Guiding Questions

  • How can we help others to try on new perspectives long enough that a change in thinking can occur?
  • How do cultures and subcultures influence change?
  • How might we take advantage of "informal system behaviors" to create formal change? (Thompson, p. 9)
  • How might you establish links to key people in other fields that could create a critical mass of energized leadership for change?


Getting to Know You

  • Do you have any lingering issues or insights from this morning's presentation?

  • What are some of the things that you are currently celebrating?

  • What are some of your current challenges?

"You teach who you are" (Parker Palmer, p. 3).

Who are you?

  • True Colors Quiz: How might this information influence your work as a mentor, leader, and change agent?

The Cultural Triangle: A Framework for Understanding Change

Products, Practices, & Perspectives

The Cultural Triangle & Foreign Language external image msword.png Cultural Triangle.doc

The Cultural Triangle & Fast Food external image msword.png Cultural Triangle - Fast Food.doc

The Cultural Triangle & Digital Natives external image msword.png Cultural Triangle - Digital Natives.doc


Key Principles

  • True learning, by its very nature, produces change.
  • A change in thinking always precedes a change in action.
  • Thus, leading change is not so much about getting people to engage in the physical actions of change as it is about helping them to try on new perspectives.
  • Once perspective has shifted, cognitive, conceptual, emotional, physical, and social change will follow--particularly if a culture or context supportive of that change has been simultaneously established.
  • This means that change always happens one person at a time (although it is certainly facilitated by supportive networks of people).
  • Meaningful learning must be the paramount goal, then, for teachers and for students!
  • This has major implications for the work of leadership.


Kendall, Cindy, & Kendall, Bryan. (2007, November 28). Tech Toys. Photo taken in Williamston, MI (on a cell phone!). Used with permission.

Listening is a Form of Leadership

  • Leadership is less about what you do, and more about who you are.
  • Leadership begins with personal change.
  • Personal example is one of the most powerful tools of a leader.
  • The most critical work of a leader is empowering people to think critically and reflectively, to learn from that thinking, and to act on that learning; thus, most of a leader's work is mental.
  • Shifts in perspective arise out of relationships, thus, mentoring is an important (perhaps THE most important) form of leadership.
  • Building a mentoring relationship strong enough to support shifts in perspective requires substantive conversations (usually over an extended period of time).
  • It is difficult to influence the perspectives of another person if you (or they) do not know what beliefs and values comprise those perspectives. One of the biggest mistakes that leaders make is assuming they (and others) understand.
  • People often need time and opportunity to figure out and articulate what they think before they are ready to act.
  • Thus, one important function of a leader is orchestrating conversations that surface beliefs and values, and then listening.
  • Validation is an important part of listening.

  1. Listen for the "meaning behind the words"
  2. Avoid: Personal Referencing, Personal Curiosity, Personal Certainty
  3. Validation - I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better!
  4. Learning-focused Verbal Toolkit

Meaningful Mentoring

  • In order to progress, mentees need to have their existing thinking challenged, their vision of what is possible for themselves and for their students expanded, and adequate support (in terms of emotional, intellectual, physical, and social resources). (Lipton, Wellman, & Humbard, 2003)
  • Begin where the mentee is, not where you want them to be.
  • Select your mentoring stance (coaching, collaborating, or consulting) based on the mentee's perspective and skill level. (Lipton, Wellman, & Humbard, 2003)
  • Monitor nonverbal cues continuously so that you can adjust your stance when necessary during the course of the interaction.
  • Listen for the story BEHIND the words. In other words, "Listen to what is being said and the events being related . . . . Listen to the feelings being expressed. Listen to the needs being expressed. Understand by putting yourself in the other person's shoes as best you can" (Lundberg & Lundberg, 2000, p. 38).
  • Pause before you respond, paraphrase what you think was said, and probe with follow-up questions. (Lipton, 2003). "When you use the operative words of the person speaking, then he knows that he is being listened to because he hears his lead being followed. His path is not being challenged or diverted . . . . " (Lundberg & Lundberg, 2000, p. 51).
  • Provide non-judgmental feedback that invites additional thinking and conversation. "Be non-judgmental" (Lipton). "Get rid of the 'buts' in your conversations. They nearly always invalidate whatever validation you previously gave" (Lundberg & Lundberg, 2000, p. 54).
  • "When relationships are strained and the air charged with emotion, an attempt to teach is often perceived as a form of judgment and rejection" (Lundberg & Lundberg, 2000, p. 62).

When I mentor others, I . . . external image msword.png Mentoring LooksFeelsSounds Like.doc

A Hat for Ivan: What does this teach us about mentoring and change?

  • Needs of Mentee - Support, Challenge, Vision
    • What kind of support?
    • What kind of challenge?
    • What kind of vision?

  • Developmental Stages in Learning a Profession: Novices, Advanced Beginners, Competent, Proficient, Experts - What differentiates them is their perspectives and what they are able to see (or fail to see) as a result of them. Good leaders foster learning because they know it will expand perspectives in ways that support professional growth.


Lipton, Laura, Wellman, Bruce, & Humbard, Carlette. (2003). Mentoring matters: A practical guide to learning-focused relationships. Sherman, CT: MiraVia, LLC. ISBN 0-9665022-2-1. http://www.miravia.com
This teacher-friendly book contains information regarding the tensions inherent in mentoring new teachers, offers practical strategies for balancing these tensions, outlines verbal techniques for mediating thinking, and provides a useful collection of reproducible inventories, rubrics, templates, and other tools to support both mentors and mentees. Image source: http://www.miravia.com/images/Mentor%20cov2ndEd.jpg

Lundberg, Gary, & Joy Lundberg. (2000). I don't have to make everything all better: Six practical principles that empower others to solve their own problems while enriching your relationships. NY: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-028643-8. http://www.penguinputnam.com

Learning-focused Conversations

Data-driven Feedback:

  • Is it non-judgmental?
  • Is it based on observable data?
  • Does it mediate thinking by helping the mentee to see patterns in circumstances and behavior (both positive and negative)?
  • Does it focus on things that are within the mentee's locus of control/sphere of influence?
  • Does it help the mentee to see what to do next (in terms of the VERY NEXT step) and does it provide the support the mentee needs in order to accomplish that?
  • Does it invite additional, learning-focused conversation?


Advocating for Change:

  • Communication (with Clarity) - Does the organization communicate its message clearly around a conceptual focus? Can we tell what the organization does, why that should matter to individual audience members, and how the audience can become involved with the mission of the organization?

  • Cultures (& Consistency) - Are the messages that the public receives from individuals within the organization and the culture surrounding the organization consistent?

  • Connections - Do individual members of the organization involve their personal, professional, and social connections in creating a large network of advocacy efforts?

  • Comparisons - Do the images, words, and symbols that represent the organization and its activities influence the audience on both an affective and cognitive level? (In other words, do they make sense? Are they emotionally meaningful to the viewer in a way that motivates personal change and public action?)

  • Communities - Are the accomplishments, activities, benefits, personnel, philosophies, and programs of the organization continually visible to a wide variety of audiences in the community? Does the organization invite the community into its activities and take its activities out into the community?

  • Unity of Products, Practices, & Perspectives - Do the members of the organization work collectively to pursue their vision and purposes for the organization through clearly defined products (We distribute . . . brochures, newsletters, websites), practices (We engage in . . . community events, informal conversations with parents, special events , and perspectives?

Publicizing Your Professionalism: Do they know who you are, what you think and why, and how you act on those beliefs?

  • Blogs
    • Blogger - Fast and easy to set up and use
    • Edublogs - Blogs that combine the features of a blog with the affordances of a website and are especially for educators

  • Websites & Wikis
    • Google Page Creator - Choose a template, enter your text, and publish your page with this free, easy-to-use, online tool from Google.
    • Wikispaces - Fast and easy way to maintain an online presence

Publicizing Your Program: Do they know what you do, how you do it, and why it matters?

  • Coloring Books
    • Dumpr - This free online suite of tools allows you to edit your Flickr photos in order to turn them into coloring book images (VERY COOL), make them look old, turn them into globes, or add reflections. You can then save them to your Flickr account. (Still in beta) http://www.dumpr.net

    • Generator Blog - A fantastic blog that contains links to all sorts of free, interesting generators (such as cereal boxes, insurance cards, money, etc.) that would be great tools for students to use in creating creative advertising campaigns

  • Scrapbooks
    • Scrapblog - Combines the purposes and multimedia features of blogging with the visual affordances of scrapbooking. Comes with built-in templates and can accommodate music and video too http://www.scrapblog.com

    • VoiceThread - Easy way to connect photos and voices--particularly useful for emphasizing language without ignoring visual (in FL classes, for example). Would also be great for capturing family history.

  • T-shirts
    • SnapShirts.com - Type in a website and it will generate a word cloud for a t-shirt based on the most commonly used words on the site that you can customize.


Leading Learning

  • Leadership requires the cognitive flexibility to switch frames, trying on the perspectives of others in order to better understand what they need in order to be willing to do the same.
  • Powerful leaders build relationships with both individuals and organizations--drawing on the strengths of others to improve their chances of success, and leveraging their networks in order to extend the influence of their ideas.
  • Influential leaders listen carefully, look for ways to make strategic matches between the change they hope to promote and the needs they hear others express, and act with integrity
  • An important first step in leading learning is to equip those you serve with bite-sized chunks of information, technical tools, and conceptual understandings they need to build professional networks that can support and sustain their learning.
  • Leaders who build leadership capacity in those they serve help ensure that changes will become self-sustaining.

We Won't Give Up - From the Black History Tour Group

Leadership Orientations Instrument

Four Corners Exercise

Seven Norms of Collaborating: A Toolkit

Discussion of Building Leadership Capacity Self-Assessment - From Building Leadership Capacity by Linda Lambert

Designing for Change

Perspectives: Getting Outside of the Box

Hooper, Don W. (2001, October). Virtual learning, in the box or out? The School Administrator. Retrieved June 28, 2007, from http://www.aasa.org/publications/saarticledetail.cfm?ItemNumber=3419

Here's to the Crazy Ones

Language Learning Gains Second Life - Crazy, or someone leveraging both physical and virtual networks in order to extend the influence of their ideas?

Practices: Getting Innovations Into The Box

Stages of Innovation - In order to advocate effectively, it is important to understand that your audience is likely to be comprised of a number of different groups with distinct characteristics, each of which needs an approach tailored to their specific needs and concerns.

Landscape of the Technology Adoption Cycle (Bell Curve of Adopters) - What are some of the ways that advocacy can be used to bridge the chasm between early adopters and the early majority?

Phases of Adoption - By considering how the perspective of each person you encounter corresponds to the yellow chart in this article, you can better identify where they are on the adoption continuum regarding the initiative you are proposing and what kind of support they need in order to move to the next phase.

Elevator Advocacy in 30 Seconds or Less:

  1. external image msword.png I Took 2 Years.doc
  2. external image msword.png Thats Not How You Learn a Language Scenario.doc
  3. external image msword.png But What About the Basics Scenario.doc
  4. external image msword.png But Because of the Budget.doc

Products: Resistance

Change & the Walls of Resistance - This graphic demonstrates the key role that perspective plays in the change process and illustrates the high cost of a major shift in perspective

Where Do Change Initiatives Break Down? - Knowing-Doing Gap - A great synopsis of some of the factors that keep people who know what to do from doing it.

Beyond Resistance Article - Outlines 3 majors reasons people resist and offers suggestions for addressing each one.

Designing for Change: Getting Around the Wall with Paradigm Shifts (The Power of Combining Design & Emerging Technologies)

Stages of Change, Enabling Factors, & Channels - This graphic lists the stages of change, the kind of support that is needed at each level, and the kind of media that is most well-suited to providing that support.

Text & Graphical Layout - FANTASTIC summary of the what, why, & how of basic principles of graphic design from the Non-designer's Design Book by Robin Williams. Beautiful design, solid visual examples and non-examples, each principle in its own tab, but all visible from the homepage.

Basic Principles of Visual Design - A one-page PDF handout that outlines the basic principles of graphic design (proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast) from The Non-designer's Design Book by Robin Williams that are explained in the site above.

The Principles of Design - Expands on the 4 basic principles of design (Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, & Contrast) and includes examples and links to resources that emphasize the cognitive and psychological bases of the PARC principles.

Integrating Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom - Summary of the PARC principles as applied to the FL classroom (by Jean LeLoup & Bob Pontiero)

The Power of Design: Running the Numbers - An American Self Portrait - Demonstrates the power of visual imagery