Tag Archives: celebrate and grow

Celebrate and Grow…Protocol for offering and receiving feedback – Implemented

On our quest to collect feedback about our community so that we may continue to grow and improve, we have developed our feedback protocol, and we have practiced to test the feedback prompts, the lesson plan, and the technology we intend to use.

Every member of our community was invited to have lunch.

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Isn’t the establishment of purpose in Stephen’s message wonderful?

“The new Luncheons, to begin soon, will be facilitated by Jill Gough and attended by Michelle Perry and Kato Nims – and will focus on conversation that leads to genuine and healthy communication.”

Can you imagine inviting 150 people to lunch in small groups where they can select the date?  Ginny Perkinson did just that so our community could participate in this celebrate and grow experience.  Wow! What a task.

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On behalf of the Faculty Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) and the Academic Leadership Team (ALT), Michelle sent the following email to our community:

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We met in Conference Room A. Lunch was served in this space.  As we gathered the following slide was showing on the screen.

We followed our intended plan watching the video, the story of thus,  two rounds of Think-Pair-Share, and a discussion.  It was awesome! I learned so much more about my community.  I enjoyed hearing, well, everything.  Below are the notes we took during the lunches.

If we are an open community of learners, how will we grow? Will we seek, offer, and consider feedback?

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

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.

Celebrate and Grow…Protocol for offering and receiving feedback – Brainstorming

How do I offer feedback that can be heard? What if I want to offer or I am asked to give feedback to my supervisor or evaluator? What are the risks and consequences if I offer cool feedback? We strive for an open community of learners.  How will we grow if we do not seek, offer, and consider feedback?

The Faculty Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) working in collaboration with the Academic Leadership Team (ALT) accepted the challenge to design a protocol for offering feedback in our community.  We want to continue to further create an environment where feedback is sought after, given, and received respectfully, kindly, and with intention. Here are our starting point questions:

What is the one thing (or top 3) that is uppermost in your mind? What is your priority?

      • When describing Trinity, what do we acknowledge as something we celebrate or should be celebrated?
      • Concerning our community’s growth, what do you suggest for growth, learning, and improvement?
      • What else would you like to share with and contribute to the entire Trinity community?

When FSLT and ALT met, the FSLT leaders, Kato Nims and Michelle Perry, led us through a discussion to modify and improve the above questions. How can we create a comfortable space for faculty and staff to offer feedback to the administrative team?

It was magical.  It was an awesome example of collaboration for community improvement. I have so much to learn from my colleagues!

The brainstorming phase offered these ideas from faculty, staff, and administrators:

      • Being supportive vs. being defensive/complaining
      • Positive Growth needs to be emphasized
      • Open Discussion
      • Think-Pair-Share to begin an open discussion about celebrations and growth opportunities.


      • Themes: Time, Balance, Change, and Follow Through,
      • I wish and I’m grateful for…
      • Great sentence starter: “As a member of the Trinity Community…”
      • How do we broadcast to our community?
      • Avoid questions that push towards negative/complaining responses
      • Concerns over honestly sharing due to judgement: face-to-face dialogue in separate sessions  for faculty and staff
      • Faculty vs. Staff questions…same or different?
      • Good question (maybe two questions): What can we celebrate at Trinity and how can we continue to grow?
      • Don’t get too specific because you then end up excluding people who are completing the survey.
      • Some personal questions and some general questions
      • Open-ended vs. closed questions

After the brainstorming phase, we boiled to down to the following 4 prompts.

  • 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…

We wanted to know if these prompts would help our community talk openly about the areas where we glow and where we might grow.  We decided, as a team, to “take the assessment” ourselves before implementing it school wide.

Will we comfortably and confidently be able to express our feelings and concerns?

We have planned to meet on Monday to “practice” the protocol and make any additional modifications.

I plan to post the formal “lesson plan” for this hour and some of the outcomes in a future post.