Saturday, June 18, 2011

Care for Others and They Will Care for You

Three-quarters of the battle over reform in a school district has to do with how people relate to you...whether they trust you...if they think you have good intentions. John Maxwell, a leading author on leadership, says, "People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care." Fostering the perception that you care about the kids whose lives your change efforts are intended to impact and the teachers for whose careers you are the "keeper" requires a great deal of flesh-pressing and visibility.

Work hard to carve out two to three hours of each day dedicated to talking with people in the hallways and in the classrooms. Talk about personal matters as much as professional matters. Find out what's happening in the lives of the children and the adults in the learning community and follow-up the next day with questions and personal stories that relate to the stories you heard the previous day. The effort you make to show that you care about the people for whom you work will foster buy-in to your ideas, even if they do seem radical and ground-breaking.

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