I knew that I would be writing a post about change, this weekend. I just thought it would have some different content, but things...change. Time to course correct and move forward.
Do you ever have those moments when your words come back to haunt you? It has happened even more so since Twitter and blogging has entered my life. But, I don't know if "haunt" is the word so much as, remind. I wrote these words in a blog post, and Cristina Aguirre, tweeted them back at me at some point. Then my gal, Alice Keeler picked them up and made them pretty (image to the right). They have shown up in my twitter notifications, a few times since. They are great reminders as to my intent, especially during winds of change.
But I think I am going to take this post in a different direction. I want to talk more globally about change. I have learned that change brings out many different reactions in people. Some people are like me, they just roll with it and "just keep swimming", but for others it is more of a struggle. I am not saying one way is better than the other, the whole change process just fascinates me. Either way, change is not easy, and it is a process and part of the journey.
For some people, when there is change, they retreat, put up walls, dig a moat and/or draw their swords. Many times, those swords are their tongues. I encountered this phenomena on the third day in my current position. I was personally attacked for a good 30 minutes by a staff because of changes coming from the district office. To them, I WAS the district office. I tried to take it like a good little soldier, because I was so new, I didn't know any better. I didn't take it easily and came out pretty bruised. But I picked myself up and decided to learn and grow from it. And I have! I have spent the last 2 1/2 years observing and discussing the change process with anyone that will engage with me. The interesting thing is, just like students, everyone is different. Everyone reacts differently. Which means, the approach needs to change as quickly as their reaction. I believe this is part of being an Empathetic Leader. Knowing and understanding that circle of viewpoints. So how do we help to create change? Where do we start? What do we do, when there is resistance? How do we handle it when people lash out? How do we help people realize that there is a need for the change? How do we support others through the process?
Luckily, I have been incredibly fortunate to have connected with many great leaders. These are not new conversations for them, but I just soak it up. I feel like Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz". I have some how collected this amazing tribe that I can turn to and learn from. Here is just a small sampling of what I have learned from them, on my journey... (not listed in any particular order and with their permission).
As I type all of these fantastic leadership nuggets on change, I see why I have aligned myself with these folks. One of my favorite of the CA Academic Standards is: Integration of Knowledge. That is what I have done with these guys. I have taken in all that I have learned from them, mixed it in with all that I have learned and observed on my own. I have synthesized the information to come up with my own ideas on change. Here are my current thoughts:
"Change is inevitable, we can either choose to fight it or choose to embrace it. Change is hard because it becomes extremly personal. We must consider how change will effect all players and adjust to help support. This can only be done after there is a foundation built on trust. It is important to guide others in understanding the need for change, even when they refuse to see it. Don't give up if it is something you believe in, assess the situation and course correct, but don't back down. We need to be agile and adaptive in how we handle these change situations and people, as a model for them. Being a "change agent" is hard, but necessary. Kids Deserve It!
Who's in? Suit up! What are your thoughts on change?
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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