Part of my frustration, I’ve learned, is because I made what the book calls “the fool’s choice.” I thought it best to stay silent or at least silent in the meeting space because it was not a safe place to communicate and so by the time the frustration cup overflowed my frustration was displayed on stage for all to see. As teachers, we know where to find a safer place whether it’s the teacher’s lounge or the parking lot. But if we want to be leaders of change and improve our work relationships, we must become effective communicators that speak the truth in a respectful manner.
Another way, I will be applying what I’ve learned in Crucial Conversations, is having the courage to speak up no matter my role. I often think that my role as a Digital Learning Specialist means I’m not high enough up the leadership chain for people to listen to my opinion. Even as I’ve worked at creating an innovation plan, one of my concerns is will they listen to it? Will they even consider it? I now know that in my role, I can contribute a fresh perspective to the “pool of meaning”.
One of the other ways, I believe this book has helped me when it comes to sharing the blended learning innovation plan is helping me to be forget about trying to be right. It’s more important that discussions include the perspective of others. And, that synergy allows us to arrive at the best solutions and strategies that will help us make the best decisions for students. We will realize that all voices are important. I’m currently experiencing this as a member of our district’s professional learning task force. There are members from various roles coming together to contribute and build a comprehensive plan for professional learning. It has been exciting to be a part of that kind of diverse team and I hope we see more of it in the future. In fact, part of the innovation plan that I’ve begun but look for help from the rest of the team, will be composed of a similar diverse team.
In summary, the lessons I’ve learned from Crucial Conversation helped me to understand the important of giving everyone a voice and a safe place to share that voice. It also inspired me to return to my podcasting roots. I’ve decided to share what I’m learning and invite others to also add to the pool of meaning by creating a series of podcasts. I’m still working on the perfect title. The working title is Digital Learning and Leading Today but my SoundCloud username is “Soundslikelearning”. I came up with that a couple years ago and I kind of like that one too. In the meantime, I want to invite you to review the Why Statement, Influencer Strategy, and 4DX model for the Blended Professional Learning Innovation Plan.
This is the first of many podcasts but this one is the Change Series. You are invited to share your comments, questions, and ideas in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High. Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill.