In Guiding, we place a huge emphasis on teaching girls to communicate better. We play team-building games, talk about bullying and healthy communication, and encourage girls to express their own opinions. So, my question today is: Why, as leaders and adult members of Guiding do we sometimes have so much trouble getting along, and how can we overcome the same barriers we help girls with?
As much as Guiding is tons of fun and an amazing experience, there is a lot of work involved and teamwork is a key component. Not everyone has the same opinion all of the time and this can sometimes lead to disagreements. That’s okay, but how we deal with these differences in opinion can hugely affect the enjoyment we get out of the experiences Guiding provides.
I find that keeping in mind a few simple notions (though often simpler to state than to act on) can sometimes help.
- Not everyone has the same amount of time or wants to commit to Guiding to the same extent. A small commitment is far better than none at all.
- Everyone has different experiences, resources and knowledge. We are all influenced by our own backgrounds and we can learn more from others if we let go of our expectations and listen more.
- When in doubt, think the best of the other person. Don’t assume they are out to make your life more difficult.
- When all else fails, just nod and smile. We’re all in it to have fun with the girls. This – and their safety – are our most important goals. All the other decisions are just a matter of details.
What do you do when you just can’t seem to get along with another leader?
By Elizabeth Knowles. Elizabeth is the Contact Guider for the 85th Montreal Guides. Elizabeth has been a Guider for five years, both in Guelph, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Meeting night is her favourite time of the week because she never laughs as hard as with the girls. Read more from Elizabeth on her own blog elizabeek and some of her previous contributions to GirlGuidesCANBlog: What Are Jeans Good For? , Mother-Daughter Guiding, and Camp Food: Not Just for Camp.
I think your point that not everyone has the same amount of time or wants to commit to Guiding to the same extent is a very good one. I have been fortunate to work with some pretty remarkable woman. It’s important to let everyone know upfront what you are able to commit to. And make sure that everyone has a role to play on the team of Guiders. In my one Sparks unit team, one of the leaders was designated as “the shopper” as she had more flexible hours but she didn’t have a lot of additional time to work on meeting plans and other details so I took on that role with the help of another Guiders who I bounced ideas off of. She was our Treasurer and handled this important role. I was contact Guider. And we each played a role in the meetings as I designated different tasks to each of us. Communication is key.