It's a phrase I find my self saying a lot. "I feel like you value the work I do, but that you don't value me." It's a subtle difference but an important one.
To be honest I've really struggled writing this blog. I'm not sure how to say what needs to be said, but I will do my best because I think this is really important.
Here's the situation, our president has decided to move one of the student support centers into a new building, and into a series of offices that are being housed by our deans office. Let me pause to say I fully support this transition. It is what's best for the students.
Now the deans office has to relocate and it has been decided that most likely they will move into the set of offices that are currently being occupied by our music department administration. So the people in these offices (not me by the way) have to relocate to a different building (the building that most of the school of music is currently in). The problem of course is that there's not really any space for this to happen. In order for this to work faculty are going to be uprooted from their offices, class rooms are going to be cannibalized, and there will be plenty of construction while classes are taking place. To top it all off this will all be done in the next 8 weeks.
To sum it all up, we've been asked to make a huge change to the way we operate with little notice, and no concern of how it will affect us. You see the work we do is valued but who we are does not feel valued.
Of course this is just one example and there are many to be drawn from, and I'm sure you can think of instances in your own life where what you do is valued but you are not. When you don't value the people it leaves a bitter taste in their mouth.
So how can we demonstrate the value of people and not just the work they do?
1) Listen. Edicts rarely go well, and conversations always work better.
2) Acknowledge the loss that is always associated with change.
3) Demonstrate the value you have of others through actions and not just words.
4) Listen. It's so important you have to list it twice.
And when you value the people and not just the work they do, you create a community and they do better work for you.