Today I held a lunchtime wedding shower for one of my employees. It was my way of saying thanks to someone who works hard and demonstrates immense work ethic and concern for her work.
I think that too often, the detail-mindedness of librarians can become our downfall. We are so busy seeing what is “not right” and what needs to be fixed that we don’t see what is right and don’t say thank you to people who do well. More often than not, when you ask a librarian about how things are going at work, you get a negative response or a litany of the things going wrong. I do it myself, so I know. But I make a special effort to tell my employees “thank you” every day and tell them a thing or two that I was happy with. I find that when the time comes for me to tell them they did something not-quite-right, they respond more quickly and try harder.
Doesn’t that all seem obvious? It seems like a “Well, DUH!” sort of thing, but it must not be, because not a lot of bosses do that. I know mine doesn’t and it’s why I try to be mindful of it.
Before I step off my digital soapbox today, I want to share one more thing. When I was a high school vice principal, someone gave me a list of things entitled “Twenty Things I Learned from Being A Principal”. One of the things was: If someone asks you if you are busy, respond by saying, “Yes, but I have time for you”.
That single statement has been an incredibly powerful tool in my managerial toolbox and I use it often. You have more time than you think and the people around you will appreciate you stopping for them for just a few moments. Try it.