Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yes!! I'm An Ambivert!!!

Chapter 4 in Daniel Pink's book To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others is titled "Attunement."  It is the first chapter of Part II in the book titled, "How To Be."

How often as curriculum coaches, teachers, and administrators due we take the perspective of those we work with into mind?  When I'm introducing a new technology to teachers, do I take into account what they want or need or have time to do?  When administrators add a new rule, do they first think of its consequences on teachers or students?  When we teach a lesson to students on a topic, do we take the time to see how they view it?  I think all of us need to take just a little more time and understand the perspective of the people we are trying to sell an idea too.

Perspective = If you want to persuade someone, understand their perspective.

As a technology coach, I have a responsibility to convince teachers to integrate technology effectively into their lessons and transform how a lot of them have been teaching for many years.  I also do a lot of professional learning sessions including how to use the district's new online assessment software and using social media responsibly.  As I read the chapter, I asked myself if I take into account the teacher's perspective as I prepare and deliver these professional learning activities.

Tomorrow I have to deliver professional learning to high school teachers using the district's assessment software to create tests.  After reading this chapter, here are some strategies from the chapter I will use to "sell" the teachers on using the software.

  1. Amazon - Yes, the company Amazon. When the higher ups in the company have a meeting, they always leave one chair empty.  This chair represents us the consumer and reminds them not to forget us.  I will have two empty chairs in planning;  one is for the teachers and the second is for students.
  2. Be confident that I am an ambivert.  I have know for the past 20 years that I was more on the introvert side of the introvert/extrovert scale.  I have never been shy but was never the center of attention as well.  At a party or meeting with strangers, I am always quiet and reflective of the group before opening my mouth to make suggestions. You would think to convince others you have to be an extrovert, but I learned in this chapter, that us, ambiverts, are more powerful at selling.  We are in the middle and not on the extreme edges.
  3. Mimic the mannerisms of the group.  When a teacher asks a question, pay attention to him/her.  Repeat the question they ask, if they lean in then I lean in, if they cross their arms then cross my arms.
  4. Assume I'm in a position of lower power.  This will help me better understand the teacher's perspective as I teach them.
Are you an ambivert?  Check out Daniel Pink's assessment to see if you are.

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