Emerging Leaders Practice Professionalism…and Kindness
What can you do to present yourself as professional? This was a question the Emerging Leaders at Bethany Hill Place took on in their most recent professional development session. The children gathered and acted in and/or watched three skits. In each skit, I acted as an employee who was acting unprofessionally – looking at my phone too much, being very shy and quiet, making excuses – and an emerging leader took the role of my supervisor and attempted to talk with me about my behavior. After each skit all the children had a chance to give feedback about my behavior and how I presented myself.
As always, the children were eager and interested in sharing their thoughts. I am consistently moved by their positive mindsets. Beyond that, I was impressed with their understanding of professional tone, body language, and appropriate topics for work. They spotted me leaning too close, looking at my phone too often, and seeming disingenuous.
What surprised me more, and filled me with hope, was that the children were eager to tell me what I did correctly in each skit! No matter how difficult an employee I tried to be, they could find something positive in my presentation. In one skit, where I barely looked up from my phone, an emerging leader told me I gave a great hand shake before I sat down. I hadn’t even realized I did this. Our children were not looking only for the negative and they were not interested in showering me with my faults. They wanted me to recognize the good in each characterization, before they told me the flaws. The purpose of the day was for me to teach the Emerging Leaders how to present themselves professionally; in turn they showed me how to be a better leader myself. Yet again, I was surprised and energized by these young people. Folks, if the children are the future, we are in great hands.
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