I have a great relationship with the private university I attended. I recruit for them, I believe in them, my child went there and my child goes there. As often as possible I let them know how much I appreciate their investment in the lives of young adults.
When students make a 'prospective student' visit they are usually overly-impressed with the campus, the culture and the people.
Recently a family I know made one of those 'prospective student' visits with their high school junior…it didn’t go well.
I let the university know…going directly to the recruiter I have had the most contact with. (The same person I usually tell what a great job his team does entertaining prospective students.)
He heard me…he didn’t make excuses…he just listened.
Here is my take away: We earn the right to speak into peoples lives and even give criticism when we have continuing open lines of communication.
I try to put this into practice with the staff team I lead. I make it a practice to talk to them daily and meet with them one-on-one each week. Both of these communication times are in addition to our team meetings.
Daily talks are just that talks…
- ’how’s life?’
- ‘what are you working on today?’
- 'is there anything I can help you with?’
Weekly one-on-one times…
- ’we review projects’
- ‘we talk about family, life and life ambitions’
- ‘we discuss expectations’
- ‘we talk about the culture of the organization’
- ‘we recognize accomplishments’ and
- ‘we address any area of concerns; them with me and me with them.'
It is much easier to have the hard conversations with my team when we have a culture of communication. (Open lines of communication also make an end of year review just a recap of what we have been discussing all year.)
I am going to continue to send ‘prospective students’ to my alma mater because they listen, they care and they are always trying to improve.
I am going to continue talking to my team because we are much stronger and productive when there is a culture of communication.