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Welcome everyone! Do introduce yourselves!
Hi Max…from Abby at Bernard Zell in Chicago
Michelle Gold, Goldsmith Early Childhood Center Pikesville, MD
Rachel Raz from Boston:) It is great to see you Max!
Nancy - Rockville, Maryland
Hi. Carla from Akiba in Chicago
Amelia Remy, Brookline, MA
Hi Liz Sherman BJE Wilmette
Ray Sherman JCYS Wicker Park Chicago, IL
Hi maxine! So nice seeing you!Ronnie Becher Beth EL New Rochelle
Jeanne Zamutt from Temple Emanu-El Dallas.
Amy Bolotin JCCGB Boston MA
Janet Sear Chicago area
—Mirrors for #RadicalEmpathy
—Today as Rosh Chodesh, a gift to women for those who stood up for what was right and innovative in a time of crisis.
10 per classroom!
—Geula: humbling place.
—Q: How do you find yourself responding to the demands?
—I have to get out of bed and I have to make the first step. Communicating with staff and families has been very important, and has helped me as we begin to take next steps. I am here, present, here is my cell phone number. By saying it I am starting to believe it.
—I have been doing a lot of checking in, listening, take deep breaths. Trying to on the one hand read people’s emotional undertone and also to filter what is coming through to get at what is here that I can address. Is there a Q I can address or a concern I can calm.
—Trying to find ways to practically address problems.
—How is this different from before? There is more freaking out, self talk. Extra effort not to let it all show—but on the other hand I am modeling that this is happening and that I am real like others.
—Level of transparency that becomes important.
—Not all about heroic leadership up on the hill—but in fact showing the pain and the challenge of this moment on ourselves—and how we can relate and empathize with our stakeholders. Because we are experiencing it all together, all at once.
—Part of agile leadership is being able to step bravely into it.
—It is v imp to feel everyone’s pain and to acknowledge my own pain. I cant let it all out to the teachers and parents—has happened to me once or twice and it didn’t feel right.
—Strange time because we are seeing ourselves as others see us (via screen)
—Imp to acknowledge other peoples perspective and let them see my now; look for ways to alleviate that stress.
—That not knowing what next moment will hold is in many ways what our lives have been about. Developing a resilience that most of us didn’t have until this point.
—Reminder what a toll can be on our staff.
—The emotional side of that insecurity—
—How does your experience right now inform what you understand of the needs of your staff, and parents and families, of your organizational leadership.
—Analogy of microwave/radio. I do share with families that we are in this confusion together. I believe that things that come from the heart will enter into the hearts of others.
—I have made peace with, It’s not all about me; I won’t be able to do it all myself. Reconciling that which I can and can’t take on.
—How is your experiencing affecting that of your stakeholders? What are the things you are taking on or not taking on?
—Everything that I know about my staff continues to be true. And it is all heightened. I am more acutely aware of people’s needs. There is also right now heightened awareness of leadership in my org being equally stressed and struggling, doing the best they can. So clear there are so many aspects to moving forward and decisions made, financially, HR. Everyone seems more fragile than they have been.
—The complexity of the different stakeholders. The needs that are taking place for your teachers are diff needs for opening than those of the organizational leadership
—How are you navigating?
—Parents want to know all of the details they need—all of the normal info we would be giving out a week before. Want reassurance around health and safety. Who are the teachers? Who in the class? Will you hug my child if needed? Teachers want to know which children, which too, how rtf clean, who is co-teachers. Some of these things I can address, others no. Leaders above want enrollment numbers. Many moving parts, much asking for patience. Focus on what info I can give, reiterating that we are working on the others and will come soon.
—Grateful that my org willing to support my decision to wait til open until August. Helps me think about what I can and cant do. My job: to care really deeply for children and staff. Invite others in to help with some of the logistics.
—I have to let ego of many things so could focus on where my strengths and my limits are. That is where I am—acknowledging. Now need to find some of those others.
—How has empathy and the need for empathy changed in this now VUCA context? Or has it?
Thank you, Geula and Amy! We appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. You speak for all of us and we are with you!
—Feels like I can’t use my usual internal and external resources. In terms of empathy, so much a part of our culture. But the big new thing is that I have to turn it more on myself. To be ok with not having all answers. Hard not to have control over so many, and how will we keep moving forward in that situation. I am saying it to others while I am simultaneously saying it to myself. Caring for other people is not the same as taking care of everything for everyone.
—There is the insecurity of the moment. Things are turbulent. The laminar way we had functioned is gone. The tools you normally call on also are no longer the things you can call on. Powerful: SO much of our identity is our work. We are insecure in our responses to stakeholders. Also having our own mini identity crisis. Navigating this through all of these other navigations--wow.
—Until now I have been able to rely on my actions to demonstrate my empathy (where stand in hallway, etc)—now I have to use words to show my empathy. Have to articulate. “If you are not ok with…that’s ok.”
Don’t be shy! Ask away!
Questions? For Amy, for Geula, for Erik.
How to navigate financial challenges?
How much of the financial challenge do you share with families? Will they want to come if they know you may not be able to fund the program long term?
When you have to move quickly, how do you handle all of the many ideas community members/board members share? How do you bring people along when time is short?
—Retraining, telling what are planning, with caveats of revising.
How do you handle the families who are worried about a new family entering the class who they don’t know? They are worried the new families may have different social distancing than they do. They see others in the neighborhood having birthday parties and don’t want those children in their child’s class because of a possible higher risk. Some families want classes rated by risk level. How do we help them through this?
Debbie fennel: eec has relaxed that a bit. Check with your licensor
Thank you Amy and Geula! It’s been so wonderful to work with you and we all appreciate your openness and honesty today
—Recap. Want to emphasize how imp it is to have empathy in a way have not had previously for yourself. Give yourself that space—be able to call own that as a tool for decision making. When you don’t have the info you need to make the pressing decisions before you.
Thanks to all for another wonderful and thoughtful presentation. Amy, good luck with your reopening next week
—Reminding ourselves: Everything changed. Gap between expectations and our experience is why we are “freaking out”
—There will be less predictability in the coming time.
—The advantage of agile leadership in this moment is that it calls on empathy. You are leaders, building learning orgs—orgs that have to learn how to respond to these moments, and to the human sides of these moments. Some of you are being challenged to do you r work in all new environments. You have to be bravely vulnerable—only way to build a resins that will resonate with needs of stakeholders.
—What you are hearing and feeling for others will allow you to build a response that is relevant.
Thank YOU Amy!!
Reach Erik: Via LinkedIn or email.
Great session! Thank you.
Thank you everyone!
Billy Dalwin Pre-School
Thanks all! This was very helpful!
I have never heard such calm people talking about freaking out!!
Bring your lay leadership!
Parents who are leaders!
Today’s breakout sessionhttps://bit.ly/breakout613