Monday, July 21, 2008

Swallow Your Pride, Keep Your Staff

The year was 1987 and I was a plucky young grade 3 girl in a country school with fewer than 30 students. As such, I was in a grade 3-4-5-6 class. The object of my affection was a floppy haired blonde grade 6 boy.

Each day I would make eyes at him over the crayon box and then eventually, slowly but surely, we became friends. That is until “the briefcase incident” when our burgeoning relationship came to a startling halt.

Sixth grade boy was up in front of the class telling everyone about this new briefcase his father had bought him. “Me father bought me this great briefcase for my birthday…” he started.

Without even thinking I corrected him “my father you mean”. What degenerated over the next few minutes was grade 6 boy insisting that it was his father and not mine who had purchased the briefcase and me wanting to be sucked into the earth whole for the sheer embarrassment of it all.

I’ve often thought back to that “the briefcase incident” in my dealings managing staff. It’s helped me bite my tongue or take a conversation into a private area when I’ve had a criticism or suggestion for a staff member, and while I didn’t end up with the blonde 6th grader, hopefully the incident has helped me a little bit with staff retention in the days since then.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment


It's amazing how we have things from school that we remember. Am trying to think of a similar example but can't remember any right now!

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