Educational Equity Newsletter – October 1, 2020
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Designing celebration, momentum, and joyful moments for your team
In the last year—or even just in the last two weeks—many of us have had so many hard days, whether from COVID-19, police brutality against Black people and the continued injustices in their aftermath, the political and psychological turmoil associated with the upcoming presidential election, huge shifts to the school experience for students, and the challenges of managing ourselves and our lives without a lot of the connection that we experienced pre-pandemic. These stressors take a toll on us personally, and they absolutely show up in the way our teams work every day.
As a leader—especially leading in a time of crisis like the pandemic—it’s easy to look at our work through a deficit-frame and focus on what’s missing or needs to be improved, versus what’s present and worth celebrating. And yet, that deficit focus doesn’t unlock as much impact, passion, or problem-solving ability as an asset-based approach might.
So, we’d like to invite you to choose one or more ways to design moments of celebration, positive momentum, and joy on your team over the next month using an asset-based approach:
When your team members or teams win, celebrate them—not just in quick, “kudos to x for y” side-dishes at your next team meeting (although that’s a start), but in real and sustained ways. What would it look like if you used the closest team meeting to a person’s birthday to celebrate the value they bring to the team, have colleagues prepare real shout-outs, and collect a few stories or stats from their work with the org to include? What would it look like if you instituted a “brag table” once a month, where people had to brag on a team member or share the accomplishment this month they are proudest of?
Teams in positive motion tend to stay in positive motion, and teams on a negative streak will keep it going unless the momentum is broken. Leaders must attend to and protect the positive momentum of their team. One way to do this is by crafting project deadlines/milestones in such a way that your team is continually experiencing the “wins” of their work. For example, even in longer projects, could you set milestones or check-ins to celebrate successes or give shout-outs every few months? Once a quarter, can you build a MURAL Win-Board to celebrate your accomplishments?
What opportunities can you create in icebreakers or other moments to pull on other sources of motivation on your team? Sometimes even a check-in question like, “What in your life is bringing you joy right now?” can change the tone of a whole conversation. In the work, if you know there are aspects that team members really enjoy doing, how can you give them a chance to share that joy with other members of the team by describing a project that fascinates or excites them? In a school setting, can you invite team members to tell memorable, funny, or inspirational stories about your students to remind people what a privilege it is to do our work?
Aside from creating positive feelings and deeper engagement, one additional bonus of planning moments of celebration, building momentum, and creating joy is that these activities can reinforce the culture and values you’re seeking to build in your organization.
How good are you at deliberately planning moments of celebration, harnessing and building positive momentum, and creating moments of joy on your team? If you’re not great at this, who might you learn from and what might you begin to do differently this school year with your team? Commit to this and you’ll likely experience more passion, connection, and stronger culture on your team as we head into the Fall.
Creating the Conditions for Your Team to Thrive
Thursday, October 1 at 2pm ET
This training will be a working session to apply the practices we suggest this September, get more tips on creating the conditions for your team to win, and ask any questions you may have. Register here.
We’ve switched to credit card-only training registrations!
As of September 30, TMC has switched over to credit card-only registrations. Credit cards allow for one-step registration, faster refunds, and fewer emails so that you can focus on changing the world. To learn more about this change, including what to do if your school or organization cannot pay by credit card, check out our FAQ.
People of Color & Indigenous Cohorts
Managers and staff who are people of color and/or indigenous often face unique issues within their organizations while navigating the intersections of race, class, gender, and other identities. These cohorts create space to discuss and offer support around the challenges of being folks of color in progressive and social justice organizations, and to share practices that can help folks of color thrive.
- Wednesday, October 28th (10:00-4:00 PM ET)
- Thursday, October 29th (10:00-4:00 PM ET)
- Friday, November 13th (4:00-5:00 PM ET)
- Monday, November 30th (12:00-3:00 PM ET)
- Tuesday, December 1st (12:00-3:00 PM ET)
- Wednesday, December 2nd (12:00-3:00 PM ET)
- Thursday, December 3rd (12:00-3:00 PM ET)
- Friday, December 4th (12:00-3:00 PM ET)
- Monday, December 9th (11:00-5:00 PM ET)
- Tuesday, December 10th (11:00-5:00 PM ET)
- Tuesday, December 17th (4:00-5:00 PM ET)
- Wednesday, October 14th (11:00-5:00 PM ET)
- Thursday, October 15th (11:00-5:00 PM ET)
- Friday, October 30th (4:00-5:00 PM ET)
We also have TMC scholarships for our POCI Cohorts available upon request that can partially or fully cover the cost of the training if needed. You can request a scholarship by emailing our POCI Cohort Coordinator, Ebony, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need more support?
Email us at email@example.com to ask about our coaching and training services for leaders in the education sector. We look forward to hearing from you!