Month: March 2021

Stay in the Discomfort

It is imperative that we stay in discomfort. Discomfort is a feeling of anxiety, uneasiness, and embarrassment. We must acknowledge this feeling and learn from it. Embracing discomfort is a form of compassion, learning, and honesty. Discomfort is a sign of something happening. Pay attention to the feeling. Do not fight it or feed it.

A recent article highlighted how the people who have historically experienced power, privilege, and comfort in independent school communities are now feeling uncomfortable with the way these schools are educating their kids. Independent schools, many of which are founded on serving and educating white males, are now serving very different communities. Schools need to change when their communities change. The curriculum needs to change. Approaches need to change. The distribution of resources needs to change and so much more.

What can schools do?

  • Schools need to move forward with their decisions and stay the course.
  • Stay in your discomfort as well.

Are You Listening?

An essential part of leadership and managing your direct reports is intentional listening. When you listen carefully to your people, you…

  • Learn about the person
  • Build trust with the person
  • Understand more about the content/issue/circumstance
  • Position yourself to collaborate and problem solve
  • Ask better questions that lead to uncovering the real problem
  • Respond instead of react 
  • Realize you might be wrong

These are just some of the advantages of intentional listening. 

Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, speaks about various types of approaches to communication in his conversation with Dan Harris on The Ten Percent Happier Podcast. Grant describes the preacher, the politician, the prosecutor, and the scientist. He defines the preacher mode as wanting to persuade because we have already found the truth, the politician is campaigning for approval, the prosecutor mode is about proving the other person wrong and the scientist has a curious approach and wants to learn.