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3 Easy Steps to Being a Better Teacher

3 Easy Steps to Being a Better Teacher

As I sit in my office this morning, I just had a conversation with a colleague of mine – Someone I coach and train, and someone who constantly makes me think in return. I love his attitude. He is one of the most positive people I know. Today, however, we did not see eye to eye, which is not to say we argued but just had a difference of opinion.

We were speaking about luck. He brought it up in a casual way. He said, “Maybe I will get lucky today.” That caught my attention. I am a teacher of salespeople; I do not believe in luck.

Now I am a superstitious guy, not in a serious way, just for fun, but I do have my quirks. I always put on my left shoe first. I have no idea where this started, but I have done it my whole life. Sitting on my desk is a large wooden Buddha, I rub his belly every time I enter and exit the office. I don’t think these actions do anything for me; they just comfort me in a way that I can’t explain. But I know I do not do them for luck.

There is no such thing as luck.

Opportunity is a different word. Opportunity does come at random sometimes but more often than not it is the result of a specific action and just plain hard work.

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What would it take for my friend to feel like he had “gotten lucky” today? A new client? I happen to know that is what he wants. But why leave that up to luck?

He is smart, talented, and good at his job. But sits by the phone waiting for luck.

The only luck my friend needs is belief in himself and to get off his rump and hustle. The harder you work, the more opportunity you will have. Luck has nothing to do with it.

So, how can we as educators help to change the way our students think? Or, how can we, as people, just help to change the way we think and process information?

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How about this?

3 Small Changes, 1 BIG Difference

1. Listen More

Most educators, instructors, and teachers I know are brilliant minds who know the topics they teach in their bones. But how many of you have been teaching the same topics for years? Have your classes evolved and changed or are we thinking about learning through the same lens that we used even 5 years ago, much less 10 or 15 years ago.
We need to rethink our curriculum and listen to the students we teach. What are they most looking for in a class, a breakout session, a workshop? Are we addressing their needs for education or are we stuck offering the same classes over and over?

Try this, put out a poll to your students or employees asking what classes or topics they would most like to learn more about. I think the responses may surprise you.

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2. Break Your Own Routine

The simple fact that you have read this tells me that you want to achieve more, to get better, to improve. The very best way to improve will always come from within. You have not gotten to this position in life by being average. You have an amazingly creative mind that has propelled your success thus far. But be honest, are you in a bit of a routine? I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you are happiest when you are creative. Designing new classes. Sparking a new charitable campaign. Thinking differently!

Try this, Next week take a different route to work EVERY day, and don’t take the same way home. This small change, while it may sound silly, will force your mind to think creatively on your route. No more autopilot. Putting yourself in new situations causes your mind to think differently, and to wake up. You may just get that one spark you are looking for when you take that third left instead of the second.

3. Dare To Be BOLD

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Is there an itch in the back of your mind that you have thought about over and over but never attempted to scratch? A wild crazy thought that when you dream big enough, just may work?! Please listen to this: Anything you do advances us all. Anything you do advances us all. BE BOLD! Take that shot. Start a blog, write a book, open your own website, your own school. No one ever looked back on their life and said: “I wish I had done less.”

Try this, wake up every morning and say to yourself “What’s next?” “How can I be a part of it?”…..or better yet, sit down with a piece of paper, put that itch into words. Make it happen.

So to help our students and colleagues, we must think differently and reject luck.

I believe in magic, and love, and opportunity. I believe that a good hearted man with a passion can become a success at anything and that a smart, confident lady will change the world. I believe in baseball, flowers for no reason and good manners.

BUT I refuse to believe in luck. For that, I will just get back to work.

More by this author

Glenn Killey

Author, Motivational Speaker, Mindset Coach

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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