Monday, January 13, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 13

Never be afraid to take a few steps back. It's amazing what you can learn when observing from a new perspective.

It's pretty unbelievable what you can learn when you take a step back and look at a situation from a new angle.  We tend to get so caught up in putting out fires and handling problems, that we rarely, if ever, are able to stop, remove ourselves from the heat of the moment, and look at the scenario from a different angle.

But when we do have that opportunity, wow, it's amazing how much we can learn.  While it's difficult, I do my best to stave off any decision making until I've put myself in the shoes of a number of different stakeholders.

Recently, we've been struggling with finding ways to keep one of the programs that has been a cornerstone of our agency afloat.  The program has made the difference in the lives of many students, but finances over the last few years have plagued its ability to pay costs.  I've tried to view the situation from the perspective of teachers in the program, students, parents, and administrators in districts that are making the decision about whether to support the program in the future.  While viewing the situation from these perspectives doesn't necessarily make the problem any easier to solve, it does provide for a more effective context from which to troubleshoot, and regardless of the outcome, I can now visualize the many different pathways our agency, and the program, may take.

It's true that taking a few steps back can prevent us from moving forward.  But, what we lose in forward progress, we make up for in information gathering and relationship building.

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