Sometimes, the design of our work turns out exactly how we imagined it. Whether a meeting, a workshop, or something else entirely, we’ve done the necessary planning, provided appropriate facilitation, and considered possible outcomes as well as next steps.
Yesterday was a day where just such a thing happened.
Our Curriculum Council, a group of directors, assistant superintendents, and superintendents, meets monthly, and yesterday’s meeting was an excellent example of the importance of solid prep, good communication, and appropriate follow-through. Here’s why:
· Prep: We all know how important is to prepare. In fact, when it comes to presenting, or putting something, like a meeting, together, the importance of preparation can’t be overstated. We always tend to prepare well for our Council meetings, but yesterday’s meeting was not only well thought-out, but also fully prepared for. There were no questions going into the meeting, all involved had been prepared for their parts, and transitions were seamless, with timing being well-adhered to. Even the best led workshops or meetings will be lost if preparation doesn’t occur.
· Communication: Both within and outside our organizations, communication makes a tremendous difference in how effective we are in what we do. Our department prides itself on regular communication that solicits voice and choice. In designing this Council meeting, not only was my supervisor in direct contact with the three members who would be leading the learning session, but internally, we communicated our own methods to leading the meeting well, practicing our announcements, considering the flow of the session, and wondering aloud questions and/or ideas that we would want to be prepared to discuss. Solid communication leads to both a feeling of ease, and a sense of direction. And without that direction, we can’t truly get to next steps.
· Follow-Through: At our April Council meeting we conducted a professional development needs assessment. And, to validate that needs assessment, we designed a number of analysis tools and resources to share with our Council. By sharing those items, we clarified potential partnerships that might exist, and bigger than that, we showed our desire and willingness to follow-through and follow-up on ideas and initiatives we begin. Follow-through is key because without that sense of accountability it is fair to wonder why we are doing what we are doing.
As I reflected on how well the meeting went, I smiled to think that we had built in three key components to successful learning and leading. Here’s to hoping we can do that each and every time!