DIRECTOR'S COLUMN: WELCOME TO 2019-2020

DIRECTOR'S COLUMN: WELCOME TO 2019-2020

Our first Berry Center staff retreat was so much fun! Many thanks to our Leadership Team of Brent, Sean, Nicole, Devon, Mike C, Mike M, Lewis, Claudia for their time and efforts to make it happen. Special shout out to Brent for organizing all the pieces and serving as MC, creating the hilarious walkie-talkie communication game and making sure no one went hungry. How kind it was of the Bevin Gordon and her Community Engagement team to serve an AMAZING mid-afternoon snack…who doesn’t love an ice cream social with all the toppings!



It was so great that Dr. Henry and Teresa Hull could join us for the opening of our day. We are so lucky to have these two great leaders who are so approachable and appreciative of the work each of us does for CFISD to support the students and staff as well as the community. At your table on Wednesday was a dark blue spirit ribbon that reads lagniappe (lan-yap), is a Louisiana Creole French word that means something given as a bonus or extra gift. Dr. Henry said “Our goal in 2019-20 is to provide quality service to this community, plus give a little lagniappe.” He would like each of us to wear the ribbon on our id badges. If you didn’t pick one up, stop by Deanna’s desk to get one.


As you think about how you can add an “extra” to our clients and guests’ experience, consider the importance of being kind. Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. Some people think acting kindly to other says you are naïve or weak but in reality practicing kindness requires courage and strength. It means putting others needs ahead of yours.


I see so many of you practicing kindness everyday by paying attention to our guest’s facial expressions and body movements and before they can say anything, asking if you can help them. A kind word, running to open a door for someone with a big load or getting them a cart, coming up with solutions to fix a problem, giving an honest comment, thanking someone, complimenting someone, saying you appreciate them, saying “you are welcome” when they thank you for completing a last minute room set up request are about actively practicing kindness.


I am working on having a kinder way to express or refer to something I don’t think will work. In the Employee Survey, one of you wrote that when I comment on a set up by saying “that is a stupid way to…” they feel I am calling them stupid rather than what I meant which is “that doesn’t make sense to me or I don’t think will work.” I thought about for awhile and could recall a couple of times I said it…but really didn’t think I use the word that often. So I put the word stupid on my radar and asked Christy tell me if she heard me say it. I was SHOCKED how often I have caught myself saying stupid…using it in many different references. It was never my intension to hurt someone’s feelings, but I did. It is one of my personal goals this year to be kinder in my conversation when I see something that doesn’t make sense to me by saying just that.


What are ways you can demonstrate kindness to those people you interact with each day? By actively practicing kindness you will find possibly you have strengthen your relationships.

AND one more thing….don’t forget to take pictures and tweet them out when you see a co-worker in the act of doing something that adds value to a client, a guests, each other or the facility. Make sure you add the hashtag #CFISDspirit #lagniappe to your post and following me on Twitter @BerryCenterBeth.

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