(Issue #489) Opportunities to Notice

The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice
That we fail to notice
There is little we can do
To change
Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds.

~R.D. Lang

If we do not notice, how can we learn or challenge assumptions? One way or another, whether we fail to notice, or do notice,  that will “shape our thoughts and deeds.”

Consider how you onboard new employees or team members.  When you look at the process, what do you notice? Is it all procedural? Like, how to fill out forms, where to pick up mail and duplicating, when to complete leave requests, who to see for technology assistance, and what to do when you need access to a room, building, or website portal?

While those are important, we miss a ripe opportunity for culture creation if we do not help the newly initiated grasp a deep connection to their new positions, colleagues, and team mission.

I had the honor to facilitate a new faculty onboarding workshop at Calhoun Community College last week.  Using actual teaching and learning scenarios, we went beyond procedures. The faculty engaged one another with questions about college resources, promising practices for student engagement, how their current teaching practices (actions) connected to their teaching procedures (words), and how their boundaries and limits affected growth and resilience (for them as well as their students).

One of our exercises asked them to envision their students five years in the future; five years after the students had had their classes. What did they, as a result of the class, hope their students would

  • Value?
  • Remember?
  • Practice?

Then the faculty considered their class syllabi, teaching methods, and assessment strategies.  Did those documents  match what they hoped their students would hold on to five years down the road?

This required them to notice what they do now and continue to notice throughout their teaching careers. Does what they say match what they do?

When we bring new people into our workplace culture, we have a wonderful opportunity to start a conversation that goes beyond where to pick up the office keys.

Keep it practical. Focus on meaningful outcomes. Create opportunities for ongoing deliberative dialogues. Make the orientation/onboarding more than a “one-and-done” opportunity. Maybe, like Calhoun’s new faculty initiative, you create a multi-year process.

Above all, provide opportunities to notice, act, notice, adjust, notice, and grow.

Video Recommendation for the week.

The Critical Incident Review (Stephen D. Brookfield) can guide us as we attempt to notice more of what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon.  More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes.  I will be conducting (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.  The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in assumptions, Being REMARKABLE, boundaries and limits, collaboration, collegiality, faculty development, growth, leadership, Life lessons, resilience and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to (Issue #489) Opportunities to Notice

  1. Joy Laws says:

    I enjoyed our session here at Calhoun on 9/27. I learned so much in the session!


  2. Pingback: (Issue #501) A Blogger’s Retrospective for 2019 | The Growth and Resilience Network®

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