Monday, February 19, 2024

Gratitude for People You Work With

"I live by two words: tenancity and gratitude." —Henry Winkler

From time to time, I reflect on my law and teaching career, looking to capture my sentiment in the moment in one word. Recently, I watched an interview with Henry Winkler as he discussed the ups and many downs of his acting career after the hit television show, Happy Days, ended in 1984. The word that stuck with me was that he was grateful for everything. Grateful. Work hard and be grateful. During the ups and the downs. Appreciate current and former colleagues, mentors and mentees, and all of the people you’ve met along the way.

I am grateful to the professors interviewed for my recent book. Unknown to them, they elevated my game as I edited their chapters. When students ask me about time management techniques, I tell them to be strategic and efficient with their time. To learn how and when to say no. But if I listened to my own advice, I likely would’ve passed on a great opportunity. As I was re-reading about the amazing work these Master Teachers are doing with their students, I was inspired to say yes.

This led me to take on the task of recruiting and coaching a team of three students to compete in a three-day international mediation competition hosted by a neighboring university. These students weren’t in my Consumer Law class, had zero exposure to mediation training, and went up against many students who were Conflict Resolution majors. They had five weeks to learn how to mediate a dispute and switch roles from mediator to advocate to client in mock mediation sessions. The same amount of training time that Rocky had to fight world champion, Apollo Creed. The students worked hard and performed admirably. They demonstrated skill, patience, empathy, and poise under pressure, and articulated reflective insights. (And if I’m permitted to beam proudly here, they reached the semi-finals with a collective mediator score ranking 5th in a 22-team field.)

Author Dan Millman wrote: “The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.” I am grateful to the students who sacrificed their time during this adventure to learn and experience something new. In turn, these types of interactions facilitate my personal growth. All of which motivates me to seek out my next quest.

Please take a moment in your busy lives to express gratitude to the people you work with. Continuously. Even if (Especially if?) your workday sometimes feels like the movie, Groundhog Day.

Excerpt, Innovative College Teaching (2024)

#1 Amazon BEST SELLER and #1 NEW RELEASE in Teacher & Student Mentoring (Jan./Feb. 2024)

c 2024 Perry Binder

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.