How available are you?

How available are you-Being connected means I am always available on something. I’m checking twitter, or my email, or instagram all of the time. There is facebook messenger, there is snapchat. My staff has my cell number and I check my email regularly (gulp.)

I’ve never thought of that as a bad thing.

A conversation this week made me pause, however. Is being that available setting an expectation that I expect that of others? It honestly had never occurred to me. That darn activator “strength” of mine means when I have a question or need input,  I typically reach out to other leaders on campus. While I’m not at all put out if they don’t all respond, I don’t know that I’ve ever communicated that to them.

Knowing that my people are watching all the time, I still think being available is important. What are your strategies for honoring off/down time while maintaining a consistent, constant flow of communication and shared leadership?

How accessible are you to your staff? Can they reach you via phone/text all the time?


tick tock,




  1. Jessica said:

    Amber-I have worked through ideas with this concept before. Last year I really tried to model the work/life balance by refraining from group emails outside of work day/weekend. I would respond if people emailed me-but group emails waited until next work day. I used outlook ‘delay delivery’ to compose emails and then scheduled them to go out at a certain time. That way I could use my evenings/time to compose/create/share information-but have it received when staff were at work. Thanks for sharing and asking!

    July 16, 2016
  2. Irene said:

    This is always a challenge. I agree that it is important to be available to respond to “emergency” situations but for the day to day items that really do not require a response right away, I also use delayed send. If we are trying to support all of our educators in attaining a healthy work/life balance, we need to lead by example.

    July 16, 2016
  3. Ari Yares said:

    It’s an important to be clear with your team what your expectations are for communication and how accessible you want them and yourself to be. It is not healthy to always be on and I’ve always relished the moments when I am truly off the clock and technology makes that difficult. One norm that I’ve established with my teams is that anything urgent or emergency gets marked in the subject with that. Anything else, will be assumed to be able to wait until the next school/business day.

    We do better thinking when we give ourselves time away from our work.

    July 19, 2016

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