Monday, April 11, 2016

Reflection-Points from Fierce Conversations

In preparation for the upcoming instructional week, I send a "Weekly Agenda" to all faculty and staff.
Included in each Agenda is a "Reflection" to generate personal and professional reflection in regards to a wide-range of components.

Our Administrative Team committed to participate in a book study this school-year of Sue Scott's Fierce Conversations.  Our Admin. Team consists of: High School Principal, HS Assistant Principal, MS Principal, MS Asst. Principal, Superintendent, Director of Business Services, Director of Athletics, Director of Community Relations, Director of Student Services, and Director of Facilities & Technology. 

Each chapter was randomly assigned to a pair of administrators and we facilitated monthly discussions.  We set aside 45 minutes per month to "disconnect" from everything else and focus on our team and the conversations triggered from each chapter's topics.

Our team greatly benefited from the reflective, open dialogue in each session.  The diverse experiences and areas of expertise from each team-member provided valuable insight on a wide-range of topics.  

I also strongly recommend all school administrative teams dedicate themselves to a yearly book study.  We must model the lifelong learning we expect from our teachers and more importantly, from our students.

Starting in mid-January, I began including thoughts directly from our administrative team Book Study to our HS faculty & staff in my Weekly Agenda.  I believe these reflection-points are crucial for all leaders, especially school administrators and teachers, to reflect upon when engaging in meaningful dialogue with colleagues, and gauging the overall climate of the organization.

Here's my "Top 11":

The problem named is the problem solved.

Each of us is a place where conversations occur.

Never mistake talking for conversation.

If you or someone else feels that a conversation is needed, it is.

The conversation is not about the relationship. The conversation is the relationship.

You must extend to others what you want to receive.

Sometimes we put so many pillows around a message that the message gets lost altogether.

How we enter our conversations is how we emerge from them.

How real are any of us...if we do not claim our failures as well as our successes.

You have to get at ground truth before you can turn anything around.

Remove the word but from your vocabulary and substitute the word and.

Scott, Susan. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation            at a Time. New York, NY: Viking, 2002. Print.

Last Update: April 11, 2016

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The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.

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