Principal’s Page, 10/5

Each week the faculty and staff receives a weekly newsletter called The Principal’s Page. It consist of calendar events, resources, educational articles, celebrations, and a message from the principal. Below is this week’s message from the principal to the faculty and staff.

Dear Folks,

 Good morning. I hope everyone had a restful weekend. The stretch from September to the Thanksgiving break is one of the longest in the school year and sometimes the toughest. Thanks to hurricane Sandy, we had a mini-vacation to rest our minds and to regroup. Unfortunately we will pay for it in June.

 This week I want to focus the Principal’s Page on something we all have encountered and have control over, our individual Mindset. On many occasions we find ourselves unknowingly stuck in a Mindset that is not positive, fixed and hard to identify and break. Often this plays out in our meetings and interactions with each other.

 During the week, many of us engage in parent, student and team meetings which don’t always have a positive Mindset. Within minutes you can feel the direction a meeting or conversation is going to take and sometimes the tense atmosphere that accompanies a person when they enter a room. Believe it or not, you do have some control over the outcome of these meeting and conversations.

 Below is a quick article on how to identify and shift peoples’ mindsets from “Judger” to “Learner”. I hope you find the article helpful when trying to shift a person’s or group’s Mindset.

What Questions Reveal About a Leader’s Mindset

       In this Wharton Leadership Digest article, Marilee Adams (American University) distinguishes between “Judger” and “Learner” questions and says they make a significant difference to the quality of a meeting. Here are some judger questions:

–    Who is to blame? Why can’t they perform?

–    How can I prove I’m right?

–    How can I protect my turf?

–    Why aren’t we winning?

–    What could we lose?

–    Why bother?

And here are some learner questions:

–    What are my goals? What am I responsible for?

–    What are the facts and what am I assuming?

–    How can I help?

–    What do our stakeholders want?

–    What steps can we take to improve the situation?

–    What’s possible?

“Teams that operate with a Learner mindset are more productive, motivated, and engaged,” says Adams. By changing the questions we ask, we focus on achieving goals in specific areas, change the tone of meetings, and produce markedly better results.

 “Shifting Mindsets: Questions That Lead to Results” by Marilee Adams in Wharton Leadership Digest, October 16, 2012,

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