You know your words are barbed with poison,
Ready to explode, a hot grenade,
Ripping through the gentle souls
And yet you’re forced to utter them,
Cringing, crying, craving some release
And all the while we’re realising that
It must be hard to dish that out from day to day.
As a first year teacher, I am at the bottom of the pecking order, so I tend to just go into work, keep my head down and then go home when the day is done. But yesterday, I had to use my words and I found it really difficult.
We had a department meeting and the senior member of staff who was running the meeting was trying to get all of us to practice ‘radical candour’. I had never heard of this term before, but lots of leaders try to use it to give criticism, but deliver it woth love.
Being always on the bottom rung, I realise that I don’t have much confidence in myself, so the idea of giving criticism to people above me was terrifying.
At the end of the session we had to write on a post it, what we want management to stop that could make our life easier. It was anonymous, but the ideas were read out to the group.
I think that it was writing the words ‘I want you to stop’ that was the most difficult thing because that involves creating boundaries and I am so bad at that. So, telling my boss what they should not do in order to make me enjoy my job more felt so uncomfortable I wanted to be sick.
It was an interesting exercise and if you are in a leadership role, I really advise that you give that kind of thing a go, because I think everyone walked out feeling a bit lighter.
I just have to deal with my guilt now, because every time I look at my boss I can’t help but think that I might have hurt her yesterday…