Sunday, July 2, 2017

Michael Managing the One Stop



It is through our compassion that we care for the dignity, well-being and integrity of every person around us. Our capacity to embody this quality, simple as it may seem, is the strength that can change the world around us. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

When I managed my One Stop my employees had three obligations which by the time I retired all of them could quote. In order of preference:


  •       Take care of yourself because I need you to be as healthy as possible.
  •       Take care of the customers because we are paid to serve their needs.
  •       Feed the computer because people who look at numbers determine our funding.

The door to my office was closed only when I needed to speak privately with someone. Anytime an employee came into my office I immediately stopped what I was doing and gave them my full attention (always). I actively listened to them and asked questions for clarification. When I assigned a task I gave the reasons why, expressed the expected outcomes and asked them to devise a plan of action. I assured them I was always available for questions and answers. If someone committed a travesty it was handled in private. If someone excelled they were acknowledged in public. I held a staff meeting every month. They heard what happened in state managers’ meeting, local workforce investment board meetings and local One Stop meetings. Employees were called upon to speak about what they were doing, especially with new programs. I finished every meeting with an inspiration message and thanked them for their efforts and often told them I was honored to be working with them. They heard what I was doing to resolve problems and I let them know if they had any ideas that I was always open for suggestions.

If they encountered a customer that was too difficult that person was brought to me and when appropriate the employee watched while I dealt with the customer. I facilitated groups and demonstrated techniques often, especially with new programs. There were times when we were short staffed and I handled the front desk. There was no task below my dignity. I modeled the expected work ethic and I have very high standards. I asked for a lot. They received a lot of praise and as much help as I could deliver.

When you meet anyone, remember it is a Holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat her you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in her you will find yourself or lose yourself. ~ T, 132 A course in miracles

It was very good that a licensed professional counselor was manager of the One Stop. By the end I was nearing 40 years of experience in the system and had held virtually every job on the way up. I had experienced good managers (and supervisors) and bad. I had made plenty of mistakes, but had also received more than my share of accolades. Perhaps most import, I was no longer having any problems with self-worth. Once we learn to love ourselves unconditionally the need to strike out at another human is greatly reduced. Once we are able to love others unconditionally, we have a better chance of getting closer to a truth.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.~ Marcus Aurelius