Two minds are better than one. This is the beauty of civilization. Also, as Dr. Pumpian explains, better solutions come from collaboration. This week I discussed some needs in our department that could be addressed with reorganization and she added some more insight that should be considered and addressed. After listening to her perspective and issues with the current state, I feel more prepared to come to leadership committee meeting. While I was not prepared to discuss or hear the concerns of a colleague, this is a perfect example of listening to understand, then be understood as we discussed together how we could synergize in our proposal to the administration of the Special Education department.
I would say my biggest challenge with this final habit, is knowing when to enlist collaboration. As demonstrated by my impromptu discussion, I listen and learn a lot from others, but am not skilled in seeking them out. I am independent and take on everything myself by nature. It is hard for me to ask for help for a couple reasons but the biggest is because I don’t want to burden others. Professionally I know when collaborative input is needed, but when taking on projects I have a hard time asking others to share in it as I know how hard others work. I think my first task as a leader will be to change this thinking by planning with others for what needs to be delegated or done in collaboration to then identify when it is appropriate to make decisions or take on tasks independently.
I am going to teach this habit to my colleague who shared in identifying needs in our department. This will give me a platform to also practice this habit and enlist her to share in this role in leadership to better serve the rest of the Special Day Class teachers/programs. Together we can speak to the needs in both north and south zones, as well as empathize for each other having both taught in the other zone. Because the demographic is so different I know that others will trust and follow if there is representation from both areas of our very large district. I think this is first step in utilizing the the benefits of synergy for my department.