Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 47 - Setting standards

A few years ago, my counsellor gave me some excellent advice.
She told me that I absolutely could not expect other people to live up to my standards.
To do so would make me ill, destroy working relationships and friendships, and generally make any interaction with other human beings untenable.
It was difficult advice to take, but as each year goes past, I see more wisdom in it.

It applies to my relationship with students, as well as with colleagues, and with management.
Most of all, it means I get less stressed at work.
I get angry and frustrated less frequently.

Just because my colleague is not doing a task the way that I would do it, does not make it wrong.
Just because my colleague has elected to perform a task in a less efficient way than the way that I have already demonstrated to them does not make it wrong.
Just because my colleague has elected to perform a task in a way that I regard as being unhelpful does not make it wrong.

I cannot do everything, and I cannot know everything. I cannot oversee everything.
I cannot judge everyone. This is not my place.
I struggle with this on a daily basis, and I guess that other people around me may do as well.
They may want to constantly tell me how to do what I'm doing.
They may want to constantly remind me of things that they feel that I am forgetting, or correct my priorities.

Knowing the right juncture to intervene in someone else's practice in a constructive way is an art form, and not one that just comes to you. I have enough problems judging it with myself, but in that process of developing self-knowledge, it is also helping me read other people and attempting to make that judgement with them.

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