In recent discussions and surveys within the education community, one quote has sparked a firestorm of conversations: "If you have 800 students in tier two, you don't have an intervention problem; you have a tier one problem." The reaction to this statement highlighted the urgency of the issue and raised questions about the state of tier one instruction in our educational system. This blog post recaps my most viewed episode on YouTube and delves into the reasons behind the collapse of tier one instruction and explores how a lack of clarity might be at its core.
Defining Tiered Instruction:
Before jumping straight into the problems surrounding tier one instruction, it's important to establish a common understanding of what tiered instruction really is. Tier one instruction, often referred to as core instruction, should meet specific criteria: it should be research-based, implemented with integrity, aligned with grade-level standards, explicitly taught, differentiated, include flexible grouping, and encourage active student engagement. With this definition in mind, we can better assess the issues plaguing tier one instruction.
And the Survey Says:
To gain insight into the challenges surrounding tier one instruction, an anonymous survey was conducted among educators, primarily administrators and instructional leaders. The survey aimed to identify whether respondents believed tier one instruction was lacking or missing and what they considered the most significant contributors to this problem.
While these survey results offer insights into the challenges educators face, they also underscore a more profound issue: a lack of clarity. This lack of clarity revolves around what teachers should know, what tier one instruction should encompass, and how to address the diverse needs of students effectively.
Clarity Precedes Capacity:
To address the tier one instruction crisis, we must recognize that clarity precedes capacity. Without clarity on what teachers need to know and how to provide it, efforts to improve tier one instruction will be ineffective. Building clarity requires change, not just in programs or curricula, but in people. To bring about this change, we need to establish a clear vision and focus on building capacity in educators.
A Human-Centered Approach:
As Rachel Gabriel aptly put it in her podcast episode with Jennifer Serravallo, "A human will outlast any material you buy, but only if you invest in them and build their capacity." Instead of relying on external solutions, invest in your educators' knowledge and understanding to address the tier one instruction problem effectively.
The Clarity Cycle:
To build clarity and capacity simultaneously, consider implementing a six-step Clarity Cycle:
But this is more than just a framework. It's more than just a process. It's more than just a set of steps. The Clarity Cycle is a series of habits and mindsets that you can hone as an instructional leader that will benefit you and the people you serve for years to come. It is a cycle that can be used to address any challenge that arises.
Tier one instruction is one such challenge. The path to improvement lies in bringing clarity to educators. And the same is true for so many other challenges we may face. Remember, clarity precedes capacity, and it's the key to lasting change in our schools.
In the world of education, stress can be an ever-present companion. From educators to administrators, the pressures of the profession can sometimes take a toll on individuals and teams alike. In this blog post, I'm recapping what Naomi Hall, founder of The Recovering Educator, shared in our fascinating conversation about recognizing and managing stress in educational teams, as well as addressing negativity within the group.
Recognizing Stress in Educators
Educators are no strangers to stress, and it's essential to understand the signs that manifest when someone is experiencing it. As discussed in the conversation, here are some common indicators of stress in educators:
Listening to Your Body
One essential aspect Naomi shared is the importance of listening to one's body. When you notice early signs of stress, it's essential to address them promptly. As an educator, taking stock of your well-being and making necessary adjustments to your mindset, health, nutrition, fitness, and sleep can prevent long-term health issues.
Educators often have a tendency to push through challenges, but ignoring the whispers of your body can lead to catastrophic consequences. Remember that self-care is not selfish; it's essential for your well-being and effectiveness as an educator.
Team Dynamics and Stress
Educational teams, whether they work together on a daily basis or collaborate in periodic meetings, are not immune to stress. In fact, stress within a team can be highly contagious. Here are some signs Naomi shared of a stressed team and how to address them:
Addressing Negativity within Teams
Negativity within a team can quickly derail productivity and create a toxic environment. To combat this, Naomi suggests that team members prepare themselves with strategies for addressing negativity constructively. Here are some fantastic tips she shared:
I had a blast visiting with Naomi during this episode! She has SO much to share with the world and I want to be sure you know exactly how to connect with her, so I've left her details below:
Calm in the Chaos Course
You can't stop all the chaos, but you don't have to feel chaotic. I'll take you through my three pillars of stress management and help you find your balance again. In this 6 week, self-paced course, you will start to build the habits that lay the foundation of effective stress management. You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
Raise your hand if you've ever witnessed a hamster spinning tirelessly on its wheel? And who hasn't encountered the widespread metaphor of the hamster wheel, applied to practically every facet of life? Well, it's a metaphor that has certainly gained significant traction, and I'm about to hop on that bandwagon to explore it further.
However, let's narrow our focus to instructional leaders.
What exactly is this hamster wheel?
For instructional leaders who find themselves caught on this metaphorical hamster wheel, the experience involves a continuous struggle to manage the demands of each passing minute, leaving them unable to make substantial progress. It's a relentless cycle where challenges seem to arise endlessly, including matters of significant importance that demand immediate attention. Surprisingly, even after addressing these crucial issues, leaders trapped on this wheel struggle to determine a way out.
Naturally, none of us aspire to be in that predicament, do we? The last thing anyone desires is to remain on the hamster wheel, watching other leaders confidently drive by in their buses, heading precisely in the direction you envision for your campus or teams. Rather, the goal is to take the reins of that bus and steer it confidently—a sentiment that brought you here to this article, I presume.
Let's delve into the sensation of being on this hamster wheel...
It's akin to déjà vu, where you can't help but think, "Wait a minute... haven't I been through this before?" It's like finding yourself in a real-life rendition of the movie "Groundhog Day." In this film, Bill Murray's character is trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day repeatedly until he makes the right choices. Similar themes have been explored in other movies, where the protagonist is stuck in a loop until they alter their decisions.
For instructional leaders caught on the hamster wheel, thoughts might arise such as, "We've done this professional development every semester—why haven't we made progress?" or "We already explained this concept; why are we still fielding questions?" Another common scenario is delivering an inspiring professional development session or team meeting where participants leave with (perceived) enthusiasm to apply their learning, only to revert to their old habits within days.
It's like hitting repeat, isn't it? Introduce a new initiative, gather momentum, encounter an obstacle, lose steam, face setbacks, experience frustration, and then start all over again.
At times, you might wonder if you're caught in a prank. Is there a hidden camera somewhere capturing your endless loop?
So, why does this relentless cycle persist?
There's a single word that encapsulates the answer—one word that holds the key to stepping off the hamster wheel and onto the bus.
Can you guess what that word is? I'm sure you can; I won't be unveiling any earth-shattering revelation. Yet, within this word lies the foundation that empowers successful instructional leaders to avoid the hamster wheel entirely.
Yes, that seven-letter word is: clarity.
Triumphant instructional leaders who have managed to board the bus have achieved clarity for their teams. They've unlocked the doors, ignited the engine, and put their foot on the accelerator, propelling their bus down a well-defined path. Everyone on board knows precisely where they're headed. While roadblocks might emerge, these leaders remain steadfast, refusing to get off the bus and return to the hamster wheel.
But there's more to it—ironically, clarity can be quite ambiguous in its own right.
We're well-acquainted with the feeling of having clarity—it radiates calmness and certainty, bringing things into sharp focus, even during uncomfortable or challenging times.
On the other hand, the absence of clarity can evoke fear and unease; it feels almost like chaos, something we instinctively shy away from.
However, the million-dollar question is: How do we attain the level of clarity that generates these feelings? It's somewhat easy to claim "clear is kind" and "create clarity" than to put these concepts into action.
The fundamental truth is that our team members can't follow us onto the bus if they don't know its destination. Consider those leaders who confine themselves to the hamster wheel, uttering statements like, "I can't believe we're still struggling with this issue—it's been a recurring topic in nearly every faculty meeting."
Now, let's apply the same idea to something specific. An instructional leader entrenched in the hamster wheel might say, "I can't believe we're still struggling with tier 1 instruction- I have been talking about improving tier 1 instruction for months." Right? And the same can be said for any other thing: student engagement, that new curriculum, non-negotiable instructional practices, etc. Stating these things that require people to get on the bus together in haphazard or flippant, vague ways isn't going to actually get them on the bus, nor will it get the bus moving. It's going to keep instructional leaders on the hamster wheel.
Accomplished instructional leaders, steering clear of the hamster wheel, cultivate clarity through intentional and strategic means—rejecting randomness or flippancy.
They methodically develop clarity through strategic processes, adopting a rhythm that facilitates clarity. They comprehend precisely how a lack of clarity impedes teacher capacity.
Whether consciously or not, these leaders consistently are doing these 6 things methodically and intentionally, to create clarity:
Without a doubt, your presence here signifies your eagerness to be that leader who purposefully engages in clarity work, staying resolutely off the hamster wheel.
Let me shoot it to you straight- this work is both challenging and extremely rewarding when done well.
And let me challenge you: Get OFF the hamster wheel and get ON the bus! #kidsdeserveit #teachersdeserveit #createclarity #buildcapacity
P.S. I'd love to visit with you about how to make the 6 steps to building clarity a reality! Let's do this work together!
YOU can be the one to STAND OUT!!! And we can help you to do that! Interviews of any kind can be nerve-wracking! That's not unnatural or uncommon. EVERYONE experiences a little nervousness or anxiety when it comes to interviews (even if you're someone who, like me, LOVES interviews ). But your nerves don't have to keep you from STANDING OUT! After this session, we hope you'll have strategies and tools to help you feel confident as you prepare to interview (whether it's now or well into the future)!!
Be sure to grab the resources at the end of this post!
According to C. Heath & D. Heath (2010), one surprising truth about change is that what looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. In their book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, these authors explain the importance of providing "crystal-clear direction". They aren't the only experts to make this claim. THOUSANDS of leadership gurus make this claim about vision and clarity. In this live session, I want to provide a couple of ways instructional leaders can vision cast and script critical moves in order to bridge the gap between chaos and collective efficacy!
At the crux of making change happen is DATA- more specifically, the emotions tied to data. Unfortunately, a preoccupation with data itself can have negative side effects of decreased commitment and burnout as teachers relentlessly chase targets that are ever-moving or obscure. But what if we could leverage data in a way that creates a sense of purpose and direction, creating alignment and inspiring people to collectively move forward? This episode is designed to equip instructional leaders with a strategic planning process that allows them to capitalize on data reflections and make teams a part of the success story.
So often, we are encouraged to separate ourselves from the data and not take data so personally. However, to see data as only numbers and targets is like separating characters from a story. Not only is it imperative for students to be a part of the stories data tells, but it's also crucial for teachers and staff to be a part of those stories. But people cannot see themselves as a positive part of these stories without a clear instructional focus and vision. And we cannot have a clear instructional focus and vision without the data. Therein lies the change we so desire to achieve in schools. I hope this episode will help administrators and instructional coaches navigate the process of crafting successful, positive "change stories" beginning with data reflections.
For just a moment, I want you to imagine you're in the beginning phases of what could turn into a crucial or difficult conversation. You feel yourself getting offended. Maybe you notice you're beginning to disagree with what's being said by the other participant in the conversation. Your heartbeat begins to increase. You feel heat creeping into your earlobes or neck. You know that you WANT and maybe even NEED to say what's on your mind, but you just don't know how (without it being a complete bust). Chances are, if you're having the feeling of NEEDING to say what's on your mind, it's a gut instinct you should listen to. But actually following through with this instinct in an appropriate and positive way is challenging IF you don't have the right tools and strategies to practice! In this live, I'll be sharing about one of the most effective ways to "say what can't be said". More often than not, we feel we CAN'T say the things, when in reality, these are the things that SHOULD be said. And it CAN happen with the right strategies!
This is when you need to try "PERCEPTION CHECKING"! Check out this episode to learn about how to use perception checking to say the things your gut is urging you to make public. Scroll down to get the two resources mentioned in this episode!
But seriously... this is probably one of the biggest assumptions made about #teams and #collaboration. It's just not true! It is WONDERFUL when a team gets along- in fact, we WANT teams to get along. But we have to remember that just because a team "gets along" does not mean that true collaboration is taking place OR that they are being productive.
Catch yourself making this and other assumptions using "Assumption Look-For's"! Alissa Crabtree and I share in this LIVE Collaboration Convo all about other #assumptions people make AND what to look for to ensure you're NOT making these assumptions. Join us on YouTube to find out more!
Are you ready to talk about the "seven deadly assumptions"? Wondering what I mean by that? Let's see if any of these statements ring true for you or your teams:
☠️ Team gatherings feel like a waste of time because they are unproductive.
☠️My team spends the majority of our collaborative time together chatting about personal experiences, opinions, and personal plans.
☠️There is someone on our team (it could be me) that always has the best solution or idea.
☠️My teammates are late to meetings, unreliable, and/ or lack collaborative courtesy.
If you can say "yes" or "kind of" to any of these statements, assumptions may be getting in the way of cohesive teams and true collaboration! In this LIVE session, Alissa Crabtree share about the first four of the Seven Deadly Assumptions! Our hope is that you learn how to raise your awareness of assumptions that get in the way of collaboration, even when you THINK things are going well for teams! Be sure you grab the FREE download below!
We’ve got an interesting #collaboration convo for you in this session! I'm joined with my sons, Brian and Hayden, to hear their teenage perspective on what interests me most- #cohesive, vision-driven #teams. To make things fun, I've allowed them in this session to ask some personal questions that are completely unrelated to the work I do. This episode may or may not, but definitely does, include raw garlic…
Here are the questions we ask:
There is definitely a deleted scene in this episode! If you'd like to know what was deleted, comment below!!
Do you wonder sometimes why people put their time and effort into certain things? Things that you believe may not yield the greatest impact? What can we do to help #teachers and #instructionalleaders focus on what matters?
Join me as I chat with Amy Mason, former principal and founder of Aim2Educate, about time-sinks that get in the of way growth and impact. You'll leave our conversation reflecting on the right questions that help #educators take charge of their time so they focus on what matters most!
This session may help you consider:
?why teams and individuals put their time and effort into nice packaging but thin content
?what things leaders *believe* are impactful but reflect mismanaged time
?questions to ask to coach individuals and teams to de-implement practices that have little impact and, instead, focus on things that have a greater long-term impact
Schools are often referred to as a "circus", by those outside of schools but most often by those within them. For most of us, a circus conjures up images of comical animals, call-outs for peanuts and popcorn, perhaps risky rides that groan and creak, and loud crowds. In fact, if you search images for a "circus" on Google, you'll see such images. I've included a screenshot of my own image search here:
And if you've ever worked in a school, you probably have joked about your own circus-related experiences. Much of the time, a circus is accompanied by feelings of joy, laughter, and excitement. For some, it can bring about feelings of anxiety, treachery, or dread.
It's true. Schools absolutely can feel like a three-ring-circus at times with the hectic and flexible schedules, the overwhelm of endless to-do lists, the many meetings that overlap, the performances put on day in and day out, the drama that, at times, is as entertaining as a soap opera, and so on. But is this version of a circus really how we want our schools described?
What if a different kind of circus came to town?
What if, instead of the kind of circus we tend to assume, was actually more like Cirque Du Soleil. You see, this brings on a new image. An image of quiet crowds staring in awe, extremely well-choreographed and over-rehearsed acts, settings of remarkable creativity and beauty, and the feeling of being part of something uniquely beyond yourself.
There's a reason Cirque Du Soleil allows us to envision a circus in a completely new and different way. It is still, in fact, a circus. However, this circus is an orchestration. Here is the vision posted on the Cirque Du Soleil website:
We are more than a circus. We are rule breakers & moment makers. We create the most audacious reality.
Rule breakers! MOMENT MAKERS! How is this audacious reality made possible? Yes, by talented individuals, but also because these individuals work extremely intentionally as a team of teams. Every team is reliant upon its team members, of course, but every team is also reliant upon other teams in order to create an extraordinary experience. And it is imperative for each team to see itself as integral to other teams in order for the whole team, the whole organization, to succeed.
What if schools functioned in this way? What if we were able to envision our schools more like a Cirque du Soleil versus a Ringling Bros Circus? What if schools truly functioned more as a team of teams and less as individual groups with varied goals? Because in all reality, I believe most schools function as the latter. What evidence suggests this? In my experience, it seems that more schools than not:
What does it take?
What does it take, though, to become the "Cirque Du Soleil" of schools? What does it take for our schools to function as a "Team of Teams"? I believe there are six critical components of cohesive teams. There are three internal components, and three external components. In order for schools to function as a Team of Teams, both internal and external components need to be activated and present.
If your school can function as a Team of Teams with the internal components (self & social awareness, collaboration, and reflection) and the external components (conditions, models, and protocols), then you might see this evidence of success:
What kind of circus is your school?
So I leave you with this: how do you currently envision your school? Are you imagining a Ringling Bros Circus or a Cirque Du Soleil? Perhaps you're noticing both in different areas? What components could be missing in your circus? What components exist, but could use a bit of tweaking? What components are alive and well? Comment on this blogpost and share your thoughts!
Want someone to help your school become the "Cirque Du Soleil" of schools?
You’ve probably heard the term PLC (professional learning community) as referenced in many educational settings. Generally, professional learning communities are groups of educators who work together toward a common goal or solution. Author’s of Learning by Doing (2016), a Solution Tree “bible for PLCs”, explain PLCs as “educators who are committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.” But what are PLCs really all about?
PLCs are TRULY all about bringing cohesivity and clarity to an organization and the work an organization decides to do in an effort to build collective efficacy. In fact, it would be fair to say that professional learning communities in schools work to cast a vision for student learning and set goals. For, without a vision and goals, no one moves forward. To move students forward, most PLCs center their work around a common set of questions that take on a logical progression. The most frequently used questions come from the work of Richard DuFour, followed by work from Corwin authors Nancy Frey, Douglass Fisher, et. al, of PLC+: Better Decisions and Better Impact By Design.
If PLC questions are such a popular practice for teachers, meant to analyze student learning in order to maximize growth and achievement, couldn’t it also be that these questions could impact team growth and transformation? If we are not intentionally talking about the way we function as teams, individuals and organizations will remain stagnant and problems of practice will remain cyclical. In this article, I’m suggesting variations of the most commonly used questions in PLCs in order to analyze, transform, and inspire teams.
4 Questions, Plus 1
Regardless of your team’s current reality, these questions have the power to unlock potential that may not even be currently recognized. Even the most successful teams can benefit from exploring these questions together. On the flipside, even the most dysfunctional teams can benefit from this work. To be answered truthfully in a way that transforms teams, there must be a certain level of trust, vulnerability, and space for crucial conversations. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use the questions if those things are not evident, just know that the responses and the growth of your team will be vague or minimal until the process becomes familiar. Therefore, there will inevitably be models or protocols you decide to put in place before jumping into the questions with your teams.
These questions may be asked in one team session or across several. They can also be revisited and repeated frequently, although they do generally follow a consistent order. Some teams may use these questions to support their work together in general or when taking on a specific project or goal. Without further ado, here are the four mortar questions, plus one to support continued transformation:
Where are we going?
This is quite possibly the most important question. Simply put, a team cannot move forward if they do not know where they are headed. Too often, people ignore the vitality of vision casting because it is a broad, futuristic task that takes time to craft and hash out with team members. Sometimes, large assumptions are made about what teams are working toward or their understanding of the stated vision (if there even is one). But, vision casting is one of the most important things that should be done regularly in any organization. It is what helps us to think in steps, not programs. It also helps us to take those steps collaboratively as a team. Because schools function as a team of teams, each of the teams may have its own vision or mission that supports the overall vision of the organization.
When asking the question, “Where are we going?,” you should consider the vision of the organization as a whole and the team. This subset of questions can help guide the respondents:
Where are we now?
You may be familiar with the familiar phrase, “What are you pretending not to know?”. When teams are asked, “Where are we now?,” there is a high possibility that it will create discomfort. While the leaders and change agents of the world may accept that there is growth in discomfort, it’s not so easy for others. Because of that discomfort, a certain amount of denial may be uncovered. Team members may pretend not to know there are areas of their work together that require growth, or they may pretend not to know what could be causing the obstacles in the way of growth. It is also almost certain that assumptions will be made about the team- assumptions from each individual about how they function together, about strengths (that perhaps aren’t really strengths), or how people contribute. This is common, but it is not something we should settle for. Again, it will be important for the right conditions, models, and protocols to be in place to support the team’s movement toward transparency and vulnerability.
Here’s how you can encourage discussion around this question:
How do we move our team forward?
It’s one thing to have a vision, another to discuss where the team is now, and yet a completely other thing to actually determine steps to move the team forward. This question will require the team to compare where they are going with where the team is now. Like the previous question, it has the potential to strike a nerve in some team members. If you have set norms before beginning this questioning process, perhaps you have agreed as a team that you would leave the feeling of being personally attacked at the door. It will be important for team members to keep the vision at the forefront of their mind, a vision that is not about them as an individual, but is about the team and organization as a whole.
When asking, “How do we move our team forward?,” encourage celebrations of what currently exists that is working well before probing with other questions:
What did we find most useful today?
Several years ago, Michael Bungay Stanier, author and coaching thought leader, developed a set of seven essential questions that allow us to say less, ask more, and change the way we lead forever. The very last question he shares in his book, The Coaching Habit, is “What was most useful for you?”. It is perhaps the most powerful question one can ask at the culmination of a conversation. This question encourages individuals to leave the conversation considering its importance and usefulness to them. We are, after all, an egocentric people. We want to feel as though what we’ve engaged in is useful for us and that we have contributed in some way. This question allows for that exactly! AND, it should be asked at almost every team gathering. It can be easy to bypass this question, especially in a rush to come to a close. But in doing so, you risk the chance of team members leaving a collaborative discussion ruminating on their negative experiences, their lingering questions or concerns, or leaving ownership behind.
When you ask, “What did we find most useful today?,” you can help your team reflect on their analyses by probing with:
Plus 1: Who benefitted or who did not benefit?
And then there is the “Plus 1”: “Who benefitted or who did not benefit?” This question may not be logical to ask when the team meets to analyze their progress (as a whole or toward a project or goal). But it would be ideal to determine checkpoints along the way as you work toward a vision. This question may refer to individuals of the team that benefited, an outsider that was impacted, or how the team benefited or did not benefit as a whole. It can be easy to focus solely on who benefited, but asking who did not benefit will ensure that the team continuously is working toward something. If the team stopped at the first part of the question, one might wonder if this continued process is necessary. And we know that it absolutely is if we want teams and individuals to thrive in a cohesive environment. At follow-up meetings, discuss how the agreed upon next steps impacted the team:
Clarity and Cohesion
The questions outlined here are common in the instructional work that professional learning communities do together in schools. But they should become common among teams in regard to how they function, as well. Teams can use these questions to bring clarity and cohesion to their purpose, vision, and work. They can be used to propel a team forward, maintain the success of a team, or rally a dysfunctional team together. Clarity precedes competence, and surely we want our teams to be more than just competent. We want them to thrive. If teams are thriving, you know that you’ve created something that is worth being a part of: a cohesive team that’s going somewhere great!
In the world of work, regardless of your type of organization, we rely on collaborative efforts to make things possible. I'm certain we'd all like to believe that people generally collaborate well in our schools or teams. We'd like to believe that when teachers or leadership teams gather together, they have deep, meaningful conversations that ultimately impact student learning. But, the opportunities for true collaboration (ya know, the kind that makes a bigger difference and greater impact) are often killed.
Several months back, I joined forces with Valerie Ayers and Aimee Gilbert to dig into 4 MAJOR Killers of Collaboration and 3 Ways to Combat Them. In this blogpost, I'm jumping back on this topic. Whereas the previous blogpost on this topic was focused more on internal struggles of collaboration, this blogpost is focused on external struggles of collaboration. Without further ado, here are three ways to kill collaboration FAST:
1. Avoiding "time wasters"
While we may not hear this idea explicitly verbalized, many people believe that time spent on self and social awareness is unnecessary or unproductive. But, the opposite is actually true. According to General Stanley McChrystal (2015) these "time sinks" are what imbues teams with high-level adaptability and efficacy, allowing them to collaborate extremely well.
2. Making assumptions
We make assumptions ALL. THE. TIME., whether we recognize we're doing it or not. The assumption made about collaboration is that it is happening where two or more are gathered, and/ or it's happening of its own accord. It just simply isn't. What we might notice instead is often "faux collaboration". Our assumptions prevent true collaboration from being possible.
3. Collaborating without goals or plans
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but approaching collaboration without a goal, plan, or agenda will definitely result in "faux collaboration" or no collaboration at all. Unfortunately, this one happens consistently. Why? Because being the person that brings meaning and purpose to a collaborative opportunity takes courage!
You can, however, avoid these pitfalls that kill collaboration fast! In fact, you can instead find ways to build effective collaboration that supports collective efficacy.
3 Ways to Build Effective Collaboration
1. Dedicate time
Dedicate time, preferably at the beginning of the year, for team members to engage in self and social awareness reflections. The better individuals on a team know themselves and know one another, the more understanding and gracious they will be when expected to work together. In fact, spending time on this will more than double the productivity and impact of teams, leaving individuals feeling valued, empowered, and inspired.
2. Explicitly teach and model
The tendency is often to assume that where two or more are gathered, collaboration is happening. But steer clear of falling into the trap of faux collaboration. Instead, take opportunities to explicitly teach and model effective collaboration skills such as listening to learn, asking clarifying questions, recognizing and provoking others' geniuses, ensuring all have a voice at the table, and handling conflict productively.
3. Plan intentionally
Collaboration, even between two people, can be messy. In fact, "messy" is often where the great work happens. But there is a difference between "messy" and "sloppy". Sloppy work is the result of a lack of goals and plans. It lacks meaning and vision. True collaboration relies on intentionally set goals and intentionally created plans to work toward a collective vision, keeping in mind that plans can be adjusted accordingly along the way (because success can be messy).
It's high time we focus on building effective collaboration habits instead of killing collaboration. But this takes a great deal of self/ social awareness and intentionality. Partner with me as a coach and consultant and we can combat these collaboration killers together!
Welcome! I am Casey Watts- Collaborative Leader and Culture Changer!