Besides that, tomorrow's the first full department meeting I'll be running! I am VERY excited. We've got some big things to do tomorrow, and I hope my colleagues will hear me out on my hopes and visions for our department. Today I had ironed over my first not-easy challenge as dept chair with reasonable success, so I feel pretty good about this moving forward!
By the way, this year I will be teaching all of grades 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 again. I look forward to improving and refining what I did last year. :)
Work relationship tips I'll try to always abide by this year as I tread along in my new position:
- If an issue is contentious, always talk it over in person rather than discussing it over emails. Emails escalate situations unnecessarily quickly.
- Within 60 seconds of talking to someone, find something that you can (genuinely) praise them for; this will help them to open up to what you have to say.
- If you do some casual "pre-talking" to people about their opinions before group meetings, you can help them to trim their thoughts down to key points, and therefore save time during the actual meeting / prevent drawn-out discussions. Most of the time people just want their detailed thoughts to be heard, but it does not have to be by the whole group.
- In the middle of mediating a conflict, giving someone recognition for something that they do well will help to immediately cool the situation.
- Ultimately, if you have to make a decision that is unpopular, you should explain the reasoning behind it and model your conviction in action.
- Early planning and specific, timely communication will both help to avoid avoidable conflicts.
- My personal relationship with IT, admin, facilities, etc. will have a bearing on my department's relationship with them!!