Language to Guide Us…

Trying to make sense of our fluid circumstances is one thing; however, leading schools through change is a complete other endeavour. It requires empathy as we depart from the roles, habits and ways of being in our lived experiences of the past and chart a new direction. It requires asking challenging questions about the role of educators, digital tools, peers and families in the individuals’ educational journey. It requires building the trust and environment of iteration and testing and feedback.

To achieve this, I recommend that we adopt as much language to help us navigate into this fluid, every-changing lived experience. To help us, I point out the language of Design Thinking and the mindsets that are closely aligned with Design Thinking:

As I wrote in my last book review on The Power of Us, mindsets and attitudes might just be more valuable than skills, and so we should spend time on nurturing these and supporting the upskilling with these dispositions.

I would also point to McKinsey’s latest article from Sept. 15th on the use of language: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/six-problem-solving-mindsets-for-very-uncertain-times#

In it, the article provides inspiring language to frame and upskill colleagues into positive language and ways of approaching the everyday:

The mindsets of great problem solvers are just as important as the methods they employ. A mindset that encourages curiosity, embraces imperfection, rewards a dragonfly-eye view of the problem, creates new data from experiments and collective intelligence, and drives action through compelling show-and-tell storytelling creates radical new possibilities under high levels of unpredictability. Of course, these approaches can be helpful in a broad range of circumstances, but in times of massive uncertainty, they are essential.

 

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