Thursday, March 6, 2014
One of my 'teaching friends' once told me he thought teachers should either change grades, schools or subjects every 5 years. His thoughts were that change wakes up our minds, our creativity, and we are better teachers for it. He may have been correct. I do know that anytime we have to adjust to changes, however small, we are forced to become more aware and attentive in order to override the existing curbs of habitual thought and activity. It is said that something as small as moving your trash can has the effect of waking up your mind in the middle of the day. It's good to step out of our comfort zones.
Comfort zones are just that, places, skill sets, ways of doing things with which we are very familiar and therefore comfortable. However, there is often very little growth that occurs in a well established zone of comfort. We tend toward ruts, inflexibility and sometimes even a little ugly self-righteousness, which are not particularly attractive things. The picture that comes to mind is of a garden that has been left unattended, unweeded for too long. Weeds do tend to show up and, left to themselves, can and will take over the plot. Gardens need to be managed so that the plants compliment and support each other to the best advantage and business/professional offices are no different. What is our goal? How can we best work together, respecting each and every person involved, so that together we can best attain that goal?
There are many different ways to do most things; some are better than others, true, but some are simply different, not necessarily better. Patience is required on the part of everyone involved and, most importantly, open, honest communication without fear of adverse consequences. (Yes, in a perfect workplace, in a perfect world, I know, believe me, I know, but we must work toward that. Work and read and talk and listen and want it to happen in order to make any progress toward that end.) All the voices need to be heard so that seeds of bitterness do not take root and do their damage.