Leadership 4 Learning - #ASK - Leading with a Learner Mindset Part 3 - Assumptions

Leadership 4 Learning

Change Leaders are Leaders who #ASK

Assumptions Part 1


What is impeding learning in our schools? Our “I’m the Expert” mindset is causing us to make assumptions about what others are thinking, feeling, saying and doing. These assumptions are caused by a lack of data and by our culture of TELL rather than ASK.

What Is Happening And Why Are We Making Assumptions?


“In the absence of data, we will always make up stories.”


They may be stories about the “facts” or stories about a person's intentions and beliefs. Either way, having assumptions in the mix certainly does not enhance the communications happening in a school.

Have you ever heard of Whispers? I have seen Whispers at their best in schools. It is most prevalent when communication is not frequent and clear, and people are filling the data gaps with their assumptions.

When we listen, we also make assumptions. Particularly when we listen with our “I’m the Expert” ears. As a self-effacing expert when listening, we are busy filling the gaps with assumptions.

Brene Brown, in her book “Dare to Lead”, coins the phrase - Clear is Kind. Unclear is Unkind.
It's simple, but rather transformative when you consider the ways in which we communicate with and to each other. You can read more about it here Clear is Kind. Unclear is Unkind.

Why Do We Assume?


It’s how we are wired. The brain is not a fan of ambiguous stories that leave unanswered questions and a big tangle of possibilities. Meaning-making is in our biology. When we’re in assumption, our default is often to come up with a story that makes sense of what’s happening, which gives our brain information on how best to self-protect.

Robert Burton, a neurologist and novelist, explains that our brains reward us with dopamine - that “A-ha!” moment - when we recognise and complete patterns. (7) Stories are patterns. The brain recognises the familiar beginning-middle-end structure of a story and rewards us for clearing up the ambiguity.


Think about what you have done, or can do, to limit assumptions. What might you be able to do to grow clarity in the way that you communicate?





Go Well....

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References
Brown, Brene. Dare to Lead.  Random House Publishing Group, 2018.

Brown, Brene. Rising Strong. Random House Publishing Group, 2015.

Adams, Marilee. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. 3rd edition,  Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016

ON MY READING LIST...

 
 
 
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Change Your Questions, Change Your Life.jpg
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Brown, Brene. Dare to Lead. Random House Publishing Group, 2018.




Adams, Marilee. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. 3rd edition,  Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016

Brown, Brene. Rising Strong. Random House Publishing Group, 2015.

 
 
Tabitha Leonard