I am a teacher and we have just broken up for the holidays. I have got promotion from September to be head of my faculty- am chuffed and can't wait to start and the majority of my colleagues have been incredibly supportive and pleased for me. However, I have one colleague who is very cold and reserved with me, rarely approaches me even about things that I am currently in charge of. She is ten years younger than me but excellent at her job, although it has been noted that she lacks empathy.
Anyway, today at the pub after school finished, we were discussing the current head of faculty, who is excellent and I see as a real role model. This colleague came our with 'yes, she (current head of faculty ) is amazing and to be honest, I can't see any other head of faculty measuring up to her.'
I was so upset. The thing is, I agree with her and have even said the same myself- but I really felt as though this was a pointed comment which was directed at me and was totally unnecessary.
So WIBU to text her about it? I was so stunned at the time I didn't say anything, but feel really sad that she obviously doesn't rate me or respect me as a leader. Should I text or leave it?
In leadership, you have to be thick-skinned and incredibly gracious. Never, ever rise. It's unethical for you to be relationally involved with colleagues in quite the same way as you used to be. For example, if you said something about this and then had to reprimand her next month, it would be very difficult to persuade her that you weren't picking on her. That's not fair on either of you. Call it tolerance, nonchalance, deliberately emotional stability - whatever it takes to ignore and continue being professional. It's lonely at the top and all that. Quite honestly, the fact that you are considering making an issue out of this - and by text - gives me great sympathy with your colleagues viewpoint.
I agree with the posters who say she may not have meant it as a negative comment about you, just a positive comment about your predecessor
Sounds like you have big shoes to fill, but seriously don't stress too much, no one will expect you to be exactly like your predecessor, and I guarentee that you will have strengths that she didn't have.
I became a department head recently, and I read a boom that really helped: it's called 'the first ninety days' by Michael Watkins. It is really useful and encourages you tithing about your particular situation d how you can put plans in place to succeed in the critical first three months on the job.
Have a lovely summer, and congrats on the promotion!