Thursday, November 08, 2012

learning through listening

The last few months have included settling into a new role as Principal. The College has a team of 12 and we’ve all gone through the adjustment of a person within the team becoming a leader in the team.

One of my first goals was to find time to connect with the team. I did this by booking some time with each person to listen. I had four questions, which I’ve asked each person. I’d thought long and hard about what I wanted to ask. Here’s what I crafted.

  • Tell me about your sense of call (given I wasn’t part your interview as you began work at Uniting College)
  • Imagine a bathtub. It can be emptied, through a plug hole. It can be filled, through a tap. As you think about your sense of call, what about Uniting College enhances your sense of call?
  • What about Uniting College drains that sense of call?
  • Since I’m new, tell me what responsibilities and priorities you have with us?

I let the whole team know this process was happening before I began. I also let them know as a whole team the questions. I took them individually to a local cafe and listened.

It’s been gold. Absolutely gold. As a team member commented recently, I learnt more in 60 minutes than 3 years of corridor conversations. It was true.

People have felt affirmed. Often there’s been new insights for them, fresh connections about their unique fingerprint and how it’s being inked. I’ve gained perspectives on the organisation that I never would have had otherwise.

If mission is finding out where God is up to and joining in, then the first task of mission is listening. In this case, to people in our teams.

Posted by steve at 11:37 AM

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