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Showing posts from April, 2012

Vision, Urgency, and Measuring Effectiveness

I've been involved in several discussions about leading change, which started with vision and urgency. Everyone needed to be on the same page about the vision (the what), have a sense of urgency (the why), and know how we'd measure progress towards our goal.

Having the vision relevant, tangible with benchmarks, and feedback reminded me of successful classroom practices. In the classroom, I made sure my students knew what we were learning, how it was relevant to them, how we'd measure progress towards our goal (the what, why, and how), and involved them in the process. I realized leading change had some of the same foundations, such as starting with the vision.

Vision

In order to be purposeful about change, the vision for what is wanted must be clear by everyone. If I asked, "What does it mean to be a 21st century, student-centered school district?" the answer must be clear in the minds of everyone. It must be clear to the administration, the teachers, the staf…

Working through Conflict

Conflict can either break people and teams apart, or it can bring productivity and innovative solutions to move forward.

The types of conflict that break people and teams apart are the interpersonal conflicts that occur. However, cognitive conflict is the disagreement about approaches and ideas. If the team recognizes and understands the types of conflict, it can be a resource to nurture productivity.

Building teams and building trust

The most constructive ways to deal with conflict is to use great communication skills, and connect with others to build trust and stronger relationships. By paraphrasing and asking questions, the issues stay separated from the person.

Communication skills

I once heard Shelee King George explain communication skills in an analogy of a phone call and call waiting:
When we are listeners, we have three inhibitors that get in the way, so we need to put them on call waiting: 1) Autobiographical Listener (the ME TOO listener), who is constantly thinking …