Sunday, March 7, 2010

Questions are not barriers

Change is difficult. It's also filled with questions, and rightfully so. Questions are not bad things. Questions help us sharpen our focus, defend our positions, consider things we might not have, and look at a topic from another angle. They also help us communicate better by sharpening our message. Don't we encourage questions from our students? Why are we often afraid of questions when they are raised by our peers?

One of my favorite quick reads is the leadership fable, Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Notice how one of the 5 dysfunctions is fear of conflict. Fear is paralyzing. Questions only become paralyzing when we take them as a sign of personal attack. Van Meter Schools is a progressive district where lots of things are changing. Teachers and community members have lots of questions. This is a good thing. This means we are all involved in the process of transforming education.

We are embarking on uncharted territory and I don't expect we will have all the answers. Even if we do not, questions are not barriers. They make us think. Questions do not hold us back; we do that to ourselves... if we choose.

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