Impact is a popular word in student affairs. We talk about the impact we have on students, the impact students have on their peers, and the impact being actively involved on campus has on a student’s GPA and retention to the institution. What we often leave out of these conversations is the impact we have on each other – for better or for worse.
We frequently go out of our way to help and support students, but do not always do the same for our colleagues. How we treat each other contributes to the culture on our campuses and in our departments. It has a huge impact on workplace morale, job satisfaction and overall happiness.
I’m sure we can each name a number of colleagues, past or present, who are genuinely supportive, encouraging and have our best interests in mind. I’m also certain that we can all list some who are not – some that seem to purposely make things more difficult. It’s often said that people don’t leave jobs, they leave supervisors. I imagine the same can be said for colleagues, especially if their behaviour is not addressed, or worse, condoned.
Conflict with colleagues is inevitable – and can be positive when it is healthy and constructive. I enjoy a good debate with my colleagues. I like it when my viewpoint is challenged (in a respectful way) and a productive conversation ensues. What’s not ok? Personal attacks, vindictive behaviour and refusing to consider the greater good (yes folks, unfortunately this does exist in student affairs).
I encourage you to think about the role you play on your team and the impact you have on your colleagues. Do you lift others up and contribute to their success?
For more information about the a to z challenge, click here.