More on Relationships

Welcome to not just a new year but a new decade! For those of you who are just joining us, we strive to enrich your teaching experience through sharing our own experiences. And for those who’ve read our blogs before, you’ll once again note how I build upon Melanie’s posts.

Which brings me to commenting on relationships—which are critical in all aspects of our lives. I’ll focus on workplace relationships which seem to attract a lot of attention and can be challenging when an HR professional needs to intercede.

Melanie made mention of one’s vulnerability when you have open and clear communication about expectations. It also means that the other individual—whether it is a student or a work colleague—must also be willing to be vulnerable. Together you’ll develop the context of the relationship and clarity around expectations from each other.

I’ve taken some time to re-read The Chronicle of Higher Education article (Defining the Relationship) and feel there are some great comments and insights which are very applicable to the workplace, especially if you’ve limited work experience. For example, often our perceptions of a “boss” are not positive. Therefore, the section on “I’m not your adversary” is worth reviewing. There is a degree of tension between leader and those that they lead and the leader does want an employee to succeed.

The final section titled “I’d like to be your partner” applies totally to the work environment. As you read the various pledges, substitute “class” with “workplace” and “students” with “employees.” The author so aptly sums up the narrative with “what you get out of this relationship is that you’ll be better equipped to succeed in…life in general.” Very wise words…

Enjoy this semester and your relationships with your students and colleagues. You’ll have some amazing experiences and stories to share!

Happy new decade!

Eileen Stewart, BA, MBA

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