Saturday, 14 February 2015

Day 13 of #28Daysofwriting - Supporting change in others

Encouraging and welcoming change doesn't feel comfortable for many people. This is not news to anyone, I dare say that if you're reading this then you are probably more inclined towards accepting change in your life than you are change adverse. But you know someone who struggles, you've attempted to get them to make changes and you've battled your own demons when they couldn't or wouldn't. I believe this is probably a normal state of play, regardless of your personal or professional circumstances.

Yesterday, as I posted the first part of this the words were flowing easily, but I quickly recognised that I was running out of time! I anticipate this already, this part of my post on change will focus on helping others with change.

Integral to supporting others make change is considering where they are coming from. Reflecting on my time in education (albeit short, but including my time in tertiary education here also) I've noticed that age has little correlation to attitude to change. I've worked with many younger people who were firm in their beliefs and had no interest in accepting change in their professional life, conversely I've been privileged to meet many older* educators who I hold on high esteem because of their innovative practice and attitude towards change. The observation that change doesn't happen because they're too old is inaccurate, clearly there are other forces at play that prevent or discourage change.

I've come to appreciate the different perspectives that people are taking may be simply due to their thinking styles (Hermann's Brain - see brief summary in previous post). I tend to think in organisational or creative modes. I'm happy with implementing change, creating lists of things to do, look at the big picture and enjoy the visionary aspects of change. I can be viewed as very passionate and have enthusiastically recommended adopting some changes to others, but perhaps they are looking with a more analytical mindset. The result is that they may not adopt the proposed change, not because they lack my vision or organisation (their fault), but because I have not provided enough research, reading, data, analysis to support the proposed change (my fault). I tend to not contemplate the interpersonal or emotional aspects of any particular change, where this may be a large factor for others. Daniel's work at HPPS with the staff regularly refers back to whole brain thinking, meaning that we should access ideas from all thinking bases and this generally makes for better understanding.

The idea that better analysis can work with some, if you are able to provide better alternatives some people are prepared to undertake change. You may need to rethink these alternatives on many levels though, efficiency, sustainability, future proofing, professional development required, learning styles of all students and such like.

Change also requires a significant mindset component, that is, a Fixed versus a Growth Mindset.

Time is beating me again, so more about that tomorrow...


* I'm not naming anyone here for fear of offending! Age is partly a reflection of your birthdate and definitely a reflection of mindset.

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