Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Communication Skills To Help Win The Race to the Top

"State agencies were created as compliance agencies, not to be agents of transformative change," said Dane Linn, the education division director of the Washington-based National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said he wants innovative proposals that move states beyond the status quo. Unfortunately, state-level officials say capacity issues aren't just about having enough people to do the work. They also worry about having visionary people who can deliver on what Mr. Duncan wants.

As an expert in change management, I am in complete disagreement with Mr. Duncan and state officials. No group has a deeper commitment to quality public education. No group has a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing their students. Historically, School Boards have been tasked with compliance, not innovation. However, members of the Arizona School Board have the necessary qualities to create the transformative change. The key components of innovation are collaboration and communication. School Board Association members working as a team can conceptualize a project that is both innovative and effective. In order to have the best plan it is essential the effective communication skills are in place. Listening is an overlooked communication skill. However, it is one of the most effective skills to utilize in the process of innovation. It is essential to listen to other board members as they craft innovative plans.

This week I will provide you with tips to enhance the effective communication.

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