Here are two approaches to the same thing…
Let’s say you want educators in your school to start reflective and professional blogs. One way that you could get them to do it, is by really pushing the value of blogging, show them the “why”, talk about the need for it, and put some real pressure on others to move ahead. You could probably mandate it (which I have seen done with many initiatives that have failed) and have people do it for awhile, but as soon as they can get out of it, many will. There are many initiatives out there that would be beneficial to our students, and focusing on how we are so behind, rarely ever puts us ahead.
Now a different approach, and one that I am still working on in my growth. Let’s say you wanted educators to blog, but you didn’t start at that point. Maybe you go into classrooms, observe things that are happening, and talk about their positive impact on student learning. Sit down with the teacher, talk about their strengths, and then share the impact that they could have on the rest of the building on other educators, and perhaps sitting down and writing a blog together could be a way that we could share those strengths with others, and make great teaching and learning go viral.
In each scenario, you could have an educator write a blog, but in the first, we are starting from a deficit model (here are the things we can’t do), and the second, is starting from a place of abundance.
As an administrator, it is important that you know the strengths of each member of your team, before you know their weaknesses. If you can’t find them, maybe you aren’t looking. If you dig down deeper into each scenario, the first starts with a focus on the outcome (blogging), but the second starts with a focus on the person. That is leadership. Stephen Covey made the simple distinction between management and leadership; we manage “things”, we lead people.
Taking time to find the strengths of individuals is not an expenditure, but an investment, that can come in copious amounts of growth. In most cases, when people know that they are valued, the distance they are willing to go is much further than when we constantly point out weaknesses.