Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Beliefs Impact Board Effort.

The Board interprets our belief about their ability and potential. Our thoughts matter and how we work with the Board brings about results consistent with these beliefs.

Uri Treisman, Professor from the Dana Center at the University of Texas, recently noted that if the public thinks a board's ability is “permanently fixed” and not capable of being improved; then, expectations and interventions are impacted and the Board doesn't improve. In now 25 years in public education, I have seen that this is particularly critical for board members with low self confidence. A rare board member is strong enough to overcome and learn in spite of their own limitations. Most are victims of it. However, if we think a board member's ability can improve from effort and we accept and start with them where their ability is now, combined with a belief that if they worked with us, that together we can reach a higher and better place for their learning and performance then that is exactly what happens. Board members come to us as they are; the first and most profound variable for all board member learning is our acceptance of them as people and our belief in them as elected officials.

Our beliefs directly influence board member motivation, effort, and ultimately performance over time. Given a healthy belief about the capacity for ALL board members to make an effort, and in doing so improve, here are some tips for building board member motivation:

1. Keep board members in psychologically and emotionally safe places when they are working so they are empowered to make the effort and not be driven by fear to avoid making an effort for risk of looking bad in their own eyes and in their peer culture

2. Help board members accept in a real and honest way, where they are. Reinforce them in a caring way that they are of value at that starting place. Express hope for them in how you communicate, such that they are willing to make the effort to improve.

3. Admit with the board member that it is hard work but they are worth making the investment in themselves, their education, and their future.

4. Start with what board members know and can do, and then build on these to gain momentum.

5. Have routines for recognizing improvement and effort, as well as recognition of performance; or else for the reluctant board member you will get neither.

6. Reinforce the tenacity of board members working through new learning in your community. When their effort is rewarded and recognized, it is like priming a pump of positive energy and they will want to work harder.

7. Know your struggling board members by name and face, and not just as statistics on a chart or graph. As you build relationships and trust with them, their efforts will increase for you and with you, even if the subject matter is a struggle.

When you get together with your friends and neighbors, use the time to share strategies, approaches, and successes with each other. Talk about your practice with each other and use board member comprehension as the center piece. What we focus on as adults is what gets done, and when board member learning is our collective target, everyone wins.

Blog: This entry is a slightly modified version of something posted on the District's website. The moderator of the blog is not the original author of this material.


Anonymous said...

This was posted in the district public folders for the Office Personnel Group

Lead by example or don't lead.

I think the leader of OP Chapter is leading by example that example is district administrators. So following the leader is not always a good idea. the chapter is broken and it will not get fixed until the new president lets the old leaders bring all the members together and talk about the changes she wants to make. I don't think the changes are all bad she just started off on the wrong foot by doing the "Hostile Take Over" when elected and bragging about it. the union is only as good as the members involvement.It amazes me how much this writer knows when most of the discussions happen behind closed doors. This tells me that we can't trust our new president to not sure information with people outside the meeting room doors. Not all the information in this posting is true infact most of it is total BS. the writer has not been involved in the union chapter and doesn't have a clue about what she is talking about. She didn't name names but Linda and Ethel would be the members she is talking about. They are both great people and leaders.

I would like to address the posting that were posted on November 19, 2008.

Past officers in this union say they want people to step up and help, yet when someone new tries they are shot down or have road blocks put in their way (if they are not who the previous leadership wants or in the position they want them in). We held a vote and the people who lost can’t seem to accept this. The last time someone ran for president outside the “approved group”, they were met with the same obstacles that our current president is running into, someone finally had the nerve to go up against the good ole group again and won, but the good ole group can’t handle that.

Lauri has tried to plan a general meeting, but the current executive board will not either respond to the invitation to a meeting she sent or do not reply to her emails. She cannot have a general meeting without first holding an executive meeting at least 10 days prior to the general meeting. She had been in constant contact with our union rep Pauline and her union mentor and she see’s nothing wrong with the way Lauri has handled her position. She was told by Pauline that the executive board meetings they already held could count towards the meeting requirements and to go ahead and schedule the general meeting. The by-laws only require 7 days advance notice for a general meeting, not the 2 weeks as was mentioned in the other postings. This is just pure sabotage.

In regards to the by-law updates being sent for approval, when Lauri inquired about them with the state office they had not been received because someone sent to the wrong email address.

I’m also not sure what’s being implied when the other posting is questioning the legality of the elections. They counted the votes.

I thought that we are in the same union, but you would never know it by the actions of some of the members. Aren’t we supposed to work together, not against each other? I am personally ashamed at how this union behaves; you act like a bunch of high school students that didn’t get their way. Stop plotting and whispering, try working together for a change with someone outside the “approved group”, you might end up surprised. Just because someone else does it differently than what was previously done doesn’t make it wrong, just different. Maybe then others would volunteer to help, no one wants to because of what happens when someone does.

Anonymous said...

This COULD apply to the way ANYONE is treated. This highlights one of the issues that we had with the administration; THEY don't do what they tell US to do; WE are to do as they say, while THEY do as they wish. The hypocrisy is obvious to anyone who is paying attention.

While this window-dressing philosophy is oozing out of the ESC, the reality is that staff members at many levels-teachers, support staff, custodians, even other administrators-were bullied with the objective of forcing them out of the District with the follow-up reminder "If you don't like it here, you can go someplace else" just in case you missed the lesson.

It is much easier to SAY these things that to actually DO them. The superintendent seems to expect a higher standard of behavior for the classroom "soldiers" than he does for the "generals" at HQ. Mendacity smells.

Why is it that fewer people are being funded in the classrooms while upper administrators are getting raises in larger proportion to everyone else? Where does this fit Nick's stated philosophy attached to everyone's paycheck?

Anonymous said...

Through the eyes of Linda H

The union article posting was interesting. Our union has never had the issues that have happened this time around. I have supported every president that has been in office. This is the first election that I can and will NOT support the new president. I will continue to support members when they need help as I have done already this school year. They don't want to go to the president and I did not influence them to not go to her it was their decision. When I say you need to talk to the president they say NO I want you to represent me because they tell me they can trust me and know that the information they share with me will not be the hallway gossip. I love the idea that the writer of this article thinks I can still behave like a high school girl gees I'm 60+ and have matured beyond that. I loved those high school years but don't want to go back there. Much of the article is totally untrue and I would love to have the new president tell me where this person got all her information. I wish the chapter the best of luck and hope it isn't driven down the drain as the Paraed chapter was when our now new president was in charge of that chapter. Thank you writer for all the compliments for a job well done by both people you are talking about in this article. I can say I leave the positions I held in the union with no regrets because I did a damn good job with only leadership training through the union and my common sense. Best of luck to all OP members!

Anonymous said...

Let's put aside the personal grievances and work together. The time, energy and effort currently being expended fighting one another could better be used in presenting a united front of OPs. I love Ethel, consider her a personal hero, and believe she worked tirelessly and with highest principle for all of us. Lauri is our new president. We owe her a chance, with the same support we gave Ethel, to do the best job she can. It's a thankless task. How many of us even come to the meetings? No sorry excuses - if we care, we'll show up. Decisions are made by those who show up. I appreciate the work of all the women who, over the years, kept our union alive. I apologize for not doing more, and pledge right now to quit making excuses, to be there, and to support all those women who have given, and are giving, their time, talent and energy to make my job better. You go, sisters!

Anonymous said...

wait till SEIU gets to you guys!

Anonymous said...

Sorry we have several men in the OP Chapter. Guess the writer know little about her chapter. It's about time people step up to the plate and stop with all the BS excuses.

Anonymous said...

I'm the writer and I am very well aware that there are a few men in our chapter. I also am very aware that the vast majority of Office Personnel in the district are highly qualified, significantly underpaid women, most of whom started out as volunteers when their kids were in school. Most of us started working for the district because we were thrilled to be a "real" part of work we know is significant, worthy and, literally life-changing for those we serve. Call me crazy, but I think the OPs are the heart of this district, and if we could come together without the petty squabbling and "** excuses," we could be a force for meaningful change. But I think we'll have to stop insulting each other first.

Anonymous said...

As a retired Office Manager (OP-PSE),I am saddened that the OP group is under duress. The position of President, V.President, Treasurer, Secretary, require time away from family, attendance at meetings, Bargaining, Conventions. The position is not a paid position, so those who choose to run, are GIVING their time to represent ALL of those employed by the District in the OP Bargaining Group. This a thankless job, and the situation as it stands is sad. Linda Herr has involved herself in the Union for years and has given tireless hours to the Group. Employees are comfortable going to Linda with concerns or questions because they know her to be fair and very well informed. Ethel Mc Neal has also given many hours of service as well, and it just seems like "habit" to go to these two ladies with concerns. It is my hope that the current President of the OP group will make a good leader, however it takes experience to know the "ins and outs" of the job, and one doesn't gain respect from members by not showing leadership, compassion, and knowledge. Maybe it was time for change, but don't blame Linda or Ethel when members choose to chat with them about union concerns. Let's pray for the mending of feelings, and healing for this group.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank all of those that have so postively supported me and Ethel. Both of us have put in many hours for our union brothers and sister. We have not stopped doing that and will always be there for those that need us. Our agenda has always and will always be the members. These are my words not Ethels but I think she would agree. Just knowing that some appreciate the work we have done is the most postive feedback that I could get. Thank all of you. I always say that something postive comes out of the negative and it has always proved true to me so I will continue on with my life. I do have a life besides the union work. In life what you do must be for the right reason. The work I did for the union members was always for the right reason in my eyes.

Through the eyes of Linda H

Anonymous said...

i should have said brothers and sisters. Sorry I forgot the s on sisters and I meant each and everyone one of them. Thank you!
Linda H