Effective collaboration rests on the ability to share the stage.
In the early 1990s, the public high school where I taught created a committee called the “Shared Decision-Making Committee.” I was tapped as its first chair. The stated mission of the group was for administrators and teachers to collaborate and come to shared visions and decisions about the direction of the school.
Early in the process, I remember a somewhat cynical (and prescient) comment circulating amongst the teachers. “We meet, and the administration shares its decisions with the teachers. That is their version of shared decision making.”
Have you ever been part of a group attempting to establish a “shared vision”? An attempt to get a group to agree on a common purpose and journey toward that purpose by the group?
What I have experienced, more times than not, are good intentions that go off the rails quickly. You see, everyone comes to the table intent on “sharing his or her vision.” Collective monologues ensue.
Effective collaboration rests on the ability to share the stage. If we walk into the meeting with the idea that we alone (or, at least, above all others) have THE gift that the group needs to move forward, we do not help move the group along. What we do, in that situation, is deny the group members the ability to share their gifts. Gifts which can move the team members toward a collective vision.
Simple thought for your next meeting: You are not the gift in the room. The other people bring gifts. Accept, work with, authentically discuss, and appreciate them.
Video Recommendation of the Week:
When we deny others, we may find ourselves on a committee of one speaking to ourselves. Just ask Sheldon Cooper.
For more about community building and sustainability,
look formy new book, Community as a Safe Place to Land,
due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.
Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).
(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.