Just like Aretha Franklin’s song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, respect is the eighth essential quality for an eLearning coach. Just because you get put into a leadership role does not automatically mean those with whom you work with will respect you. It is a quality that is built over time. How does one build respect? There are several ways that this can be accomplished.
One way is to be positive as much as possible. Leaders that are negative do not give off good vibes. People quickly grow tired of leaders that are bitter. The morale of the staff sinks and fear is harvested. Eventually negative leaders are ridiculed behind their backs. Keeping a positive attitude will lift morale and help gain the respect you are looking for.
Give the teachers that you are working with several options of how to utilize technology in their classes and let them choose. Don’t come across as the Great and Powerful Oz that knows everything. Delegation is an important part of being a good leader. Your teachers are looking to develop their skills, so when you give options they can choose from; they will feel ownership in the technology integration process. Stand back and let them figure out what tools and programs to use. We all want to be treated as professionals.
This tip is my favorite. Laugh and have some fun once in a while. Don’t take everything so seriously that you can’t laugh on occasion. With the pressures of studying data and doing well on standardized tests, a little humor can make the work much more enjoyable. When you laugh, it also shows you are human, and that can go quite a ways with teachers.
Be respectful and complimentary to the teachers and staff that you are working with. Compliment your groups on a job well done when they do something awesome. Make sure the compliment is sincere and it comes across that way. If it is not, they will detect it and it will probably have a negative effect. Treating others with respect will ultimately earn respect.
Essential quality number nine will also help you show and gain some respect among staff members. Quality nine is to make yourself available and accessible. Make time to talk with your teachers and ask their opinions. The staff needs to know that you are listening to them and that they can come to you when they have tech issues.
Even if you are incredibly busy and more than likely you are, if someone comes to you for assistance, drop answering that email or exploring a web tool and go get your hands dirty. People will remember that and will go a long way. You will also gain some respect in return. This is a great example of one quality complementing another.