School leaders want to impact school culture (the beliefs and priorities that drive the thoughts and actions of people in your school) ; they quickly find that culture is a valuable that is curated by faculty members. So, how do you influence the beliefs and priorities of your faculty and staff? A great entry point is climate.
Climate. Create an atmosphere that is conducive to change and receptive to growth. We will talk throughout the year about climate and how to make a difference in it at your school. Today we begin with something so simple but impactful that it evades many people. Here goes:
Ten By Ten.
Ten compliments, to ten different people by ten o’clock AM. Every day, without fail.
Ten By Ten.
If you share ten compliments every morning to begin the day, you will be setting the tone for your school everyday in a manner that will spread throughout your campus. A compliment can be a day-changer; it can go even deeper and be an attitude-changer! And, if several people are subject to such a change, well that means we have impacted the culture. Enhancing the climate is the pathway to changing the culture, and if you make “Ten By Ten” a priority, you will soon see dividends.
Let’s focus on the compliments for a moment, remembering that all comments are not equal. The most important thing above all in the compliment business is sincerity. Only share a compliment when you mean it. Secondly, moving forward from sincerity is focus. If you tell ten different people every morning that they look beautiful, that’s good, but it could be better. Complimenting others is much like feedback for improvement as a part of our evaluation systems: the more specific the feedback, the better. Focus on what you see and what you say. “Your work last night in putting together our science family event was great! Everyone I spoke to talked about how well it ran, how organized it was, and how much fun they had. Thank you!”
Finally, if you want to excel in compliment sharing, be generous. If you get into the compliment business, you will be amazed at what you learn about the people in your organization. If you are sincere and focused in what you do, you will only be able to share compliments with those you know well enough. If you add the third element, generosity, you will have to get to know more of your people at a deeper level if you are going to be sincere and focused. This is the hardest part of being a good giver of compliments; you have to work at it to be able to spread it around to everyone, and if you are generous in your compliments, you’ll wan to spread it around.
So, before you become an expert (sincerity, focus, generosity), just get started! That part is easy… find ten different people, every day, before 10:00 AM, and share with each of them a compliment. As you’re getting started, maybe your compliments will be at a basic level. That’s fine! You need to begin somewhere.
Once you’ve gotten started, then work each day to improve in your 10 x 10 work, by giving more sincere compliments that are more specific in nature to more and more people.
You’ll be amazed at how much this simple act will improve your climate and over time, your culture, one compliment at a time!