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Positive Change Takes Courage

“He is going to ‘take us down’ at your workshop!”

That was the urgent message I was told when talking to the principal prior to running the Positive Culture workshop in a matter of days.

“He cornered me in the staff room and explained how the workshop was a waste of time. That staff were not happy.” I felt like I was going to be fronting up against the All-Blacks Rugby club without a team.

The teacher (let’s call him Bob) didn’t like the idea of a day dedicated to planning for a positive culture. A day to design a workplace where people feel safe, and gossip was called out. Where people feel appreciated and valued. Where everyone feels they belong.

When I hear about Bob’s behaviour it makes me think about his sense of belonging.

Their interpretation of how to connect to the tribe and be part of the solution rather than the problem.

Brene Brown’s book “Braving the Wilderness” is about how we need to take the courage to belong to ourselves as a prerequisite for true belonging, and the dangers of trying to fit in and hustle for acceptance.

I sense Bob has not taken the steps to connect to his true self to then be in a position to contribute to others who in turn would welcome him into the fold. He felt his belonging was being threatened. He is happy with the current negativity.

People can feel belonging, even in a negative environment. Think outlawed motorcycle organisations.

Did Bob smell the wind of change? Change in a culture from toxic to positive?

Hence any change to this environment is met with disdain.

And is the school culture in the negative? The data shows a very disengaged staff. Most probably due to the continual efforts of Bob and his disruptive fellows.

It only takes a few bad eggs to rot the carton.

I know for a fact that the administration team are absolutely wonderful, positive people who have the best interests of their staff and students front and centre. They have taken the courageous decision to empower the staff to disrupt Bob’s subterfuge by building a positive culture that is designed by, and for all stakeholders.

Sometimes the Bobs of this world need to see a clear picture of what people want, desire and work towards so everyone belongs. Bob’s opinion is welcome and valid so long as it contributes to the discussion towards a positive culture. What Bob doesn’t realise is that I will have a team behind me. A team of educators who are wanting change in the form of a Positive Culture.

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