Recognise the things that are “hard” for you and how to avoid them

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If you’re honest with yourself, you know that there are some things that are just plain “hard” for you, and you’ve probably become expert at avoiding them. You may be so good at avoiding them that you don’t even realise you’re doing so. You could call them weaknesses, inabilities, tendencies, your “nature,” or you could put a positive spin on them and call them opportunities. But whatever you call them, it’s important to be aware of what they are for you.

What kinds of things are we talking about? People avoid things like:

  • Delegating work to others and continue to do things that others could and should be doing
  • Telling educatorsthey’re unhappy with their performance and exactly why, and just gently coax, drop hints, offer “suggestions,” or transfer them
  • Speaking in front of large groups of people, and instead write memos or have somebody else do their talking for them.

There’s an endless list of what people avoid, and everyone’s list is different.

What’s wrong with not doing the things you don’t like to do?

You can’t possibly do everything anyway, so why not focus on what you like to do and what’s easy for you, and not worry about those things that are hard?

First, not addressing those “hard” things almost always prevents you from getting what you really want. For example, a Nominated Supervisor who avoids telling educators when their work is not up to par is compromising and not getting the best results possible. (Not to mention the ripple effect it has on other educators and the families.)

Second, a lot of energy and attention is “sucked up” – wasted really by these avoidance techniques.

Third, when avoidance becomes habitual and unconscious – when you don’t even realise that the avoidance has become automatic – you lose the ability to choose which is fundamental, not only to leadership, but to life. When you give up your ability to choose how you’ll act in any situation, you’ve relinquished your ability to make decisions, to take the “right action,” and, thereby, damaged your effectiveness.

When you continually avoid those things that are hard for you, you deny yourself the opportunity to make them easy. You deny yourself the fullest of what’s possible.

Identify those things that are hard for you, the underlying beliefs you have about them, how you avoid them, what you gain by avoiding them, what you would gain by not having to avoid them, and whether or not you want to change.

Consider the following questions:

  1. What are the things that are hard for you?
  2. What are your underlying beliefs?
  3. How do you avoid the hard things?
  4. What do you gain by avoiding the hard things?
  5. What would you gain by having the choice to avoid or not avoid?
  6. Do you want to change it?

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