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What Every Manager, Parent, and Teacher Should Know About How to Unify Employees, Families, & Youth

Project Head Start has been successful not only for the youthful students, but for the teachers, supporting staff, and families as well. My first job while still in college was as a Teacher's Assistant during the summer of 1968. Years later I was a Mental Health Consultant with Head Start in the US Virgin Islands. Although a bit bias, I have nothing but respect for Project Head Start and their teachings.

Therefore, borrowing from their Seven Builders for Family and Youth, I encourage you to apply them as well.

Principle 1. Commit to Quality and Excellence in Thought and Action:

* Give quality service to all.

* Develop positive habits through daily practice.

* Develop and maintain a professional image.

* Provide the finest working environment possible.

Principle 2. Be Caring of Others and Be Sensitive to Their Needs:

* Respect the individual.

* Listen and acknowledge.

*Be aware of what your actions say.

* Help others solve their own problems and realize their maximum potential.

* Eliminate "cold prickles" and "dirty bricks".

* Provide "warm fuzzes" and "golden bricks" and with sincerity.

* Change leadership style as a person's competence and commitment grows.

Principle 3. Grow as a Total Person:

* Commit to self-development and improvement in all areas.

* Continually develop and maintain self-esteem and a sense of achievement.

* Set meaningful goals and evaluate your progress periodically.

* Believe in your ability to make significant contributions and make them!

* Promote training, education, self-sufficiency, and leadership for all children and adults.

Principle 4. Have Personal Integrity:

* Be honest with yourself and everyone around you.

* Be fair to the best of your ability.

* Say and do only those things of which you can be proud.

* Understand that mistakes will be made and learn from them.

* Let others know in as positive a way as possible when their performance or behavior is unacceptable, inappropriate, unhealthy, or unproductive.

Principle 5. Love All Children (and the Child in All of Us):

* Respect and protect each child from harm of any kind.

* Direct all efforts to providing a stimulating, exciting, fun-filled, learning environment.

Principle 6. Value Parents and the Family (Starting with Your Own):

* Focus on building close interpersonal relationships involving caring, respect, trust, kindness, and responsibility.

* Develop parenting skills, quality time, and bonding with other parents.

* Give recognition for hard work, effort, and accomplishments.

Principle 7. Strive for Agency Unification:

* Live the agency's unifying principles as well as your own.

* Promote loyalty within the agency by word and action.

* Assist in the sharing of ideas and joint implementation through teamwork and group goal-setting.

* Establish buddy systems to facilitate success.

Well, managers, supervisors, parents, and teachers, what do you think? I'm sure that you'll agree with me that these principles are as appropriate in the boardroom and workroom as they are in the classroom.

Remember: When you maximize your potential, everyone wins. When you don't, we all lose.

© Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in ezines, newsletters, and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required. Contact him at: when you use this article.

Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Management Consultant and Trainer, conducts lectures, seminars, webinars, and writes articles on his theme: "... helping you maximize your potential." He offers management, marketing, and parenting resources at his Maximizing Your Potential blog.

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