"I can't" has no place in the verbal repertoire of a #leader or #learner. #YouCan #NeverGiveup #QuoteADay #Day88 #edchat #NSTA14 #edu
We've all said it. Five dreaded letters that push responsibility off our shoulders and onto someone else (or simply out into the ether).
From the moment those words leave our mouths, we have doomed the issue at hand.
Saying "I can't" has a way of letting a problem continue to persist, without any hope of resolution. And, if we really think about it, there are very few things that we can't do. Rather, "I can't" is more like saying "I won't," but without the responsibility attached.
Rather than uttering those two words (either pair of them), instead say, "I will see what I can do" or "Let's brainstorm some ways to figure this out." By responding in one of these ways, you take the responsibility for following up (or, you share the responsibility with a group of other learners and leaders).
This type of response is transformative. It doesn't guarantee you'll be able to solve the problem, but it does guarantee that you are going to do something about the situation at hand, regardless of the end result. That desire to make things right is sometimes more important than whether the situation ends up being "rightable" or not.
If we want to build community and foster collaboration in a way that leads to learning for everyone, than we have to be willing to stop saying "I can't" and start saying "I will."