Leaders today must be agents of change who are willing and able to cross boundaries, connect groups, and orchestrate multidimensional problem solving and change. Without that kind of leadership, the fractures that separate us will only get worse.
— Dean Williams, author of Real Leadership, and Leadership for a Fractured World
Education: a Uniquely Challenging Environment
Unlike professionals in any other organization, educators operate in a uniquely challenging environment. Given the importance of their work, the ability to perform effectively in this high-stakes environment is both more vital and more difficult.
Educators literally hold lives in their hands. “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it,” says Marian Wright Edelman. This is self-evident. Students’ formative school years generate life-changing impacts. A positive K-12 educational experience can lead to a lifelong love of learning, while a negative experience can lead to a lifelong aversion to it. A quality K-12 experience sets up a student’s ability to succeed in life and make a constructive contribution in their careers and their communities. In the realm of higher education, the issues are different, but no less complex, and the ability of educators to make a powerful difference in the lives of their students is profound.
But, it is extraordinarily demanding work. Educational professionals face pressure from all sides, and must grapple with a wide range of issues, requirements, and competing interests, including:
- State: legislation and mandates.
- District: test scores and accountability.
- Site: curricular, planning, prepping, training, testing, behavioral, scheduling
- Students: meeting individual needs with the limited time available
- Parents: expectations that you understand individual student histories and will meet their needs.
- Community: participating in extracurricular activities
A Core Competence
To perform successfully, educational professionals need a heightened ability to operate effectively – and collaboratively – in this high pressure, high stress, complex, adaptive environment.
A foundational competence for building this ability is conversational capacity.
How We Can Help You
You’ll start with the powerful The Conversational Capacity Workshop for Educational Professionals. You can then build your conversational capacity as you strengthen vital aspects of your institution, such as running meetings and making decisions, providing and receiving feedback, or influencing without authority by choosing one of the popular advanced workshops. Reach out if you’d like to learn more about a particular workshop and how we can tailor it to your distinct circumstances.
Create Your Own Learning Series
Many clients set up a custom series of workshops to build an educational institution capable of tackling its biggest goals and toughest challenges with greater unity, discipline, and agility.