One lesson that I try to remind myself of every day is the importance of perspective and a personal touch.
By working on a macro level much of the time — performing data analysis that combines thousands of voices in a district — it can become easy to forget that participant groups are made up of individuals, each with his or her own unique perspective.
Consider the following: A principal is responsible for several hundred kids, but every parent believes that their child’s wellbeing is the most important. And it can be frustrating to feel that they don’t get the necessary personal attention from administrators and staff.
The principal believes that being aware of important issues and working to correct them is enough.
Sounds reasonable, right?
But consider the parent who says, “I called about a problem, and no one ever got back to me. I guess I’m not important.”
From the parent’s perspective, the issue of the day is no longer important. Now he or she doesn’t feel like a valued partner, which can lead to discouragement, disenchantment and disengagement.
While your community’s trust is built one interaction at a time, it can be lost just as quickly.
A personal touch used to be considered “going the extra mile.” Now, even global decisions require a personal touch.
So, remember to see your daily interactions from the other person’s perspective. Although it may mean answering a few more emails or phone calls, these small human touches can lead to a more engaged and supportive community.