6 ways to ensure that things don’t change

Dennis

Over the years I’ve written countless articles and posts on how administrators and teacher leaders can affect positive change through school culture, professional development, and the application of emotional intelligence, just to mention a few possible sources of influence.

But I have never approached that challenge from the flip side—what school leaders must stop doing if they want to create a ceaseless flow of positive energy that improves teaching and learning for all students.

So here are 6 ways to ensure low staff motivation:

1. Tell people what to do. Make demands: “I am the boss. Your job is to do what I tell you to do or else.”

2. Explain that what you’re telling others to do is a mandate (a variation of #1): “I don’t like this either, but we have to do it.”

3. Cite research combined with a demand: “Research says, so do it.”

4. Use guilt: “If you are really a professional (or care about your students), you will do this.”

5. Emphasize that you are smarter and/or have better intentions than they do: “If you would just read the research (or analyze the data), you’d see that this is the right thing to do.”

6. Explain that you have their best interests at heart: “Do this for your own good,” or “Trust me because I know what’s good for you.”

What would you add to my list?

6 Responses to “6 ways to ensure that things don’t change”


  1. 1 Jody March 16, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Tell them that you are working on things “behind the scenes”. Do not describe what those things are and make sure that there is an element of secrecy and potential threat.

  2. 3 Joellen Killion March 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I’d add remove professional judgment and intellectual stimulation, loss perhaps as a result of the first two items.

  3. 5 Wanda Dean March 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Model something other than what you expect, a version of, “Do as I say, not as I do.”


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