Month: April 2021

Hope is a Plan!

Conventional wisdom says that hope is not a plan. I disagree. Hope is most definitely a plan. Cultivating hope is a skill that we need to practice and develop, and hope is especially needed when facing hardship. This is a time globally, locally, and in our workplaces of crisis. Hope has agency and purpose. It encourages a perspective that can help us see possibilities and choices. Hope, as a skill modeled by leadership, can lead to increased engagement and better health.

Look at the data and imagine an outcome. The data holds us in realism and the imagining helps us think broadly and deeply about ‘what if’. You have to see some evidence in your world to imagine the possibility. Dr. Jacqueline Mattis, a clinical psychologist from Rutgers University, encourages us to ‘read the room’ and read the past, putting the pieces together to make reasonable expectations in her conversation with Dan Harris on Ten Percent Happier.

Knowers or Learners?

Are you creating a culture that honors knowers or learners on your team or in your classroom? When you honor knowers, you honor answers. When you honor learners, you honor questions. Knowers value being right. Learners value being curious. Knowers are often quick to come up with answers. Learners may take their time to find the right questions or identify the true problem. As a child, I grew up in a family system that valued ‘knowers’. I quickly became silent, discouraged, and less confident not only at home but also at school. Many of my childhood classrooms and adult work environments honored ‘knowers’. When I finally reached a work environment that created a culture for ‘learners’ to thrive, I also began to grow and thrive. Brené Brown describes being a learner as having the courage ‘not to know.’ Which culture are you promoting? These are just some ways you might be creating a culture that values ‘knowers’ or ‘learners’.

Keep Asking Why

When you heard about the tragic murders of Asians in Atlanta, did you ask why? When you watched videos of police brutality against Black Americans, did you ask why? When you learn about the violence and oppression of marginalized people in this country, do you ask why? 

Did you ask why or were you simply shocked and surprised? I hear people saying, “This is so surprising! I can’t believe it!” We need to believe it and we need to ask why. We need to educate ourselves and know our history. We need to stop being surprised and understand the systems. The reasons for something happening today are deeply connected to the past. It’s not about ‘having a bad day.’ If we don’t understand this, we can’t make a change.

What can schools do? 

Schools have a duty to teach students accurate history that holds many narratives, not just the narrative of the dominant people of the region.