find out and it won’t support your case.
There are some cases when the Dean may have to step in and assist both parties in finding a solution. Remember, however, part of what the educational process teaches is the ability to work with people, some of whom we don’t get along with very well. Those with high EQ (emotional intelligence) navigate these relationships smoothly, while those of us with less EQ tend to get “self” in the way and create more problems for ourselves than solutions.
Start with the Word (Bible) and prayer and get the Lord’s perspective before you react.
Sometimes you will hear people say “ I’m doing my best” or “I tried my hardest”. Perhaps you have said these words yourself. Think about the last time you said those words – now be honest, was the effort you put forth really your BEST? What is sad, is that more often than not those who say these words believe what they are saying. . . . Check out the short video below for more on this:
Ok, you definitely DON’T want to drop out or quit before you graduate. Doing so will only leave you with a debt to pay back and no degree to support a better job or give you employment options. But, there are a lot of pressures on you: family, work, relationships, parents, kids, car problems, sitter problems, and on and on and on, which definitely can make quitting seem like an option. IT IS NOT AN OPTION (say that a couple of times). You have invested too much to quit, and you are strong enough and smart enough to make it through to the end.
Here are a few tips that have worked for me.
Don’t forget to pray. It may sound simple, even cliche`, but God does give strength and help. Praying can be a casual conversation that you can have at any time. I also highly recommend some stray moments when you find a quiet place and write out your thoughts and concerns. I have found God really uses these times to help me find a perspective which can be easily lost in all the day-to-day pressures. Trust me in this, PRAYER does make a difference.
Don’t miss a class except in an emergency. I know you can potentially miss a class without it affecting your grade, but when you do you are only short-changing yourself. The information in that class session could unleash the thought that could transform your understanding of the subject or even your life. Part of the benefit of any class session isn’t just the lectures and discussions, but how God works through them to give you epiphany’s of thought that be transformative.
Take notes. You may not think you need to take notes, but that would be WRONG. Taking notes helps embed the information more firmly in your brain, allowing you to have better retention for tests, but more importantly allowing your brain to have fuel for solving real-life problems outside of class. Taking notes is one of the major secrets of those who succeed.
Keep in mind that “all of life can be reduced to relationships.” This is something I believe with all my heart and soul. No matter where you are at, God will use the relationships you have with those around you to improve you, or so that you can benefit them. We are never alone in our walk, although it can seem that way sometimes. Take a risk and reach out to the other students in your classes. Begin to connect with them and you will find the class itself more enjoyable and your ability to stay the course enhanced.
Speak up. Ask a question, get clarification, share an example that agrees with or disagrees with the point the Instructor is making. Make it a point to speak up, relative to the course, at least once each class session. There are several benefits that you reap by doing this: 1) You are more engaged in the discussion and will gain a better understanding, 2) You will retain the information better because you are making it more relevant to your own life, 3) Depending on your attitude, the Instructor will begin to see you as someone who wants to learn which creates a positive impression. Be genuine, but speak up!
Hope these tips help. We are ALL pulling for you to finish the race and get that degree.
If you are a leader and you have not had this happen yet…..it will. Confronting people can be challenging and stressful. Sometimes the one confronted begins to cry. So, here is what I’ve learned from my personal experience and research on how to handle this situation.
The pendulum swing for all our actions ranges from no effort to a perfectionistic ideal which is impossible to achieve. The medium point of the pendulum swing is “good enough.” Jim Collins wrote in his book “Good to Great” that “good is the enemy of great.” His point is that when we achieve good, most think that is “good enough.” I want to suggest there is a place beyond good that I’ve called Excellent.