Three people have left my class since I started teaching, and it’s all my fault.
The first person left because I was too stubborn. I am trying to work on this personality trait, as I feel like it is very challenging to get right. There is a fine line that must be towed when working with people regarding how stubborn one should be. The line is somewhere between “my way and the high way” and “anything will do.” Both are detrimental to a creative atmosphere. Too far to each side and either nothing gets done or the things that get done are nowhere near where you personal code must see them at. The position you want to be in is one of confidence of your role and humility that the people in the room know more then you. It is crucial to be the smartest person in the room and equally important to act as though you know no more than the person to your left. Where I went wrong with my first student is I tried too hard to push my own agenda upon another human. While I am the teacher of my class and I have an agenda that students must abide by, there is no bigger turnoff to students then a teacher who leads by formula. While grade chasers are willing to stick to the formula because doing such results in excellent grades, it is those that are creative – the students and people you want in your class or company – who are put off by this oppression of personal opinion. This means that you can not always lead with the words or with a syllabus but instead with the facts. You must be able to show that in order for said business to work, xyz must be done – xyz must all relate tightly back to the mission of the class. If XYZ do not relate to the class, then leave it out of the leadership soundbit. Because you want a team to do something does not mean the person will do it that way or even knows how or wants too. None of the preaching matters if the advertising is confusing and the person who is listening is lost on the mission.
Next post, number two will be revealed.