Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Radical Self-Inquiry

The end of the school year brings many year end events. Perhaps one of the most critical things that will occur over the next couple of weeks is the critical year end evaluation.

Perhaps you are a bit jaded when it comes to the year end evaluation. Up until last year, I had become cynical with the process and the feedback received. It wasn't until I humbled myself and took on a different mindset that I was able to truly glean any meaningful insight or feedback from the final evaluation.

When I was a teacher in Western Pennsylvania, I vividly remember waiting in line to sign my year end evaluation. There was one teacher in particular who refused to sign his evaluation, stating the Principal had not been in his classroom all year, how could she possibly rate him 'satisfactory'?

For me, I was more than happy to sign the 'satisfactory' evaluation, check the box, and shove off for the summer. Embarrassingly enough, I readily admit a gross amount of immaturity on my part.

As I have reflected on this, and year end evaluations as a whole, I have come to this conclusion: in order to grow both personally and professionally, humility MUST play a critical role in accepting and driving on with your year end evaluation.

You may disagree with comments made- in fact, some, most, or all comments might be unfair. Let me encourage you with this: like it or loath it, perception is reality. Take the comments, the feedback, the 'dings', sort out fact from fiction, and grow from it.

While sorting out the fact from fiction, do this internally. In my leadership experience, there is nothing worse than a defensive person. And, this is coming from a person who has been annoyingly defensive most of his professional life. I hate it. But I am resolving to grow from it.

Last night, I heard a brief presentation from Jordan Steffy, President of Attollo Prep. He made this comment that has resonated with me...and one I feel is timely for this post:

As he talked about the program he runs, he said one of the core tenets they live by at Attollo is to have the students they work with practice 'radical self-inquiry.'

As leaders, this should be a tenet we all live by: radical self-inquiry. And, as you approach the year-end evaluation season, take a deep, radical dive into self-inquiry. This is where true growth occurs.

Be a leader who embraces growth. Be a leader who embraces constructive comments. Be a leader who resolves to get better. Regardless of the life or death spoken over you.

Get after it today. Beat Yesterday. pja

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