We find that when leaders speak using We/They behaviors, they usually fail to own their work. We/They is when we make ourselves look better at the expense of others. As leaders, we tend to do this when we receive bad news and results, share bad news with others, or answer tough questions. Rather than take the blame, leaders may shift the blame to their supervisor, the superintendent, or the school board. An always action for leaders is to stop using We/They. A good alternative is to write a different response using words that are honest, yet present sensitivity to the audience. If leaders need some time, they can simply reply by letting others know they need to research the answer to provide a thoughtful and accurate response. The opposite of We/They is managing up co-workers. That is, find something good that someone does and specifically let others know. Leaders can also manage up other leaders when they see something positive.

emotional bank account


Asti Kelley, Studer Education℠




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