Seasons—Know Your Education Season

Everyone has a favorite when it comes to the four seasons. Even vacations are scheduled around favorite seasons. Who goes to the beach in the summer, when their favorite activity is snow skiing in the winter? I personally love summertime. I grew up with fireflies and kick the can, combined with later bedtimes and days filled with hours of playtime. The sky seemed to be the limit when it came to a “no pressure” life. I knew then, I loved summertime and everything that came with it!

When it comes to education in your organization, you have a mixture of needs based on experience levels—established personnel to newbies fill your team.  Considering the four seasons can be a simple way to categorize where people are with their education needs. As an education organization, we are taking this issue to focus on providing strategies for you to determine where each department or individual is on your team. You may want to incorporate which season your team member is in into your annual evaluation, or it may be valuable to utilize these seasons as a self-evaluation and build an individual development plan.

I’ve decided to begin with Spring. It represents growth, new life, a “breath of fresh air” as some open windows and doors to let the air freshen their homes. The Spring team member is ready to begin. They may be new to the organization and are discovering many new things about the clinic and share that they are ready to begin this new adventure. Some may be not so new, but an established team member who has taken on a new task or duty and are ready to begin training for the new role. Some may even be taking on the new phase of life that requires them to leave a familiar work setting. They are looking at leaving behind familiar faces that bring a hug at the right moment, a listening ear, and the security they’ve known. Spring—Spring brings with it many opportunities for the Executive Director who wants to transition those they serve.

What do you have in place to transition those in each of these categories and beyond?

Next we look at those in the Summer position. Like me in my summer memories, they may be in a place of pure enjoyment and delight when it comes to what the clinic does and what their role is. They may have reached a comfort level that allows for relaxation in their role, and they join others in being playful at work. These folks can be caught encouraging others to join in the group activity of life affirmation!  When it comes to education, they have just finished courses needed to equip them to serve. They are the ones on the team that you can just enjoy and hear about how they are enjoying being in the clinic with others. Education is on their horizon, but no needs now.

Fall. A season that brings about a new school supplies, new classrooms, new teachers, and new classmates. It’s also a season that brings about change as colors fill branches and landscapes become a tapestry of red, yellow, and orange. Any staff member in the fall category is learning and changing, taking on their own new colors so to speak as they take on new tasks. It is the Fall staff member that comes to you and says, “What else can I do?” They are ready to learn and do more. Let them. Ask them to research courses that will equip them to serve in an additional way. Let them own it. How many do you have in the Fall season of development and education?

This can be the most vibrant stage in an organization. Let it thrive!

Lastly…Winter. A time of quiet, a time of rest, a time of dormancy, a time of soft reflection as snow falls and provides air that is so fresh it has no smell—it’s just fresh, crisp, clean air. The staff member or volunteer in this category is waiting for the next thing. They may need you to suggest the new thing for them. They may need you to lead the way out of their dormancy. Maybe a suggestion of what is next for them—maybe even moving on. This season can be difficult if we allow it to suppress us. If we rest so deeply that we lose interest in what’s next. Instead let’s look at Winter as the preparation time for what’s next.

I love every season, and as I consider so many of you looking at your team and wanting them to grow into the leader you see in them, I wonder how will the organization help them get there? How do you know what “there” is? It can be beneficial to build a plan for each person on your team. That plan can develop them in every aspect of their life. It’s about the kingdom.

Connie Ambrecht
Founder & CEO
Sparrow Solutions Group





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