I have been on a little social media break. When I say this, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been posting anything but posting a lot less. I have several blog posts written, but for the first time in a while, I have kept them just for myself, and they may or may not be published.
What I have been focused on is consuming more and sharing less. Meaningful creation is often generated from critical consumption. Often, I get into cycles where I am creating, but I am not allowing myself to be inspired by new and old ideas. The “school vs. learning” image that I first shared in “The Innovator’s Mindset” was meant to be a conversational piece to consider where we want school to lead students and ourselves ultimately.
It is not “either consumption or creation,” but considering how we move from one to the other.
But I have also wanted to focus on becoming a better listener and consumer. As a speaker, I know that you can get better by speaking more, so the same must be true with listening. One of my favorite quotes from “How To Win Friends and Influence People:” by Dale Carnegie emphasizes this point:
“So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.”
If leaders are meant to help people move forward, it is not only about “convincing” others, but listening, knowing who they are, and also being open to your own growth and development. As I shared in “The Innovator’s Mindset”:
Effective leadership in education is not about moving everyone from one standardized point to the next but moving individuals from their point “A” to their point ”B.”
But you have to be a good listener to know the “point A” of the people you serve. That’s something I will continuously strive toward.