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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Use One Topic at a Time and Address One Process at a Time

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


September 06, 2016

As the new school year begins, there will be many opportunities for collaboration. Most often this occurs in meetings. In order to ensure greater success, efficiency, and satisfaction, use the Adaptive Schools Meeting Standards and hold one another accountable for their application. In the coming weeks, we will review the five helpful standards

The brain can only attend to one thing at a time in spite of all our efforts to multi-task. By only working on one topic at a time, we maintain focus and increase understanding. Time is not wasted by bird-walking into off topic territory.

Lambert, Zimmerman and Gardner (Liberating Leadership Capacity, 2016) suggest agendas with a verb before a topic will increase the likelihood of focusing on one process at a time. For example, instead of, “Advisory Time,” write, “discuss options for Advisory Time.” When the agenda is explicit in stating the process, participants have clarity about the work they are there to do.

This week, we invite you to share these meeting standards and invite others to self-monitor their use of these standards. Take a few moments at the end of the meeting to discuss the results.

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