Wellbeing... more than a 'matrix' or a couple of 'quick-fix' sessions

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I am flabbergasted at some of the recent comments made online regarding leader wellbeing within the education sector. Whilst some have engendered robust dialogue, others have been nothing short of arrogance.


In 1970 Joe South wrote the song “Walk a mile in my shoes”, which was later sung by Elvis Presley. The lyrics go like this…

Lyrics

If I could be you, if you could be me
For just one hour
If we could find a way to get inside
Each other's mind

If you could see you through my eyes
Instead of your ego
I believe you'd be, I believe you'd be surprised to see
That you've been blind

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize, and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

Now there are people on reservations
And out in the ghetto
And, brother, there, but for the grace of God
Go you and I

If I only had the wings
Of a little angel
Don't you know I'd fly to the top of a mountain
And then I'd cry, cry, cry?

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize, and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize, and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

Wellbeing and leadership are complex concepts, let-alone actions. There are many moving parts that need to be considered when looking at how to ‘do it better’. I am deeply concerned that assumptions, criticisms and judgements are being made around what we may not intimately understand. I am seeing these assumptions (albeit, some with the best of intent) being channelled into Wellbeing Matrixes, the offer of a couple of quick-fix sessions to ‘get them back on track’, or various other approaches that I see as being not too dissimilar to colonisation.

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us”.

Marcel Proust.

So, if we were to ‘Walk a mile in someone’s shoes’, how might that look? What might we need to do? What might we to stop doing?

What are their stories? How do you need to listen? How do you need to ‘be’ as you walk alongside them?

So rather than come-in with a pre-ordained way of ‘fixing’ the situation… let’s consider the possibility that we must…

“First seek to understand”