A lesson I’ve learnt through life is that there will always be people that don’t like the choices and decisions you make. Whether it’s your parents trying to convince you that university is the best option for you (lord knows what else I was going to do but I was adamant for long enough that I wasn’t going) or staff members rebelling against a leadership initiative you introduce, 9 times out of ten, someone somewhere will oppose things you do.
I always find it interesting sometimes when people dislike actions you take, sometimes they’re up front and honest with you and have an open adult discussion. Sometimes they make it difficult for you and try to put in place things that will create blocks, hurdles or preventions, or sometimes they will gossip, bitch and backbite behind your back. Sometimes it’s something that effects them directly or indirectly and they have every right to have an opinion on your decision, sometimes it’s completely irrelevant and they’re just being judgemental, or sometimes they just want to oppose for the sake of it. Sometimes they have good intentions, they can see potential issues with choices you make and want what they think or feel is best for you and are concerned you may not be doing the right thing for you or those effected by your choices. Either way, there will always be people that will not like decisions you make.
So how do you handle it? This past academic year I’ve been on an amazing leadership course which taught me a lot about myself as a person as well as a teacher and leader. It was very inspiring and the leaders that lead the course taught me many life lessons as well as professional ones. A key message that a headteacher leading sessions on the course taught me is one that will stay with me forever. She agreed that there will always be at times people that may not agree with or like choices you make as a leader but that if you can still stand by your decision the next day, week, month and year etc, then you’ve made the right choice and if you can’t then you need to hold your hands up, admit you may not have made the best choice and deal with it accordingly. I’m now applying this to my life I general.
Can I stand by life choices I’ve made, most of them yes, I don’t have regrets, I’ve learnt lessons from all the decisions I’ve made and those that weren’t the best, I have been able to make changes and improve my life and situations to make it better. And where I’ve made the right best decisions, I can still stand by them now and in the future. And that’s what matters. People may have their own thoughts and opinions but in time they will see that things were the right thing for me and toddler P and if they cannot see that then they’re not looking at the full picture objectively and their opposition will say more about them than me.
People may not always like what you do, but as long as you can still stand by your decision for everyday afterwards then you’ve done the right thing.