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To or About

Blogs and newsletters like this one arrive in my inbox with pretty high regularity these days – even though I’ve become more discerning about what I subscribe to and unsubscribe from.

Still, I don’t read them all. None of us do. And so, I’m delighted every week when I see that a decent percentage of you good people read mine. It’s also lovely when you reply with feedback of all colours. I mean that sincerely.

In regard to blogs, I meandered over the last few weeks into a couple of pieces by people who made vague negative comments about me, my occasional media appearances and also about our work at Real Schools. And that’s just fine. It really is.

Nobody is under obligation to like me, agree with me, align with my moral purpose or to value the Real Schools Partnership model. Nobody.

But what I find curious is how rarely these people either directly name me or bother to send me an email offering a chat or asking to understand more.

Chiefly, this is because some harbour a preference for talking about you rather than to you.

In terms of feedback about your work, I advise listening intently to those with both the courage and wisdom to talk to you. They often bring an uncomfortable truth that leads to a worthy adjustment. That’s an act of service and kindness that we should honour and value.

When people talk about you, it’s usually because they’re threatened, jealous, loaded with assumptions or determined that you don’t improve too much. And that says more about them than you.

As you plan for 2023, it’s worth a moment to consider who you’ll take feedback from and what your selection criteria is for identifying suitably experienced and qualified feedback providers.

Keep fighting that good fight,

PS. Brisbane School Leaders! I’m running a FREE 2-hour seminar, hosted by the wonderful folk at Emmanuel College on Wednesday 18th January from 2pm – and you’re invited! I’ll be discussing exactly how you can lead a strong, relational and productive School Culture in 2023. Save the leaders at your school a seat at this link.

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