It is challenging for school leaders to maintain an open mind. Experience is an undeniable asset, but it may be a barrier to adopting fresh ways to lead an educational institution.
Here are three things that school principals and other school leaders can do to ensure that they maintain an open mind:
1 Fight the “I’ve always done it this way” mode of thinking. True, you may have been successful in the past, but the world around us – including the world of education – is changing exponentially. Although your methods may have worked well in the past, there may be better ways of doing things at present. Opening your mind to such possibilities can help you to be an even better leader than what you are now.
2 Take your time. When confronted with a new idea, your first reaction may be to think about reasons why it is invalid. Rather, open your mind to the possibility that this idea may have merit. Take your time to weigh up the pros and cons. This does not mean that you must adopt every new thing that comes your way, but you can only improve your leadership thumb print by considering alternatives.
3 Don’t under-estimate the ideas of your teachers. They may not be as experienced as you are, but the teachers in your classrooms are currently in the trenches, in touch with the learners and the way in which young people now assimilate information. They may come with fresh ideas and when you consider them with an open mind, and adopt the good ones, you can only enhance the way in which you are leading.
If you are a school leader, which one of these three points do you think you can work on?