Saturday, March 19, 2011


Have been thinking about communication and reflecting on the ways we communicate the range of things we need to at school.

Have we become too efficient with the ways we try to communicate some things? These things generally take on a lower level of importance (but are still important in many ways), and are repeated in a range of ways for our learners. By having things in the term overview book, talked about at a Friday morning meeting and again at a Monday morning meeting, and maybe again in the morning communication book, are we disempowering the message because people feel either:
a) I've heard this before. I heard you the first time and responded,so if you're saying it again, obviously it's up to other people to respond, because I already have. Maybe the others I work with aren't as professional as I am.
b) I'm not going to pay too much attention to this now, because you'll just tell us again when it gets more important.
c) I know it's in the term overview booklet, but who reads that? I looked over it at the start of the term, but hey, things change, and you'll just re-organise things anyway.
d) 80% of the stuff talked about doesn't pertain directly to me. I have other things I could be doing that would be better use of my time right now. In fact, I think I'll start doing them in my mind anyway.
Maybe it's time to rethink our purposes and practices with communication. In Singapore, Simon Sinek said 'To lead you’ve got to have a vision and the ability to communicate it'. Maybe more of our communication should be vision centered (more big picture) and challenge based? Or would that then be in danger of losing its power also? I read Seth's blog this morning and found it an interesting possible link as well.
What are your thoughts on this? Am I over analysing things?


  1. At Katikati Bruce used to send out a weekly communication called "The Blurb" which pretty much covered any important stuff staff needed to know for the week, and of course, as he was very much into learning for everyone, there was always a reflective comment / link to reading etc that we were expected to comment on. I found this an awesome way of needing to know stuff on a need to know basis! as well as keeping up with reflective practice and latest research - Bruce was very much into BES.

  2. I enjoyed reading this post Craig. It made me think about the organic nature of communication in general. In large organisations and actually even at home I think we communicate more often for efficiency, which is sad. I guess it depends on what is being communicated. "Stuff" like systems or plans might need to be in black and white, or reminded. Big picture philosophy/values might be communicated in everyday conversation or my personal favourite - through the art of questioning. Is it more likely that the big picture communication will bed that which founds the need for the "stuff" communication.
    I do think that over communication is disempowering at some point. If you are on the being spoken to end you will learn not to listen. This relates in someways to Internal Choice Theory. Like Seth says - communication is co-construction. Perhaps it might be interesting to reflect on the "rhythm" of the communication or consider an analogy for the communication ie the family conversation at the dinner table - what is yours like most times, how would you like it to be, what is distracting about it, is it just for systems discussion, what type of communication happens there? I find that when one develops a strong analogy for an issue then this can frame why and how we approach it.

  3. This is a hard one! How can we personalise communication to suit our learners so we all feel 'in the loop', listened to, informed, ready and challenged? Maybe it's time to take this wondering to the people??

    As Seth Goodin says, When you think outside the box, what you're actually doing is questioning the decision before the decision.

  4. Is Seth the new guru in the guru loop?

  5. There is always a danger that anyone who say things that we find appealing might become a 'guru'. That is, if we don't take the time to do our own thinking and interrogate our own practice. At this point in time, I find Seth says things that seem timely in terms of my own self reflections and thinking.

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