Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Gets Noticed Gets Done

In a recent post, I described how every teacher and classroom in your school deserves to get noticed. There are so many good things happening. When we feel noticed and appreciated, it always makes us want to do more than what's expected.

But what types of things should we notice? That matters too. Whether you are a teacher or a principal, the things you notice help build the culture of your classroom and school. We communicate what's important and what we value. When you recognize certain actions and attitudes in others, it encourages more of the same.

Popular advice says, "What gets monitored get done." While this might be okay management advice, it might not be the best leadership advice. We can monitor certain things and maybe get improved behaviors and results we want in the short term. 

But if we really haven't invested in the people and their capacity, it probably won't last. The desired behaviors and outcomes aren't sustained. Leadership is about influence and change that endures and empowers. 

But when we notice the good work other people are doing, it is affirming to them. It builds them up and helps them reach their potential. If we want lasting change and to help people build their capacity in a personal way, we need to notice their strengths.

So while there may be a place for data, assessment, and accountability, why aren't we talking more about opportunities, commitment, and responsibility? 

What gets monitored
What gets noticed
Data driven
Learning driven
Assessment work
Creative work
One-size-fits-all
Personal touch
Someone else’s idea
My idea
Deficits
Strengths
Implementation
Innovation
Strategy
Culture
Outcomes
Opportunities
Accountability
Responsibility
Compliance
Commitment


I want to hear from you. Does your school focus more on monitoring or noticing? It could be, and maybe should be, some of both. Share a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter.

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