I have been writing about how we introduce ourselves. In my last blog entry, I shared a story about a man at the gym who changes people by how he says hello. I also told a similar story about meeting Jack Welch. These two experiences remind me of a third one.
I was interviewing the top one percent of highly effective public school teachers. These people violate all our normal assumptions about how to teach. They get impossibly positive outcomes. In my interviews, one of these teachers said, “Look at the normal teachers. They are full of fear. You can feel it when they walk in a room. You can feel it in their voice. You can see it when they greet a child. When a third grader walks into my room, I greet them with strength, and I envelop that child into my life.”
I was stunned. I could feel her enormous confidence and concern. I could feel her enveloping me into her life. I believed her statement.
It occurred to me that what she was describing was what the man in the gym was doing, and also what Jack Welch was doing (see previous blog post).
Then I thought of her observation about the normal teachers. They communicate fear when they greet someone. She was not speaking of bad teachers. She was claiming that normal teachers greet other people with fear.
The more I think about this, the more profound it seems. I often encounter new people with fear. Occasionally, as in last week’s entry about the wedding, I make a choice to greet people with positive power and everything changes. This suggests that I have great possibilities in my life.
- Has anyone ever instantaneously enveloped you into their life?
- In which of your daily interactions might you be communicating fear to others?
- For you to have impact like this teacher, what would you have to do?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?