Teacher Professional Development
Principle #1: People Support What They Help To Create
This principle may seem obvious to you, but stop and think about whether or not you truly employ it for a moment.
Now, I've heard all the objections:
Here's why...because people support what they help to create. When you ask for input about what they really want and need, they feel like they were a part of making it, and are more invested in it succeeding. PLUS bringing in perspectives outside of the leadership team will often bring to light some overlooked practicalities.
So how do we become better at soliciting feedback in a productive way?
It's all about asking the right questions in the right way. It's often best to start out with broader questions (i.e. What are your overall impressions?), then drill down to what they like, and why they like it. This gets them into their higher brain, and it will help you understand what parts of your plan are strong and should be kept. Finally, when asking for critical feedback be sure to also ask for potential solutions to the problems they find.
At first you may find resistance to openly sharing, but as educators start to see that you are truly listening to their feedback, they will be more open and feel much more invested in these plans succeeding.
Check out this 2 minute video with Master Educator, Dave Schleh, to hear the most effective strategy he's ever seen an educational leader use to engage his staff, and build support from the outset of the school year rather than waiting until they were in the thick of it.
This all makes so much sense. Research indicates that people feel much higher job satisfaction when they feel seen and heard and like their opinions matter. This is how we create fulfillionaire culture from the inside out. It starts with authentic connection and it continues with constructive communication.
If you're ready to create Fulfillionaire culture in your school, be sure to check out my 'Who Wants to Be a Fulfillionaire?' workshop.
Fulfillionaire Culture: A place filled with people where it’s safe and okay to be open, to get vulnerable, and to talk about what’s really going on beneath the surface. Where what’s human is mentionable. What’s mentionable is manageable. The things that we struggle with are not going away, so we’ve got to be able to talk about them.