Celebrate and Grow…Protocol for offering and receiving feedback – Plan and Practice

With our protocol and agenda developed, we wanted to try to “take” this assessment.  On Monday afternoon (12/17/12), members of the Faculty Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) and the Academic Leadership Team (ALT) gathered to talk through the following agenda.

 5 min – Welcome and outline of the hour
5 min – Watch Dan Heath: How to Find Bright Spots
10 min – Michelle and Jill discuss being Thus: the intersection of Them and Us
10 min – Think, Pair, Share using Celebrate and Grow prompts
10 min – Quad Think, Pair, Share
15 min – Whole group discussion
5 min – Wrap-up and Thank You

To be specific about who is in the room, the FSLT is comprised of approximately 25 faculty and staff members, and the ALT members are the Head of School, the Director of Teaching and Learning, the Early Elementary Division Head of School, and the Upper Elementary Division Head of School.

Michelle welcomes everyone, and I introduce the video, explaining a little bit about the book Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard and that the video will offer faculty time to each their lunch.

We then shared the talking points and asked the FSLT members to use Think, Pair, Share to discuss their feedback with one other person.

  • As a member of the Trinity Community, what can we celebrate?
  • As a member of the Trinity Community, how can we continue to grow?
  • As a member of the Trinity Community, I wish…
  • As a member of the Trinity Community, I’m grateful…

After approximately 7 minutes, we asked the pairs to pair up to form groups of 4 to continue the discussion.  The idea here is to take an opportunity to refine your ideas and word choice – to practice and get feedback in a small group – prior to taking in the whole group which includes your evaluation team.  (We’d like to think of ourselves as the coaching staff instead of an evaluation team, and we are working on it.)

After another 7-ish minutes, we transition to a whole group discussion.  Michelle, Kato, and I facilitated a discussion of our community’s bright spots, celebrations, and growth points. It was a great discussion.  We wish we had notes.  The most significant moment, for me, was when Sarah Mokotoff hesitated, but bravely said

“I wish progress reports were easier.”

Everybody does.  How great for the administration to hear this! We know and are working on it, but it was said in a way that gave a sense of urgency.  There was no anger or frustration in her delivery.  This way of hearing what needs to be addressed has potential in our community!

We discussed the plan and approved it.  Our Head of School will invite faculty and staff to have lunch with the ALT in small groups over several weeks in February.  FSLT leaders will send the Celebrate and Grow talking points to all members of our community before the lunch sessions begin.  Notes will be taken on a public Google doc during each lunch and shared with all members of community after the last lunch meeting.

Will the bright spot approach to offering feedback help our community grow and learn?

I hope to write another post after the last lunch meeting in February.

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