We’re living in a self-absorbed world, where everyone wants what they want. Too many times in my life, I’ve witnessed and experienced people in situations where people want what want, but are not willing to give it.
My first realization was during my pledge processes in undergraduate school at Eastern Illinois University. Many times, I have witnessed a person as a Pledgee and considered to be the weakest link to become a Big Sister/Brother and the strongest Enforcer. They dished out, what they struggled to take.
I have witnessed this challenge as a parent. For example, I’ve watched children during role play; where they would play house/school. The child that struggles to follow the rules (neglecter), becomes an enforcer, when placed in an authoritative position.
It’s a common practice for Teachers to give extra responsibilities to the child that misbehaves; as a distraction. I’ve used it myself while working as a Substitute Teacher. For example, I have given the child who misbehaves a helping privilege to pass out paper/pencils. When they were done and back in their seat, another child says, “Ms. Lawrence, I did not get any paper/pencil.” I asked the child that passed out the paper, “Why didn’t you give him any paper/pencil?” Their response was, “He was talking, when I got to him!” I’m THINKING, “You are strong; that’s all you do is talk! That’s the only reason I gave you the task; as a attempt to keep you from talking!” In turn, I SAY, “Please give him the paper/pencil!”
I’ve witnessed this practice most often in the work environment. For example, a person performance in a subordinate position is inadequate; mainly because they spend less time working and more time groveling with management. Yet, their groveling usually results in being advantageous and most times they are promoted. When they are promoted, they become toxic; as a technique to mask their uncomfortable feelings of inadequacy.
For long as I can remember, I’ve tried to utilize the practice of “giving what I want” in every phase of my life, but have come to understand this can be a challenge for some. These situations have made me aware of the NEED to teach, learn, encourage and promote the ability to “give what you want.”
I want to encourage others to take time to stop and think before you proceed. Take time to reflect on yourself, when you were in these same positions, “were you able to meet the goals you are currently expecting of others?”
I want to encourage others, when you see children role playing and they are performing differently than they perform in those same situation, use it as a teaching moment and bring it to their attention. “See how now that you are the (authority), you want your (subordinates) to perform? This is how I expect you to perform, when you venture back to real life; act appropriately.”
I want to encourage teachers to stop granting privilege tasks to misbehaving students. Use these opportunities as a teaching moment; for students to learn to “earn” a privilege. For example, “If you are on good behavior today, I will allow you to pass out the paper/pencils tomorrow.”
I want to encourage people in the work force to lead by example. Though you may be in management, take time to reflect on when you were in these subordinate positions. This practice can encourage relationship focused success, increase productivity, morale and loyalty.
One of My Proud Parent Moments
My Son was consistently engaged in swimming from age 9 years old until high school. By the time he got to high school, he almost hated swimming and his behavior was accordingly. He had a challenging relationship with his Swim Coach; he had nothing good to say about the Swim Coach and the Swim Coach had nothing good to say about him.
When he turned 16 (working age), he started working as a Swim Instructor and he was amazing. I was not aware until parents came to me saying, “Your Son is an amazing Swim Instructor! He is so patient and my child is learning so much with him!” One parent went on to explain, “The instructors usually stand by the pool and give instructions. It appeared that my Son was not understanding and immediately Daniel took off his shirt and got in the pool to show him! As long as I have been coming here, I’ve never seen an Instructor get in the pool!”
I was surprised, because my Son had become so negative about swimming. I was overjoyed to hear something positive.
The crowning of the moment was when the Swim Coach came to me and said, “I must admit, Daniel is an amazing Swim Instructor! I was astounded to see the way he worked with the children! He is so patient and attentive; unlike himself.” He went on to add a little shade by saying, “I see now, he doesn’t want to follow the rules, he wants to give the rules.”
Despite the shade and through it all, what stood out most for me was “how” he performed. He did not give the same negativity that he felt he had been receiving. I was honored to discover that my Son had learned and was able to “give what he wanted!”
I’m proud to announce that My Son is still performing as an amazing Swim Instructor in his own organization that he has named “Swim Like Magic.” You can check out his work on his Facebook page – Swim Like Magic
Until next time…