Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 297

The more #flexible you're willing to be, the more capacity you're likely to build. #QuoteADay297 #edchat #edu #MoreThanOneWayToDoThings

“It’s My Way or the Highway.”

If there was ever a phrase that destroyed collaboration, it’s that one.

To collaborate well, we have to be willing to be flexible.  Everyone’s voice matters, and as such, the more flexible we can be in approaching situations, the more support we tend to be able to build for any given initiative.

This doesn’t mean that we should be so flexible that we’re constantly blowing in the wind, changing direction at a moment’s notice.

But, it does mean that our vision needs to have just a little bit of grey in it, so that we can change course and direction without taking everyone by total surprise.

The benefit of flexibility is that even if we do nothing else, our flexibility makes us better suited to engage in collaborative decision-making.  Those who are willing to be flexible are always easier to work with, even if they aren’t particularly collaborative.

The necessity is to figure out what you are willing to be flexible around, and what you are not.  By laying out the “non-negotiable” items early and being totally transparent, we can still be flexible without having to sacrifice those things that can’t be “moved on.” 

Of course, this means that your non-negotiables should be few, and should be able to be explained to those you serve.  Otherwise you’re not really being flexible, and likely doing more harm than if you were a bulldozer of a decision-maker.

The takeaway?

Success in both learning and leading requires a cache of flexibility.  Since leading and learning are not truly individual endeavors, we have to be willing (and happy) to negotiate to achieve common goals.

No comments:

Post a Comment