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Showing posts from August, 2013

Antoinette Tuff: How Her Words Healed

     If anyone ever doubted the magnitude of words, this week's dramatic event that played out in a lengthy 911 call confirms that words are powerful weapons for justice.  Antoinette Tuff is a school bookkeeper at a charter school in Decatur, GA.  When faced with a mentally unstable gunman toting 500 rounds of ammunition and an AK47 that he actually used on occasion (fortunately without hurting anyone), she used words of compassion, healing, empathy, and love.  The greatest of these was love.  Too often when given the opportunity, we overlook the chance to speak love to others.  We may find it awkward when dealing with people other than our family members.  And yes, it is hard to love those who seem unlovable.  I'm not suggesting you go around to your co-workers and start saying wonderful things you don't mean.  You ought to always be authentic.  To be disingenuous will be very clear to those who can spot a fake.  But to speak love is to be compassionate, encouraging, humb

Living Out "Loud"

     We've all been in the awkward position of being in a public place when somebody is speaking loudly to someone else.  It's awkward because in some odd way--at least for me--I feel a bit embarrassed for the individual who's doing the talking.  They are loud and somehow don't recognize how they may be an annoyance to others.  They may be talking to another individual sitting right next to them, but they are speaking loud enough for everyone within a ten foot radius to hear them.  Worst yet, much of what they are saying, nobody around gives a bunny's tail about.  The whole scene reeks of desperation.  I use that word because it seems as though the individual is trying too hard to get other people to engage them.  Isn't the person sitting right in front of them enough?  Do they have to be the center of attention?  And what about the poor soul subjected to having unwanted attention thrown their way because they happen to be the one the loud person is talking to? 

Your First Name is Not "Miss"

     Last week I trained front office professionals in a school district on, what else--front office professionalism.  They were a dynamic group of women who have tough jobs dealing with--among many things--angry, unyielding, and in some cases, scheming parents.  Being a parent of school-age kids myself, I'm not talking about the rest of us who go to schools willing to help and to be cooperative.  I'm talking about the ones who aren't.  The front office staff have to be master multi-taskers it seems in an effort to keep everything rolling at once.  Talking to people who walk through the front door, directing children back to class, finding paperwork, making announcements, and answering the phones have to be done all in a matter of minutes.  One of the discussion points in our training involved answering the phone.  The interim superintendent was adamant about this one pet peeve of his, and I think it's worth addressing.      He doesn't want the office staff to use