Sunday, December 16, 2007

Acknowledging each other - Anderson Hall's last RA staff meeting of the fall semester

Anderson Hall’s Resident Director. organized a powerful exercise for our weekly staff meeting - the final one of the semester - last Tuesday evening. Prior to the meeting, she had prepared several hundred strips of colored paper. She instructed each of us to take 20, one for each staff member. Each of us was given a zip lock bag on which we were instructed to write our names. Our task, then, was to write a brief anonymous note to each colleague highlighting some positive quality that we saw in them and place it in their zip lock bag. Hannah cooks up such exercises frequently and they are among many reasons why she is so effective carrying out one of AU’s more challenging management responsibilities. At she intended, it was a moving experience to look around at each RA, many of whom have become friends, seeking to capture and communicate some special quality of each. To receive the acknowledgments of colleagues was an uplifting way to bring our last meeting of an intense, demanding semester to a close.

Though it will probably seem self-serving to some, I wanted to share some of the very thoughtful notes I received

happy and wise
thoughtful and caring
a great cook
your connection to and understanding of students is amazing
I love having you at our staff meeting
your encouragement and caring attitude and compassion are only a few of the characteristics that [we appreciate]
your food is amazing and you always bring a sense of stability to our staff
thanks for always being supportive of us
your dedication to the students at the university is remarkable and inspiring; I finally read your blog recently and it is amazing
thanks for being a constant source of reason and wisdom for us all
your are always there for the students
you are always there to ask us how we are doing; I feel like you really care about each one of us
you are my mentor
you keep the staff calm

Receiving these very kind comments makes me feel that I am progressing toward at least some of the goals that brought me to Anderson Hall, five years ago. And they set a very high bar for me to live up to in future.


Post a Comment

<< Home