How do you know that you’re a great SBL?

Self-doubt – and that inner voice in our head telling us that we aren’t good enough – can sometimes drown out any self-belief we have. This, combined with the feeling of being undervalued by your team, can sometimes make you feel that you aren’t appreciated or doing a good job. So, how can you be sure that you are a great SBL?

Judging by the reaction to a tweet posted by @SBLWellbeing, it seems many SBLs know the feeling of under-appreciation. Writing on Twitter, @SBLWellbeing said, “Being an #SBL can mean that others come to you constantly to solve issues and problems, but may not always say when things are going smoothly as a result of your hard work… So, just to let you know, you’re doing a great job! Have a wonderful half term! #sbltwitter.” 
The tweet gained a lot of reaction, with 11 retweets, 63 likes and five replies all in agreement.  

Most SBLs would agree that their office door is like a revolving door, with a continual stream of people coming in with new issues and problems for them to solve. Only ever hearing about the things that are going wrong, and which need to put right, can sometimes mean that the things that are going well aren’t acknowledged. 

However, being the go-to resource for questions, and being asked your opinion, can also serve as validation that you are doing a great job. Although it can add to your never-ending to-do list, people coming to you first to solve an issue means that they trust you and respect your decisions, two of the most important traits a leader can have. Despite it sometimes leading to feelings of under-appreciation when you aren’t thanked when your advice leads to the issue being solved, being seen as the problem-solver should give you the confidence that you are great at your job and at leading your team.

Actively seek feedback

Addressing feelings of under-appreciation can come from other places. Culturally, we Brits tend to find it hard to seek praise and actively acknowledge our achievements – therefore, it is no surprise that we spend most of our time mulling over small mistakes rather than basking in our own greatness. However, sometimes it can do the world of good to take the time to seek the reassurance you need in order to know that you are doing a good job. 

One of the best ways to do this is to ask for feedback from your team, or even your headteacher, on how they think you’re doing. This may seem counterintuitive, as often feedback comes in the form of constructive criticism, which may not make you feel great. But this sort of feedback will often happen organically and it is less likely that positive feedback will be given without being prompted. So, start the conversation and ask how your team, or your SLT, think you are doing in your role. You could hear positive feedback that you might never have known if you didn’t ask; just one piece of positive affirmation could completely change your outlook on yourself. 

Finally, one of the most obvious, yet less acknowledged, ways of knowing you’re doing a great job is just taking a look at your job title and all of the daily activities you are tasked with. Being an SBL is an extremely important role, one which comes with a lot of responsibilities. Whether you’re new to the role, or have been an SBL for years, just being in that role shows you are great at your job and are trusted by your school to perform well and keep everything in check. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of self-belief, and seeking validation when it is needed. So, just know that you are doing a great job and you are appreciated – and, at times when you don’t feel that way, use some of these tips to help you to feel like the star you are!

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