Each year for Christmas we head to the beach, swimming and surfing are some of my favourite things to do over the summer holidays. Going to the beach allows me to spend time with family and get some much-needed rest and relaxation.
The beaches are normally packed with people, and lifesavers have the unenviable task of keeping everyone safe. Not only do they need to cater for a wide range of swimming abilities, they also need to factor in the ever-changing surf conditions. The beach is kept safe by everyone swimming between the flags. Lifesavers position the flags in the safest position on the beach and they can rescue swimmers if they get into trouble.
People who choose to swim beyond the flags not only risk their safety but also the safety of others. At any given moment your behaviour either puts you between the flags or beyond the flags.
“People may hear your words but they feel your attitude.”
The same applies to teams. Some attitudes are going to promote team cohesiveness and others are going to destroy it. Attitudes are important because it’s the feeling you give off to the team. Attitudes are more important than education, qualifications or skills. Attitude is the little thing that makes the biggest difference.
Attitudes that are between the flags are those that help the team succeed. Attitudes such as Educators taking ownership and responsibility. They see solutions, take-action and support each other. Being between the flags is knowing that you can’t always control the situation but you can choose your attitude. When all Educators are between the flags, success just seems to flow.
“Bad attitudes will ruin your team.”
When working in small teams in a high-pressure environment, it is natural that some bad attitudes might creep into the team. Attitudes that are beyond the flags are denial, blame and excuses.
When Educators are beyond the flags, you hear statements such as ‘I didn’t do it’ or ‘it’s not my fault’. These attitudes derail the team and undermine success. When Educators behave beyond the flags we see them blaming, fault finding and ignoring each other.
When you have staff beyond the flags, your team can get stuck in a victim cycle and getting back on track is almost impossible. In this situation, people pretend not to know that there’s a problem, deny its existence, or remain unaware of its effects. Beyond the flag attitudes are a problem because tough issues remain unresolved. Small problems become even larger ones and instead of moving forward, people consider themselves victims and point fingers at others.
“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”
When your team chooses to be between the flags, they take 100% responsibility for their actions and outcomes. They see a world full of possibilities, where they have the power to choose their own attitude, to choose their own way. Educators that operate between the flags believe life is about how you perceive it. They look for the good in bad situations and turn the negatives into a learning experience. These people take ownership and responsibility for everything that happens.
Great leaders set the flags with their team. Decide what “good” looks like, support the team to clearly articulate what attitudes and behaviours do we demonstrate when we are at our best. These will be the attitudes and behaviours that are between the flags and the attitudes we are willing to accept from each other. Conversely, the team will need to identify which attitudes and behaviours are beyond the flags, attitudes that we don’t want to exist in the team.
Having the team decide the attitudes and behaviours they expect from themselves and each other is the first step in moving from a mentality of blame to an attitude of trust, confidence and positivity. It’s a great activity to do with your team this month and help bring a positive attitude this Christmas.
To find out more about how Farran Street Education can help bring a positive attitude to your team click here.
On 26th Aug we kick off The Early Childhood Management Series.
This 5-part live webinar series tackles complicated topics such as; time management, conflict, gossip, and trust. We provide simple proven strategies that you can use to deal with these issues and get the best out of your team.
The following webinars are included in the series:
1. Time Management For Managers
2. Building Strong Leadership Teams
3. It’s A Knockout – Resolving and Preventing Non-Functional Conflict
4. Building Trust In EC Teams
5. Eliminating Gossip and Promoting a Positive Culture.
Time Management Quiz
Time management is an essential management skill for any Teacher, Nominated Supervisor or Co-ordinator. Being time poor is perhaps the biggest hurdle in being an effective manager in an early childhood education and care setting. So many people say “If I didn’t get so many interruptions, I might actually be able to get something done!”
Without good time management skills, you’re left dealing with only the most urgent issues with no time to plan, review or reflect. Trapped in a never-ending cycle of urgent tasks you remain paralysed unable to lead and manage effectively.
The quiz below will help you to understand how effectively you manage your time.
As a leader, we understand you spend your day wearing many different hats in the workplace.
Sometimes it can be challenging to choose the right professional development opportunities for you and your team. To help save you time in trying to analyse the development teams of you and/or your team, we have developed the Leadership Learning Plans.
These cards are designed to help you understand the skills and development needs of certain roles. We have also included some suggested some Farran Street Education programs which assist you in forging the right path for you or your team members.
Over the coming weeks, we will be releasing these Leadership Learning Plans and encourage you to take them back to your team to discuss!
Motivating staff is a major concern for any EC or OSHC manager. In this short video Daniel Pink uncovers the 3 key ingredients which need to be present for staff to be motivated.