At TEDxSanAntonio, my friend Alicia Arenas shared her story about being a glass child. As she described, a glass child is one that has a special needs sibling. Glass children aren’t named such because they’re fragile, instead, the parents look through them like glass and focus their efforts primarily on the special needs child instead. The glass child then does the best he can without the attention and focus that the special needs child receives. It’s an interesting phenomenon because the glass child remains needing the attention. Be sure to check back at the TEDxSanAntonio site for Alicia’s presentation so you can hear her story.
An analogous situation to the glass child issue can crop up at work. As leaders in our offices, we have high performing team members that require less supervision and who seem to need us less. They don’t seem to ask for help, they complete their tasks in exemplary fashion, they often pull off the miraculous. For their efforts, they get a quick thank you, if that, and you move along to focus your efforts on the ones that need more attention. The ones you see untapped potential in, if they could just get their work done or show up to meetings on time.
Those that you see potential in still deserve your support and attention. The key is to cherish, develop and recognize they achievers as well. They can become glass men and women in your office because you don’t think they need. Remember, they want and thrive on your attention and efforts as well, so invest in them and reap the rewards from their accelerated growth as well.
photo by Andrew Mason