Convince Me

Educators around the world are embracing new ideas on what school can look like in today’s society and are advocating for growth in themselves first, and others around them.  Times have changed, and education is not in isolation of needing to change; this is in all organizations and industries.  If you invest money in stocks, would you invest in a company that continuously holds on to what has been done in the past, or one that consistently realizes the importance of changing with the times?  If you wouldn’t invest your savings into a mindset of holding on to the past, why would we spend the future of our students in the same line of thinking?  Change happens with or without us.

But too often in our efforts to help others move forward in their practice, we create our “elevator pitch” and try to do everything to convince others of why change is crucial. We spend our time trying to convince others of our thinking, but I know that if someone has their mind positioned in a certain way, there is little I can do to persuade them to think differently.

So instead of you trying to convince them why change is necessary, why not give them a chance to assure you that standing still is crucial?  If they are set on it, there must be some reasoning, so let them talk.  I have been working on this lately, and it has made a difference in my own perspective and thinking.

Listening is helpful to both parties. Maybe you are wrong, and they have valid points. Perhaps you are on the right track, but you find some common ground that you can build on.  Or maybe you figure out that neither party is going to move and that you don’t spend your time spinning your wheels in the same spot. This is not about proving who is right and who is wrong but finding places where we can work together to help improve education for all learners.

The next time you feel the need to convince someone of your position, start asking questions and give the person a chance to persuade you of theirs.  If we are all about learning and growth, this would only benefit our own growth.

Source: George Couros