How to Build Bridges

Don’t burn your bridges. This is a small industry and people talk. It’s also an industry where relationships matter, and more often than not, jobs are not advertised. Today we have some tips on how to not burn your bridges, but instead how to build them and foster positive workplace relations.

Be nice to everyone (including the tech staff and cleaners)
If I had two people who were both competing for a job, I would go with the person who is relationally stronger – even if the other candidate was a better singer. We are in the tutoring industry and so much of that is about more than just being great at our chosen field. In our profession, we work side by side mentoring our students and we need to make them feel comfortable, supported, valued and encouraged. Same goes for those who see us in our field. If cleaners and the tech crew know we have an amazing reputation for getting results, but are just downright awful people, it’s unlikely they are going to mention your amazing reputation. At the end of the day, people remember your first impression, so make it a good one.

Don’t tear people down
The success of others does not diminish your own. You are a team and you need to help the weak links, not tear them to shreds. We have all experienced times when our team members might not be picking up what you’re putting down, but that’s ok! Everyone learns things at different times and has their own unique strengths. In fact, the next time you want to huff under your breath, train your mind to be thankful for one positive thing the team member brings to the team. Maybe it’s their unconditional effort to be better, even if they don’t always get there. Or maybe it’s their ability to organise a storeroom when no one else is motivated to do a cleaning job. As easy as it is to tear people down, remember how important they are and build them up. 

Learn humility
The better you are, the less you will need everyone to know it. The older I get, the more I realise I don’t know everything and that’s completely ok. In fact, it is better to be humble than a know it all. Humility makes people more likeable – this trait is especially important as tutors. Someone who is humble will not only set a good example for our students, but it helps us better connect with them! They aren’t going to be able to get to know someone who just talks about themselves and their own achievements, they are going to connect with someone who talks about the struggles they had to get to where they are. So if we can say anything about humility, it’s that it is an almost crucial skill to learn!

Pursue physical and emotional health
Deal with your issues, especially the ones that will hinder you moving forward in life. Don’t be ashamed of them – we all have areas of dysfunction in our lives. Believe it or not, often our physical and emotional health can manifest in ways we never wished it would within our tutoring too. Don’t burn the opportunity to tutor and engage well with students because your physical and emotional health isn’t in check. At the end of the day, the saying really does ring true. Especially for us as tutors – our health is our livelihood!

Relationship skills are priceless
Relationship skills are priceless. People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Do your students feel encouraged by you? Are they not afraid to ask you questions. even if you’ve explained something before? Do they enjoy the time they spend in lessons? If the answer is yes, it is likely this is because you have a strong relationship with them and have made the time to get to know them. If you haven’t quite fostered this yet – don’t worry! Like everything, it comes with experience.

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