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Mentoring Matters for Superintendents: November 2016

Leadership-life Fit: 3 Simple Remedies for a Stressed-out Mind

When you’re caught up in the “busyness” of life, try these three practices to help you de-stress and be present.

Watch the video

or see summary below!

  1. Slow down – Whether you’re talking, driving, walking, or typing… literally slow down. Your brain mimics your body—slowing your body slows your brain.
  2. Relax your body—notice where the tension is, and intentionally relax those muscles. Roll your shoulders. Let your arms fall to your sides.
  3. Attend to a simple task. If you’re eating, focus on each bite. If you’re wiping the counter, focus on that.

Full text available here

Leading Learning— Strategies for Managing Change

You have probably noticed that your staff respond differently to new initiatives and transformative change. McREL CEO, Bryan Goodwin, discusses how by deepening our understanding of thinking preferences and knowing those of our staff, we can more readily prepare for and implement complex change.

Whether you choose the DISC profile (or a similar, yet free version here), the Gallup strengths finder, or some other thinking preferences assessment (DIRT profile), knowing the thinking preferences of your staff can help you to differentiate your leadership to support more effectively those who perceive and experience change differently from you.

Goodwin connects four thinking preferences (thinkers/doers/energizers/connectors) to four leadership behaviors that tend to suffer when schools undergo complex change (input/order/communication/culture).

1.Analytical, logical thinkers need to…

  • be convinced of need for change
  • understand rationale for change
  • have opportunity for input and participation in decision-making

2.Sequential, action-oriented doers need to…

  • understand exactly what the change will require of them
  • feel confident that they have the skills and knowledge to do what's being asked of them
  • have routines and order

3.Imaginative, big-picture energizers need to…

  • understand the direction of the change
  • align the change to their ideals
  • engage in ongoing dialogue to assure shared vision among stakeholders

4.Interpersonal, social-oriented connectors need to…

  • preserve group norms
  • be assured of group cohesion and well-being

Goodwin notes that leaders need to address all thinking preferences when leading change. He suggests focusing on William Bridges four Ps for managing change:

Purpose: Why are we doing this? What problem are we solving? What are we trying to accomplish? People often need to understand the logic of a change before they can change.

Picture: What is the end game? How is it going to work? What is changing and what isn’t? People often need to imagine what the change will look like before they can give their hearts to it.

Plan: What is the road map for getting to where we need to go? What is going to happen over the next X months? What happens first, second, third? People need a clear idea of how they are going to get to where they need to go.

Part: What is my role? How will I be involved? Do I have an opportunity for input into the plan? When will I be trained? People need a tangible way to contribute.

Delve more deeply by reading the full article.

Leading Technology: Top 10 Social Media Content Tips

Make your message seen and heard! Use these 10 tips for greater impact on your social media! Couple these tips with hashtag advice from a recent article in School Administrator, and you’ll quickly expand your influence!

Create a Twitter #hashtag with a meaningful phrase unique to your school—note that the hashtag counts in your 140-character limit. You can promote your hashtag via various school groups and organizations –post photos, share celebrations, highlight amazing teaching and learning, and keep your school community connected. Read more details in the November 2016 issue of School Administrator. Sign-in may be required.

Monthly Checklist

These lists are intended as a guide—we encourage you to process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that may need your attention!