I’ve been at my new gig for about 8 months now. Last week state employees were recalled – with very little notice – to return to their in situ workplaces. As a result, I’ve just this past week finally met all of my team members in person.
In my new role, I’ve had a uniquely challenging first year — doing what I can to navigate and stay healthy during a global pandemic, learning a new job, bridging the gap between my experience of my alma mater as a student and now, as a leader, and trying to get to know my library/archives team members and campus leadership colleagues via Zoom/Google Hangout/Teams. I am a Classic Introvert, so, while I’ve been enjoying the opportunities that remote work allow me to recharge from social interaction, I still feel at a significant disadvantage since in the virtual/online world, I cannot fully use my talents to bridge interpersonal gaps. That being said, I’ve been doing all I can to apply my morale research data and my own experiences to show my empathetic leadership style, which is evident in my mission and which inform my What I Wish Had Been Done For Me protocols. I’ve not been sure at all if what I’m doing has been working. And yet, today, I received the following email from one of my team members:
It feels very nice to be appreciated. I was just telling someone yesterday that you make us feel appreciated and how much that meant to me! I’ve only been back [one] week and you have shared joy with me AT LEAST 3 times. Thank you so much for lifting our spirits around here.
Again, thank you so much! Your kindness is appreciated more than you know!
Later when I went to visit them (physically distanced and masked), they also said, “I can tell that you’re trying. It really means a lot to us.”
It is really really nice as a leader for your team members to give such encouragement. As I often sign-off – I will keep going.