Sunday, September 22, 2013
One more last . . .
These retreats have provided me with some of my most rewarding experiences and also with some of my most troubling as board members and central office administrators engage in conversation on critical issues. Each year we begin with teaching and sharing some of our communication tools that have contributed to this team's capacity to engage and sustain these necessary conversations. This year we reviewed the iceberg from the systems work and introduced a new tool, the U process from Otto Scharmer's work.
We used these and other tools to assist us in identifying our current reality as it relates to how we interact with each other and to then describe an aspiration of how we want our interactions to look and sound. Our current reality contained many positive descriptors that captured the growth that we have made, but also some significant issues that result in "interpersonal mush" and the negative energy drain that accompanies it. At a future work study we will continue the work by identifying additional, specific strategies and tools to close the gap that we identified and chose to become a focus of our work.
I have great admiration for our current board. They bring a diversity of experiences and talents to the work and are eager to improve our individual and collective capacity for system leadership. Unlike many boards that experience regular turnover, we have always enjoyed stability. Ours is an experienced board that can be proud of the system they have created, but also a board that finds itself at a critical point in time as they and we come closer to our bond election date. This experience will be helpful regardless of the bond's outcome.
My last retreat was rewarding for me as we shared private thoughts around our interactions, put private and difficult issues in the room, and maintained a focus on the issues not the person. The conversations will influence the quality of later conversations as these issues become action items at future board meetings. I would like to thank Annette, Dawn, Lori, Mark, and Rob for their interactions throughout this retreat and for their support in planning, sharing, and facilitating.
More importantly I would like to thank Mary Jane Glaser, Bill Clausmeyer, Didem Pierson, Tami Henkel, and Tim Adam for another learning opportunity and for the support that they have given to me over time. I value our time together and want all to know how fortunate we are that these five individuals choose to be on our board. They are focused on what is important; creating learning environments that support quality learning every day in every classroom and that position our graduates for success in post high school learning and work. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this learning experience.
Yes, for me this was another quality experience. I was given another chance to teach and left with a deeper understanding of what I can do to decrease the possibility for "interpersonal mush" to form on our team.
I would welcome and believe that the readers of this blog would also appreciate a comment about your experience from any of you that shared this experience with me.
Posted by Seeking Shared Learning at 9:27 PM