When working in groups whether education or not you don’t want more than seven members. Through personal experience and also through various research readings this seems to hold true. More than seven and it feels too big and hard to hear from everyone. I have found that when trying to brainstorm, collaborate, or move ideas to the next level groups of 4-7 work best. If too small then I think you don’t have enough diversity to counter ideas.
Try to come up with three goals for each day. I struggle with this as I just condensed my seven To Do Lists down to one and now am working to simplify my life and workload. As Maggie Fox says, “If you have more than three priorities, then you have no priorities.” That makes so much sense it is not even funny!
To quote Marshall Loeb “Leaders are people who do the right things, managers are people who do things right. There’s a profound difference.” This quote speaks volumes as I think in education we easily mix these two all the time. What is the goal of the operation? Once again it comes down to clarity and having a vision. When we don’t have a clear vision, then it is hard to find the right people for the job.
When working with our staff on ideas and projects I have found the following questions to be quite helpful.
- What is the next action we need to get this idea/project/event moving?
- What do you need to make this happen?
- What will you do next? (My favorite question to ask during project tunings)
- Then what? (many don’t have an answer)
As always, I welcome any thoughts.