I hadn’t been out of my parents’ house for long. I had always taken great pride in being independent and responsible, but I couldn’t hide it this time. I had overdrawn my checkbook so badly that I didn’t even have enough money to pay for the extra fees from the bank.
My feelings of shame must have been quite evident to my dad when I came to him confessing what I had done. It took me humbling every part of my being in order to admit my failure and ask for help. He could have pointed out all of my bad choices. He could have humiliated me, held it over my head, and made me earn his trust again….But he didn’t.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. When it comes to leading, whether family or staff, you have to lead with dignity.
I’ve had teachers that have made terrible decisions, said the wrong things, and withdrawn from the rest of the team. When I approached them with genuine concern, I better understood the whole picture. They were facing divorce; Their parents were in poor health; Their child had just been diagnosed with a disability; Their friend had recently committed suicide; They didn’t have enough money to pay this month’s bills; etc.
“How would you want your supervisor to deal with you if you had just dropped the ball?”
Take time to understand those you lead before jumping to conclusions. By doing so, you’ll create some of the most loyal employees anywhere. If they are still teachable, this failed attempt could be one of the most valuable experiences they may ever receive.
What stories do you have of how you or someone you know has treated another with great dignity? Leave your story in the comments section and help encourage us all.