So late the other night (I couldn’t sleep, as usual) I was listening to a radio discussion with one of the authors of a new book called Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results. In the context of business management, he talked about ways we all can use “kindness” to motivate, support, recognize, adapt and grow. Much of their management/leadership ideas are based on psychological theory—essentially, that people are more productive when we treat them with caring, fairness and honesty, but that kindness does not also equal weakness or lack of discipline. Pretty logical, I think.
Since so much of what we do in the ARC is leading and teaching by example, I wonder if we begin to think about how we can lead with kindness—understanding, compassion, acceptance—then can we enhance the way we tutor? So much of our tutoring pedagogy already includes much of what these writers are proposing, so tutoring fits right in to this philosophy of helping others to help themselves—giving others the tools they need to succeed on their own.
While I’m not proposing that we begin to think about our tutees as employees, our students as products, and what we do as a business, I do think that we can glean something from these ideas that can open our tutoring horizons and offer us fresh ways to examine what we do.
For example, we can consider what brings our students in to our center and what keeps them engaged. Then, what can we do to help them grow and become better learners. In addition, thinking about the cross-cultural implications of practicing kindness, especially in a Center like ours, can be invaluable.
So anyway, if you’re interested in reading or hearing more about these ideas, you can check out this website: http://www.thirteen.org/leadingwithkindness/essays/the-power-of-kindness. Or you can listen to a webcast with the authors here: http://www.amanet.org/editorial/webcast/archive/2008/leading-with-kindness/index.htm
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