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User Guides | Teach Me How to Treat You

Updated: Sep 1, 2023


How do you stay connected in a time when there is so much change?

  • During the summer of 2023, over 1800 D1 basketball players transferred schools.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 11 million open jobs at the end of October 2021, while there were only 7.4 million unemployed people. This means there are almost 4 million jobs that won’t get filled.

  • The attrition rate for teachers in Texas rose last year to a historic high of 13.4% of teachers leaving teaching between the fall of 2021 and the fall of 2022 (up from 10% pre-COVID).

How we treat and interact with each other is important when trying to build a culture where people want to come, want to stay, and are motivated to do their best work.


But how do we do this?


Author Daniel Coyle has spent years studying and writing about the best (and worst) cultures in the world. He says a lot of teams use what he calls User Guides. User Guides, or user manuals, teach you how to use products or services. We get a quick-start User Guide with our TV; why not create one for yourself and your team?


He says it's easy to create your own User Guide. Start by using four prompts:

  • I’m at my best when…

  • I’m at my worst when …

  • What I need from you is …

  • What I don’t need from you is …

British podcaster and author Jay Shetty says he is implementing something new with his team he calls Teach Me How to Treat You.


He says this is an opportunity for teammates to communicate how they want to be treated in certain situations. Here are some prompts you can use:

  • Here is how I like to be treated when I am playing well …

  • Here is how I like to be treated when I am struggling ...

  • Here is how I like to be treated when I have great energy …

  • Here is how I like to be treated when I have low energy …

  • Here is how I like to be treated when I am having a great day …

  • Here is how I like to be treated when I am having a bad day …

  • Here is how I like to be praised …

  • Here is how I like to receive coaching, feedback, or constructive criticism …

Jay says this gives us the opportunity and responsibility of explaining to others how we work. If you don’t know what that looks like, you get an opportunity to figure it out, and now you don’t have to come into the locker room, classroom, or office worried about how people will treat you and why because you have clearly communicated to them what you need.


In our school district, we call this a Treatment Agreement. A Treatment Agreement is a conversation we have where we talk about how we want to be treated by our classmates and teachers. On one of the first days of school, we create Treatment Agreement posters together and we hang them up somewhere visible and somewhere where we can access them. We go through each section together, and we revisit the Treatment Agreements every 9 weeks because grades go out every 9 weeks.


With my basketball teams, we use a less formal process. We get in a circle and I ask 4 questions:

1 - How do you want your coaches to praise you? Publicly or privately? 2 - How do you want your coaches to hold you accountable? Publicly or privately? 3 - How do you want your teammates to praise you? Publicly or privately? 4 - How do you want your teammates to hold you accountable? Publicly or privately?

This works well for us. I start, and we go in order, allowing everyone to share. It gives us the opportunity to have open conversations and get real with each other. We feel like our athletes are honest, and our athletes usually share similar thoughts, but in different ways. We validate the thoughts and feelings of everyone, and we are able to talk about the different needs that everybody has and how we can meet those needs while still holding each other meaningfully accountable.

Finding ways to build, sustain, and repair relationships in today’s world is huge, and it doesn’t have to be difficult! All it takes is asking the right questions and being willing to listen and respond.


But remember - creating and sustaining great, connected cultures is a process, not a one-time thing or meeting. It takes time, effort, and energy. It requires intentionally setting aside time to have conversations like these. It requires having check-ins.


SOMETHING(s) TO THINK ABOUT


1 - Each week, how are you going to check in with the people you are coaching and leading to ensure everyone is still on the same page, and what will this look like?


2 - When things are going smoothly, how will you reinforce the positive things happening?


3 - When things aren't going smoothly, how will you correct them?


Learning about Performance Enablement might help!


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