Apr 15, 2024

BERAN: Building good teams

Posted Apr 15, 2024 6:00 PM
written by Michelle Beran - 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District.
written by Michelle Beran - 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District.

I work with a great team! Actually, I work with great teams on many levels.

Locally, our Cottonwood Extension District works together to provide programming in agriculture, family and community wellness, and youth development. We look for ways to support each other’s programs in many ways from sharing resources, listening and providing feedback, and in practical ways such as helping make packets or assisting with registrations.

Across the state, I work with a great team of 4-H Youth Development agents to dive into research, plan events, and explore better ways to develop volunteers, provide community club and project resources, and support each other’s professional development.

Statewide, I am a part of a coaching team for new agents and this part of my responsibilities is extremely gratifying to see new agents grow and develop their own skills and networks. Last summer, I traveled farther than usual to judge at several county fairs because those fairs were being planned and coordinated by new agents; we all know how nice it is to see a familiar and supporting team member when things are stressful!

A few weeks ago, our family suffered a significant health event. I can’t express how heart-warming it is to know that agents in my district stepped in to manage phone calls and events while giving me space to work remotely for a bit. Additionally, agents across the state checked in to see where they could offer very practical support. 4-H families, school partners, and community members extended grace while reiterating that my priority needed to be with family for a bit.

I’ve worked in several different careers and with lots of different teams – some more supportive than others. If you work with a team that has your back, be sure to show them some appreciation. If you don’t work for a team like that, what can YOU do to set an example, to impact the work culture, to show others that you care about them beyond their 8-5 value?

Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness!

Michelle Beran is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth Development resources, email Michelle at [email protected] or call Cottonwood Extension District – Barton Office at 620-793-1910.

All Kansas Extension education programs and materials are available to all individuals without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or diability.