An Overview of “Educational Technology: Effective Leadership and Current Initiatives”

An Overview of
Educational Technology: Effective Leadership and Current Initiatives


By Keith Courville
(2011)

Courville examine the foundation for effective educational technology leadership through the lens of an ed tech leader within a school.  He noted that tech leaders help modernize not only the physical technology found within the building but they model the progressive use of technology. Courville explained that effective leaders need technical, human and conceptual skills to support change within a building.  Technology leadership is filled with continual change and as a tech leader you must understand the change process.  Courville highlighted Fullan’s work on change leadership as a import piece of supporting organizational goals and pacing yourself in a continually evolving environment. Courville goes on to explain the importance of considering the key components of emotional leadership.

Although not directly mentioned, Courville alluded to social and intellectual capital.  He mentioned the value of  building relationships within the school as an integral part of sustaining school’s goals and using interactive tools to support teachers as they learn about technology. Because technology often paves the way for discussions of why we teach the way that we do, Courville explained the significance of investing in ways to support teachers as they reflect on their methodologies. He concluded:

Only by developing educational technology leaders who are well versed in leadership practice as well as strong advocates for technology integration, can our educational field hope to keep pace with the development of new technology, and use technology in an effective manner within our schools.
(p. 16)

Leadership in the context of change is a challenge and only when you acknowledge the obstacles and importance of shaping the path will you sustain effective change.


Not only does he highlight the importance of tech leaders in education he raises an important point.  Technology permeates almost every aspect of our daily lives and the majority of businesses also have a go to Tech Maven. Tech change isn’t specific to education it’s an integral part of business.  Courville’s point is important for all of us.  Not only do we need strong leaders,  we need leaders that are able to help us clarify our goals and formulate a path that will navigate the ongoing technological changes in a healthy way that enhances our exchange of social and intellectual capital.  It’s something that we need to plan for.


Conference Proceedings
Courville, Keith
Educational Technology: Effective Leadership and Current Initiatives
Louisiana Computer Using Educator’s Conference 2011

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A Overview of “A Process Model for Building Social Capital in Virtual Learning Communities”

An Overview of 
A Process Model for Building Social Capital in Virtual Learning Communities


By: Ben Daniel, Gord McCalla and Richard Schwier

This article briefly introduces the reader to the concept of social capital arising from social interactions in virtual learning communities. It explains how trust can be created through the act of storytelling, which is enhanced by a shared language including a common vocabulary.  Social capital is defined as “a stock of active connections among people: the trust, mutual understanding, and shared values and behaviours that bind people as members of human networks and communities” (based on Cohen & Prusak, (2001), p.1). Trust is build through social interactions which are sustained by two key factors.  First, there has to be a context or social space in which the interactions can happen.  Second, it takes time to build trust.

Daniel, McCalla and Schwier provide a brief introduction to social capital and prepare you for their second more detailed article on social capital in virtual learning communities.

 


Daniel, B. K., McCalla, G., & Schwier, R. A. (2002). A Process Model for Building Social Capital in Virtual Learning Communities. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Computers in Education (Vol. December 0, p. 574). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved from http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=839212

An overview of “Good To Great”

An Overview of  Good to Great
by Jim Collins


Good to GreaatIn this article, Collins summarizes his findings on how companies went from good to great.  You can find a more detailed explanation in his book – Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t.

The analogy that I appreciated most is his straightforward explanation of getting the right people on the bus. As  leader, you are the driver of the bus and your first priority is getting “the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right seats” (Disciplined People section).  He emphasized that great leaders start the bus trip with who is going.  The priority has to be about getting the right people together.  Good people are self motivated and being part of strong team adds to the motivation.

Second, once you know who’s on the bus with you, then you can clarify where you are going and most importantly what you are doing.  Your destination might change along the way and people who are only in it for the end game won’t stay.  The right people Collins argued are self motivated.  The wrong people he emphasized are just that wrong.  You could go in the right direction but it won’t matter because “mediocre people still produce mediocre results” (Disciplined People section).

Are you the fox or the hedgehog?  Based on a Greek parable, the fox knows lots of small things and the  hedgehogs know one big thing.  In business, that means simplifying the complex ideas into a single organizing idea.  One that will guide, direct and unify all future decisions (Disciplined Thought Section). In order to find clarity, Collins suggests three key questions:

  1. What can you be the best in the world at (and not be the best in the world at)?
  2. What’s the economic factor that best drives the economics?
  3. What are our core people deeply passionate about?
    (Disciplined Thought Section)

Put all of that together and provide enough momentum to get the flywheel going so it can sustain itself and you are on your way.  You just have to focus on what you need to do and stop doing what’s not helping you (Disciplined Action Section).

In an article sidebar, Fast Company asked Collins – why are most great companies lead by relatively anonymous people?  It turns out what Collins calls celebrity leaders tend to make decisions that favor their ego more often.  Anonymous leaders are passionate about the cause and when faced with ego or the company and the work, they choose the latter.  The biggest challenge Collins explained is to get and hang onto the right people.

 


Leaders have to lead or the change won’t stick

Life would be much easier if things stayed the same and you didn’t have to change, but it seems these days the only thing constant is change.

Alvin Toffler said, “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those you cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”

toffler

So how do you, as a leader, help your followers navigate the ongoing changes?  How do you keep your team focused on a goal that moves toward the greater vision, while inhibiting the negative distractions and enabling them to “remember and build on relevant information” ( Boundaries for Leaders- Cloud, 2013, p. 27) which in turn creates a pattern in their working memory.  Dr. Henry Cloud (2013) explained “you always get what you create and what you allow” (p.xvi) so the person that has to help with the change is you.

It makes sense, you are the leader.  It would be nice if you could stand on your soap box and proclaim that we are now on the path to xyz and the change would ripple out virtually seamless.  But let’s remember, we live in the real world and change is hard.  How do you get change to reach the tipping point and then stick?

Here are a few of the most memorable suggestions that I have come across during my research. My two favorite reads were Switch – How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath (2010) along with The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (2006).  Both are filled with real life examples of how change happens.

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Pixabay – Clker

So it’s Chip and Dan Heath’s (2010) image of a rider on an elephant that has stuck with me.  (Borrowed from psychologist Jonathan Haidt in The Happiness Hypothesis.)  As all of the writers have shared, in order for change to happen someone has to act differently.  Okay, so by someone, I mean us.  We are in control of ourselves – the behaviour change has to come from within.

It’s the connection between your behaviours and your brain.  The Heath brothers (2010) suggested we think of each person as a rider on an elephant.  We are composed of the rational thinking part of our brain – the rider and the emotional elephant.  Yes there’s a significant size difference.  As a rider you will only be able to force the elephant to do want you want for so long and then you’ll be over-powered by the emotional side.  In order to succeed, you have to get them both going in the same direction (p. 7).

Here’s a very quick overview of Chip and Dan Heath’s 3 key suggestions on how to make change happen. (This summary is based on the 2010 book and the resources provided to compliment the book – available on their website.  Included in the overview are my personal thoughts and wonders). 

First you have to Direct the Rider:

  • Following a strategy similar to Wiggins & McTighe’s Understanding by Design, you have to understand where you are going and why it’s of value in order to direct the rider.  The Heath’s call it pointing to the destination (Switch, p. 73), begin with the end in mind.  On the way there, you have to focus on the bright spots.  All to often we tend to look for what’s not working and try to fix it, Chip and Dan Heath (2010) suggested focusing on what is working will lead to better long term performance than looking at what doesn’t work.
  • The rider has a tendency to analyze big problems which often causes the him to be obsessed with finding a solution to the same scale as the original problem.  The brain wants to match the big problem to a big solution.  The Heath’s reminded that big problems take time and are more effectively solved by a series of smaller solutions (p. 44).
  • Lastly, you have to script the critical moves (p. 49-72).  They explained that a group wanted people to eat healthier, so they advertised just that.  Everyone needs to eat healthier.  The problem: it was to vague.  People for the most part, do want to eat healthier but translating that general goal into an actionable behaviour is hard.  You have to be specific.  Switching the campaign to buy 1% milk lead to a documentable change (p. 15-17).

As leaders, we need to build on the positive, identify the specific behaviours that will get us there and build on the bright spots.

Next you need to Motivate the Elephant:

  • Just because you know we need to look after the planet doesn’t mean we will make better choices.  Aristotle’s explanation of rhetoric referred to ethos, pathos and logos as key aspects to persuading an audience. The rider would be similar to the logos appeal, but the elephant is moved by pathos.  For a change to start, there needs to be an emotional connection. The Heath’s (2010) noted Kotter and Cohen’s observations

    “that, in almost all successful change efforts, the sequence of change is not ANALYZE-THINK-CHANGE, but rather SEE-FEEL-CHANGE” (p. 106).

  • Then you have to “Shrink the Change” (p. 124-148). Turn the change into small manageable pieces that are doable rather than intimidating.
  • Here again the Heath’s mention culture.  You have to grow your people (p. 149-178) and you can only do that by creating a growth mindset that builds an identity.

Lastly, you need to Shape the Path:

  • It’s all about the environment you create.  Cloud (2013), Covey (2006), Gladwell (2006), Driscoll (2005) and the Heath’s (2010) all noted the environment you work and learn in shapes your behaviours.  So “tweak the environment” (p. 179-202) and you will shape the path.
  • The next time a minor change isn’t working think about how you play it out in your mind?  Is it the product you created or the people refusing to change that you are frustrated with?  Turns out all of us have a propensity to turn to incentives and consequences to force a change (p. 185).  Rather, we tend toward the fundamental attribution error.  We instinctively tend to “attribute people’s behaviour to the way they are rather than to the situation they are in” (as noted by Heath’s reference to Lee Ross, p. 180).
  • It’s where usability testing in the instructional design process followed by evaluation makes a significant difference to the end quality of the product. Feedback matters. Have you stopped to ask why people aren’t using it the way you expected?  Have you stopped to observe what they are doing instead?
  • Build Habits (p. 203-224) When you lead in a way that creates positive habits or relevant patterns in their working memory (Cloud, 2013), you free up the brain.  It’s energy can be spent on other processes.  The Heath’s (2010)explained when you change the environment, people’s habits change (p. 206-207).  It’s as Malcom Gladwell (2006) explained in The Tipping Point.  People’s behaviours tend toward the environment in which they live.  It’s the broken window’s effect.
  • Finally, you must rally the herd (p. 225-249). What can we learn from the herd?   It’s the first place you look, when you don’t know what to do.  Not sure when to stand up to show appreciation for a speaker, if you see others doing it you will too. The Heath’s explained that behaviour is contagious, just as Dr. Cloud noted that mood is also contagious.  We infect others with our feelings and energy (Boundaries for Leaders – Cloud, 2013, p. 57).  It connects back to Eric Worre’s assertion that you are like the 5 people you spend the most time with.

    In fact, Chip and Dan Heath (2010) noted, “you might not find a single statement that is so rigorously supported by empirical research as this one: You are doing things because you see your peers do them…Behaviour is contagious” (p. 227).

  • In unfamiliar situations, the Heath’s reminded, we are more prone to watching what our peers do.  It’s simple the elephant is going to follow the herd (p. 228).  So help spread the behaviours that are going to facilitate your change.

 


 

Other Resources:

Who’s going to help you tip the change?

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Pixabay – Open Clipart-Vectors 

In the Switch, Chip and Dan Heath (2010) explained the value of growing your people.  In particular, they noted the value of identity and a growth mindset. I was struck by their question, “How can you make your change a matter of identity rather than a matter of consequence?” (p. 154).  After all, they shared that a change which violates a person’s identity is likely doomed to fail and mere incentives will not change people’s behaviour (p. 154).

We see it in education… most students don’t change just because there’s a consequence and in business team’s don’t just increase their numbers because there’s a bonus.  It’s deeper than a simple exchange of service.  Each person is motivated by a different set of experiences, when you can unite your team toward a common goal that they truly believe in – that’s when you will see the most growth.

As a leader, how often do you stop to think about the identity or mindset that you are fostering?  James March identified two models of decision making.  People either make a rational decision based on an analysis of the pros and cons or they decide based on the identity they’ve adopted.   March suggested people using the identity model decide based on three questions,

“Who am I?
What kind of situation is this?
What would someone like me do in this situation?”
(Heath, 2010, p. 153).

Rational doesn’t always win and identities aren’t written in stone.

As a leader with ethos and logos, you may convince the rational rider of the value and cost effectiveness of your plan, but if the emotional elephant (pathos) isn’t moved by the numbers they won’t travel very far down the path with you. It goes back to knowing your students and your people.  What matters to them?  Have you listened first and spoke last?

Take for instance the fascinating example of Brasilata.  It illustrated how identities can be adopted and shaped over the course of people’s lives.  The Heath’s wrote of how Brasilata  chose to create an inventor identity.  Everyone in the company was considered an inventor and it was their job to share their ideas.  The company, in turn, built on the ideas suggested and in time became one of the top leaders in steel can manufacturing (p. 156-157).  As an educator, the story of how one principal changed the identity of a down and out inner city school to a one of striving for excellence was heart warming.  It’s certainly not easy, but there are bright spots.

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Pixabay – Geralt 

It also turns out that there are 3 key types of people you want involved in your change efforts.  In fact as Malcolm Gladwell (2006) wrote, they will tip the change.  Have you heard of connectors, mavens and salesmen?

First, you need to find your connectors.  These are the people who know lots of people in a diverse variety of social circles.  They also make it a habit to introduce people from different circles.  They are the connectors. Think about who you know and who introduced you to those people….often, Gladwell noted, those connectors show up over and over in how you met your friends.

As an introvert, connectors are very helpful.  Finding people who genuinely care about connecting you with other people of similar interests decreases the energy it costs to meet new people. When I’m connected with a person who has similar interests, you can get right to the issues rather than the preliminary small talk. Less stressing about meeting people means more time investing in real learning.

You’ve likely identified the connectors, but have you thought about the mavens?  They are the “people we rely upon to connect us with new information” (p. 19). They are the curators of knowledge about very specific topics.  We all know them.  They are the people you go to when you have a question about something specific; moreover, you trust them and what they say because they have a great track record. People buy or go places because these people recommended it.

Lastly, you have your persuaders sometimes known as salesmen. Not the stereotypical used car salesman, but rather people with well developed rhetoric skill.  They have ethos (you trust them), they know their stuff (logos) and they can sell (pathos – emotion). Even their body language cues your brain to buy in.  We’ve all heard them.  They are the TED speakers that Carmine Gallo (2014) wrote about.  They are the people you would follow to places you’ve never wanted to go.  Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious.

To this day, I still remember attending my first Sciematics conference as a young biology teacher and listening to Brian Keating speak.  By the end of the session I wanted to travel to Antarctica and camp on the ice just to learn more about the penguins.  (I didn’t really but in that moment it sure felt like I did)  Just a few weeks ago I listened to Color By Amber Executive Chairman and Founder, Talley Goodson.  As he shared his passion for design and innovation in a way that not only gives back to the artisans but makes the planet a better place, his positive energy was contagious.  He not only wants to make the world a better place, he’s committed to making it happen.  Who doesn’t want to be part of that.

So we need all kinds of people to sustain change.  Gladwell (2006), Gallo (2014) and the Heath’s (2010) emphasized the fact the your message has to be sticky.  People have to remember the change to actually share it.  In fact in today’s social media world, Gallo (2014) reminded us that you need to be able to share your message in 140 characters or less.

Finally, remember the power of context.  Gladwell (2006) asked readers to think about the broken windows effect.  That is… our behaviour changes to fit the context of the environment in which we function.  If you walk down a dirty street with garbage strewn all around and broken windows surrounded by graffiti filled storefronts, the petty crime rate goes up.  An increase in small crimes is the gateway to more violent crimes.  So when people talk about cleaning up the streets, it does actually make a difference.  Start with the small changes and the bigger ones will follow.

As a leader, how are you empowering your team to shape the path to sustainable change?  Will it happen in the climate and culture you currently exist in?  Like Cloud (2013) said, “you always get what you create and what you allow” (Boundaries for Leaders, p. xvi).

Where do you want to be?


Resources

 

Afraid to try? What a toxic culture does to your brain…

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Pixabay – intographics

As a leader, you have the opportunity and responsibility to shape the culture and environment in which your team functions. From experience, I know first hand the joys of working for a leader that values your effort and encourages innovation.  It’s energizing and fun.  It’s where you want to be and you’ll give more effort toward reaching the goal than money can buy. You are a part of the story that’s making a difference for others. You are inspired to make the vision a reality because you know what you do matters and you believe in the vision.

On the other hand, when the leader changes and connections diminish.  You lose the passion for the career you chose and it simply becomes a job.  You only stay because you’re not sure what else is out there and you hope if you just keep your head down and don’t make eye contact that it will get better.  It often doesn’t and those leaders don’t tend to move on quickly. Not only does trust fail, but the damage that working environment or relationship does to your mental and physical health is disturbing.

What happens when fear becomes toxic?

As Simon Sinek (2014) discussed in “Why Leaders Eat Last, “we are hardwired to ensure our survival.  Our primitive brains haven’t caught up to cultures that we live in.  Our legacy survival systems, as Sinek, pointed out continue to ensure that whether something is life threatening or just stressful our bodies respond in the same way.   The problem is that stress at work isn’t life or death, but our body releases cortisol regardless of the difference.  So when our Circle of Safety begins to fail and we begin to fear what’s happening, our body releases more cortisol (p.55-56).  In turn, cortisol inhibits oxytocin, the trust and empathy hormone. So we devote even more energy towards being suspicious of those around us at the very time we need more support from the group.  It make us more vulnerable to outside threats, less productive and startlingly less healthy.

Sinek (2014) recounted that cortisol isn’t meant to be released on an ongoing basis.  It’s meant for a short release to help you survive a dangerous time and then the system is meant to reset.  Unfortunately, work stress continues and as a result prolonged cortisol works against us.  Sinek explained that cortisol:

  • affects glucose release
  • increases blood pressure and inflammatory response
  • impairs cognitive ability
  • increases aggression
  • suppresses sex drive
  • it prepares us for fight or flight and in doing so it shuts down digestion, growth and the immune system.  It makes sure all energy is redirected toward only essential fight or flight systems.
    (p. 56)

Guess what that does to your long term health… It’s not good.

So does the culture and environment of your workplace matter?

YES

Workplaces that foster connections and increased trust decrease cortisol release and let oxytocin and serotonin work to foster cooperation (p. 58).

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it…

Knowing that our brain is impacted by our primal instinct for survival means that we not only pick up on what is said, we notice how the body says it.   Over the past year, I’ve attended sessions and worked 1:1 with Carla Gradin, body language trainer.  She referred to the fact that our primal brain is designed to ensure our survival.  As a result, how our brain reads body language also impacts our response. She explained that the first part of the body our brains notice is our hands.  Where you put your hands tells us if you are a friend or foe. If the palms of my hands aren’t visible during an interaction, your brain is questioning my motives.  If I reach to shake your hand palm down, your brain is considering whether or not I’m concealing a weapon.  If you want to build positive connections with people, your body language needs to say the same thing you are (Speak up and Stand Out, Carla Gradin, p. 8).

Cloud (2013) noted “research suggests, people don’t leave jobs — they leave bosses” (Boundaries for Leaders, p. 56).  He too drew the connection to our primal brain and stressed that it’s not just what a leader says, it’s how a leader communicates that causes our brains to revert back to fight or flight (p. 56).

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Pixabay – Counselling

Covey (2006) cited John Gardner, “One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure” (Speed of Trust, p. 178).  So what’s one reason we fear failure?  To be honest, failure – trial and error, is how we learn.  We try it one way and when it doesn’t work we learn from what we did and try again.  Why is it that some teams become stagnant and stall out rather than take a chance?

Cloud (2013) explained that it’s all about the right kind of fear.  There’s positive stress that helps you get your taxes in on time.  The stress that helps you meet the deadline, yet in the process you never lose sight of the goal.  It helps us focus on closing the gap (p. 65).  If you cross over into the realm of toxic stress as Sinek (2014) and Covey (2006) also mentioned, then your primitive brain takes over and productivity decreases (Boundaries for Leaders, p. 67).

People can’t learn from mistakes if they are too “afraid of what you might do to [them]” (Boundaries for Leaders, p. 74).  People need to know that their leader is there for them during times of success, but more importantly, a true leader stands by them and helps them learn from their mistakes (p. 71).

It’s a fine line between healthy, motivating stress and debilitating, toxic fear.  The first step as a leader is reflecting on the culture you have created and realizing that a team united on the same path with healthy brains will always out perform a team paralyzed in fear.

To fail is to begin again knowing one more way that doesn’t work.  It’s a culture shift worth pursuing because the resilience of our students and teams depends on their ability to learn from their experiences rather than being derailed by them.  And that begins with you!


Resources Referenced: 

Other articles:

Behave yourself into trust – Covey’s Suggested Behaviours Part 2

In this post, we continue with a brief overview of Stephen M. R. Covey’s 13 trust building behaviours.  Again these are a very brief summary of those explained in Covey’s book, The Speed Of Trust – The One Thing that Changes Everything (2006).  All to often we talk about the need to build connections and Covey offers concrete strategies that you can implement to increase trust.  Like he said you can’t buy your way out of something you behaved yourself into, but you can behave yourself back into a trusting relationship.

Let’s pick up with #8.

8.  Confront Reality (p. 185- 191)
– What’s the cost of not addressing the elephant in the room?  Covey (2006) asked if you’ve ever been part of the meeting after or before the actual meeting?  What could you accomplish if you addressed what he called the “undiscussables?” (p. 185).  As uncomfortable as it may be to face the issues head on, it will in the long run create stronger relationships.

old-1130743_960_720Pixabay – DariuszSankowski

9. Clarify Expectations (p. 192-199)
– This one will cost you the most if you don’t deal with it up front.  It means that we all need to be on the same page.  We need a shared vision (p.193).  Make the time with your team and your family to clarify what you expect and the standard to which you expect it to be done. How many times, for example, have you asked a family member to do something?  Clean your room…. only to find out it’s not done the way you wanted it or to the same standard….perhaps the results really say more about my instructions than the results say about my daughter’s attempt to clean her room.  She’s 7.  We have different standards of what it means to clean your room.  I really need to work on clarifying my expectations in a pro-active rather reactive way.

– Educators often talk about the importance of before, during and after strategies.  If people aren’t producing a product your are happy with, it may not be because they are purposefully choosing to do poorly.  They may simply have not spent enough time in the before stage.  Clarifying expectations and knowing where you are going before you start is important in ensuring that everyone successfully ends up at the same end point.  Plus it saves time and money.

10.  Practice Accountability (p. 200-207)
– Covey (2006) reminded that there are two key parts.  First, you must hold yourself accountable.  Using Jim Collin’s metaphor, Covey explained that we must close the window and look in the mirror. As a leader, you are part of the success and the failure.  Second, you will have to hold others accountable. If you don’t, other members of the team will become frustrated (p. 204).  What this means is that you must have clear expectations and have provided feedback, so that you can have a conversation about being accountable.

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Pixabay – Clker-Free-Vector-Images

11.  Listen first (p. 208-214)
– Are you really listening?  Are you actively seeking to understand a different perspective before you add your response?  Or are you just waiting and thinking about your reply while the other person is talking?  (p. 209).
– Through a number of challenging personal experiences including a health scare of my own, I’ve been reminded several times that life is all about perspective.  Our experiences shape our stories and impact how we see those around us.  We all have insights to offer based on our life experiences.  Learning to listen … to truly actively listen, will open up a new world of perspective, insight and innovation.

  • Covey offered these key insights:
    • You have to actively listen with your whole body and your brain.  When people feel that they are heard, you they become more willing to listen to your ideas. (FYI, your body language tells people if you are listening or not)
    • Listen before your make up your mind.  If you don’t it will show in how you listen.
    • Listen to understand what matters most to your people, you don’t know everything (and just because you are a leader doesn’t mean that you do need to know everything.  Some of the best leaders I’ve worked for simply said that’s a great question let’s figure it out together.)
    • Remember once you’ve listened others, you also have to listen to yourself.
      (p. 212-214)

Cloud (2013) noted listening as the “glue that makes of the rest of this work” (Boundaries for Leaders, p. 97).  Nothing replaces active listening, “people’s deepest need is to be know and understood before they can join someone or be led by them.  They want to know that you get it” (p. 96).

Lastly, Covey (2006) included one of Peter Drucker’s Eight Practices of Effective Executives.

Listen first, speak last.

(Speed of Trust, p. 210)
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Pixabay – kimheimbuch0

12. Keep Commitments (p. 215-221)
– Covey explained that this is the “Big Kahuna” of behaviors.  The quickest way to build trust or lose it. Roger Merrill explained, “when you make a commitment, you build hope; when you keep it, you build trust” (The Speed of Trust, 2006, p. 215).
–  Building trust is simple.  Think carefully about the commitments you make, keep them and repeat the behavior.  Nothing builds trust faster than following through on what you say you will do (p. 221).

Covey also included a poignant reminder, “family members are often the most important commitments of all” (p.220).  I’m thankful to be surrounded by role models that don’t hesitate to remind me of the ne

13. Extend Trust (p. 222-229)
– Covey explained that this behaviour is different.  Now you actually have to extend trust to others (p. 223).  He advised us not to be foolish in how we trust others but to extend a smart trust based on the situation and the people involved (p. 229). Trust in the end will take you farther.

So how do you build connections within your team?

Have you created a culture where people choose to go above and beyond because they know you value what they do and trust them to make it happen?

It’s always a work in progress. Learning how to be a leader is never done.  What matters is that each day you have an opportunity to practice and build better connections.  As Talley Goodson said at the Color By Amber Summit 2016 conference,

“the only competition you truly have is the person looking back at you in the mirror.”


 Resources Referenced: