How Do Others See Me? Listener Questions with Dr. Jen Schwanke – PMP325

In this week's episode, Will Parker and Jen Schwanke answer a listener question about seeking feedback.

What is the best way to find out/gather information on how others see me?  Should I create a questionnaire and have teachers/staff respond or hold conversations with teachers to find out how they view/see me and my leadership? Do you have any suggestions for questions? Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Jen’s feedback:

  • Proceed with care: where is the line between YOU knowing you do good work and wanting them to agree with you? 
  • Who do you want to impress?
  • Picture a Venn diagram: where do courage to stand alone and responsiveness to unrest cross over? Pleasing your staff is not necessarily the goal
  • When you stand alone and do the right thing, you develop respect
  • Staff sometimes want immediate satisfaction that they get what they want.  What they really need, though, is confidence and consistency. They’ll understand they don’t have to like what you do every time in order to like who you are and what you stand for. 
  • Think backwards:  What do you want them to say about you when you’re gone? 
  • “I always got what I wanted.” or “She tried too hard to please people”  *OR* “She did hard things.” “She always considered perspectives and then did the right thing.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Will’s feedback:

  • Am I staying true to the core values and mission?
  • Am I being fair, firm and consistent?
  • Think about completing a 5 Voices Assessment on yourself and ask someone you trust to complete it on your behalf.
  • Then compare the feedback. If you’re unaware of the assessment, check out this interview with the author Jeremie Kubecek (PMP 184).
  • Have coffee with a couple of trusted colleagues. Ask them to share their perspectives on your strengths and areas where you could grow. This requires courage but could be eye-opening.
  • I do not suggest anonymous surveys. They normally lead to unfiltered feedback from sources you may be unsure whether or not you can trust. 

Now It’s Your Turn

What are some ways that you would answer this week’s listener question? Is there anything that Will or Jen left out that you would like to add to the conversation?

Submit your feedback and any other questions you may have to will@williamdparker.com.

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker
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