Monday, October 31, 2011

Coaching Beyond the Conference

Last Thursday, the Governance and Leadership Development (GoLD) team held a follow-up webinar for board members who had attended the Presidents/Leadership conference in July.  At that conference, communication tools that could help boards' meeting practices were introduced.  The webinar provided an opportunity to provide a quick review of the tools.   Participants shared their experiences.  The GoLD consultants, Deb Gurke and A.B. Orlik, facilitated the conversation, answered questions, and introduced a new tool that builds on the conference learning.

Resources shared on the webinar can be found on the GoLD website, under Better Meeting Practices.

The GoLD team hopes that board members will use this space to share their experiences using the tools. Use the following questions to continue the conversation.  Post your responses here.  Return to this page to see how others are using the tools.

  • What about the Ladder of Inference is useful to your board?  
  • Has you board created a group agreement?  
  • How do you keep the agreements front and center?  
  • How do you honor your group agreements?  
  • Have you tried using the Focused Conversation questions?  
  • How has this process helped you board have richer dialogue that leads to better decision making?  
  • How has using these tools shifted the relationships among your board?

Finally, let us know how we can support you as you work to lead your board and district in meaningful conversations about your district's opportunities.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's the people!!!!

Leaders can get excited about the prospect of introducing a new program into their organizations.  And, often are sorely disappointed when implementation fails to go as planned.  How many times are new initiatives abandoned, leaders and staff frustrated by the amount of energy and effort expended for very little result? And then, things go back to old way of doing things.

Well, part of the reason is that we tend to focus almost exclusively on the plan and very little on the people.  In his book, "Managing Transitions," William Bridges talks about this phenomenon, describing how we fail to recognize that people need to deal with the loss of the established system before they can take on the new system.  Bridges says that transition starts with an ending and finishes with a beginning.

How often have you recognized the emotional upheaval created by your decisions to implement new ideas in your school district?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Accentuate the positive

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
(Lyrics from a song made popular by Bing Crosby in the 1940s)

Positive? In today's competitive, supercharge environment, where there is no room for mistakes; no
time for do overs?

Well, it turns out that people are more productive when they focus on their strengths.  
Twenty-two percent of respondents indicated that they were likely to be disengaged when their 
manager primarily focused on their weaknesses. When their manager focused on their 
strengths, just one percent were like to be disengaged. (From Strengths Finders 2.0 by Tom

If we expect our stakeholders to engage with us to solve the complex challenges we face, we need
to find ways to support, rather than criticize their efforts.