It wasn’t our team’s intention

Have you ever walked away disappointed or underwhelmed with a result or an outcome that your team expected to be different? It may have been a Team Meeting or a planning session. Is your team collaborating and sharing ideas, or are the classes in your year level running a slightly different approach and using their own resources?

Despite this, I am sure that your team had the right intentions and wanted it to go well. The truth is that sometimes, no matter what we do, it just wasn’t going to work. Maybe it’s just luck. So, what if we take luck out of the equation? We are left with what we can influence and be responsible for. If we’ve also determined that it’s not our intentions that limit the ability of our team to be their best, what is it? Why does it happen?

As Thomas Edison said, “A good intention, with a bad approach, often leads to a poor result”.

What is a good approach?

The most crucial ingredient for a team to achieve the right approach is connection. We need to prioritise the time to learn about the people around us. In some ways, you need to go against your mother’s golden rule, which is treating others like you want to be treated. Instead, change this to treat others as they need to be treated.

The next step in developing the right approach is to gain clarity on what you can control. Do you have an agreed methodology or way of doing things? This could include how your team members prepare for the day, the lesson or the meeting. It’s about how your team are showing up ready for action. Whilst you may be thinking about all the elements that they can control, there will also be elements that they can’t control. Don’t waste your energy here. It’s these elements that are often the most distracting.

Gaining clarity on the approach will also require you to narrow your focus to the important work. Yes, in schools there is always lots to do and never enough time. Focus your attention on determining the priority for your team. Where will you get the most significant impact for your effort? This is about being productive and not just being busy.

Finally, and yes, it’s a bit cliché, but think about the journey before the destination. So often, we’ll be that outcome focused that we don’t pay the necessary attention to the process. When we get the process right, it’s more likely to lead to the right outcome. When we focus on the process, people are more likely to stay connected to our intentions. That is, they’ll work with us.