Get the details for this challenge here!
Hey friends! The challenge is almost done, and I'm thankful, because it is hard to write every day! With all the other things I was doing, some days were super hard to keep up!
Anyways, I'm bringing you one more post on Daring Greatly, and I'm going to focus on Chapter 6: Disruptive Engagement: Daring to Rehumanize Education and Work.
On Creating a Space for Creativity and Innovation
Brené asked the 2009 Entrepreneur or the Year: What is the most significant barrier to creativity and innovation? He said,
"I don't know if it has a name, but honestly, it's the fear of introducing an idea and being ridiculed, laughed at, and belittled. If you're willing to subject yourself to that experience, and if you survive it, then it becomes the fear of failure and the fear of being wrong. People believe they're only as good as their ideas and that their ideas can't seem too 'out there' and they can't 'no know' everything. The problem is that innovative ideas often sound crazy and failure and learning are part of revolution. Evolutio and incremental change is important and we need it, but we're desperate for real revolution and that requires a different type of courage and creativity."When Brené talked to middle school kids about classroom experiences, one girl said,
"There are times when you can ask questions or challenge ideas, but if you've got a teacher that doesn't like that or the kids in the class make fun of people who do that, it's bad. I think most of us learn that it's best to just keep your head down, your mouth shut, and your grades high.Okay, can we just stop there for a minute. Middle school kids and what they are saying is on par with a CEO of a huge corporation. If we want to make our classrooms safe, we have to dare greatly and be vulnerable with our students and our colleagues, so kids feel enough courage to share their ideas in a productive way and feel safe doing so!
Brené thought about this long and hard about what's above and came up with "disruptive engagement" (p.187). She says,
"To reignite creativity, innovation, and learning, leaders must rehumanize education and work. This means understanding how scarcity is affecting the way we lead and work, learning how to engage with vulnerability, and recognizing and combating shame."
What does shame look like?
She gave some examples of shame in a culture: blaming, gossiping, favoritism, name calling, and harassment, and she said that doing nothing about these things is equally dangerous to the target and the whole organization.
I can remember on of the schools I worked at previously. Our principal, who I have so much respect for, did not tolerate any gossip. He would talk to people one and one, tell them it's okay to vent, but not to do it in the lounge in front of everyone. I admired him for doing this, and our school was always so so positive!
Brené also talked a lot about feedback and said without it, there can be no transformational change. She also discussed how you need to normalize the discomfort that goes along with feedback (p. 198). She would say, "If you're comfortable, I'm not teaching and you're not learning." But you have to cultivate the courage to be uncomfortable.
As a coach, this is something that I have struggled with. No one likes being uncomfortable. But perhaps we just need to change our thinking, and lean into the discomfort a little bit. When we get feedback and have great conversations, we grow. If our bottom lines are student success, how can we not do this?
She goes on to talk about sitting on the same side of the table when giving feedback, and shares this list to ready herself to do so:
As a literacy coach, this is so applicable to the work that I hope to do this year. I've made so many mistakes in the past two years, and I really hope to move forward, cultivate relationships by modeling my vulnerability, so we can all work side-by-side to do what's best for students.
And, I leave you with this quote, that is most certainly sticking with me:
In what ways are you leading?
In what ways have you been uncomfortable?