We live in an era where it’s very challenging to talk to people and have crucial conversations that provide meaning to one’s lives. Education is arguably a battlefield of constant crucial conversations. Subjects from attending major exams to attending class are crucial conversations in the field of education. However, with any crucial conversation, timing, tone, vocal dialect and a host of many other factors will determine the outcome of the conversation.
The book Crucial Conversations was an eye-opening piece of literature for me. I try to have these conversations with my students about the value of life topics as often as I can. Ive found that at times they do not resonate with these topics because I am ignoring key factors such as emotions on the subject or there opposing opinions.
Upon reflection of this book, I realize that my approach matters just as much as the message. Understanding my Why is paramount. Why am I having this conversation between my students, my administration, my students parents, and other projects investor? I would like to make an investment in the lives of the people in my community.
Understanding why I am here is crucial to conveying the message that I plan to send. My Why must be aligned with who I am as a person. I must be capable of presenting the stakes the strong emotions and be willing to respect the opposing opinions of others in order to achieve my goal. Only to the mastery of my why can we begin taking actions together as a collective for the betterment of our community.
From understanding my Why, the rest will fall into place. With any change dialogue, they will occasionally be resistance. With resistance, the foundation of community can be built through the eyes of understanding. This feedback of collective stories helps build the path better relationships within my Community.
Above all things, nothing matters if I am not willing to lead through the most powerful skill of all…LISTENING. Ensuring that my investors are heard gives them value and allows us to move forward in the right direction.
Being a Self-Differentiated Leader
In my blog pose on the subject of “What Makes You an Effective Leader?“, I discussed this very question. I said, “As educators, we are the leaders in our student’s lives. We set the tone and the standard for which they may eventually see the rest of the world.” My stance on this statement has not changed. We have to be be able to handing the tough talks. If we don’t have the courage to have those conversations, no one will and no change will be made.
Crucial Conversations is about the courage needed to embody the change we want to see in the world!
To be a self-differentiaed leader means to have the courage and the empathy to lead and motivate others.
Camp, J. [Mathew David Bardwell]. (2010, November 10). Friedman’s theory of differentiated leadership made simple [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgdcljNV-Ew&feature=youtu.be
Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2012). Crucial conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high. New York: McGraw-Hill.