Change is all about selling and empathy

28 Day Blog Challenge – Day 15

Change_1

Change is a fairly constant factor in schools, whether it comes from government level, the local authority or within the school itself.

In addition to change which is mandatory, school leaders face choices about adopting optional changes too. These range from simple policy changes and use of resources, to major curriculum and staffing changes, which include things like restructuring.

I recognise that change isn’t just about altering something already in existence. It also includes adopting new initiatives – as things often need to change to accommodate these … timetables, staffing roles, curriculum emphasis, etc.

Whilst change can often be a good thing, constant and rapid changes are often met with resistance by staff (and children) seeking periods of stability and consolidation.

Mandatory changes may be seen as unpopular and challenging by staff, so they need to be tackled positively and sensitively to ensure staff ‘buy in’ to the idea. Therefore, it’s important to help the stakeholders see the benefits to them of the changes.

What will be better?

What will be more efficient?

How will it make their roles easier?

How will it benefit the children / community?

… and so on.

School leaders need to choose their optional changes (initiatives / projects etc.) carefully. Bear in mind what else is happening within the term or year and how the proposed change will affect all stakeholders. The skill of empathy is useful here to ensure all angles have been explored. You’ll know how different staff will be affected, and can pre-empt questions, obstacles and issues.

How has your school effectively managed optional and mandatory changes? Is it the same approach for both?

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