Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Speed of Teacher Trust

Steven M. R. Covey, the son of Dr. Steven R. Covey, is the author of a best-selling business book, The Speed of Trust.

In his book, Covey outlines 13 behaviors that underpin organizational success, and he discusses trust as a leadership competency. 

I have said many times that our school is a building full of leaders. Administrators, counselors, custodians, teachers, lunchroom workers, librarians, etc. Anyone who works with and influences kids is in a leadership position. When I read the 13 behaviors, I couldn't help but think about the leader in the classroom-- the teacher -- and the importance of the teacher-student relationship. It is very clear that the teacher-student relationship is an importance part of a positive learning environment. Trust is a key component in any relationship. Covey says that trust a skill that can be learned so that it can be developed with all stakeholders.

When you read this list of the 13 behaviors of high-trust leaders, think about the classroom teacher....

1. Talk straight. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Don't leave false impressions.
2. Demonstrate respect. Show kindness in the little things. Do things to show others you care about, call, email, write thank you notes...
3. Create Transparency. Transparency is about being open and real. Tell the truth in a way that people can verify.
4. Right wrongs. Apologize quickly. Don't cover things up.
5. Show Loyalty. Give credit to others. Speak about people as if they were present. Make it a rule to never talk negatively about family members.

6. Deliver Results. Clarify "results" and make sure you understand the expectation. Establish a track record of results. Make things happen.
7. Get Better. To get better, seek feedback and learn from mistakes (experiences.) 
8. Confront reality. Acknowledge the unsaid, discuss the "undiscussables," lead courageous conversations.
9. Clarify Expectations. Disclose and reveal expectations. Don't assume they are clear or shared. Renegotiate if needed.
10. Practice accountability. Hold others and yourself accountable. Take responsibility for results, and be clear on how you'll them.

11. Listen First. Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart. Don't assume you know what matters most to others.
12. Keep commitments. Make commitments carefully and don't break them. Don't break confidences.
13. Extend trust. Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust. Extend conditionally to those who are earning your trust. 

How important are the 13 behaviors to forging strong teacher-student relationships?

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