After Reading JeffDelp’s @azjd post titled, “There is NoExcuse…” regarding setting a goal to making personal connections with all students…it inspired me to touch on an opportunity that I want to better in my life. I see it every day, but yet let it go unnoticed. I know it is contagious, but let it go untreated. I know it has the power to unite, but I allow the hitch to remain unconnected. What am I referring to??? I am referring to the Art of Illumination. I want to illuminate the positives that I see every day in our building and in our district. “Success breeds success – it creates momentum.”
In Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, and Kae Rader’s book, Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance, there is a whole chapter dedicated to just that...The Art of Illumination.
The art of illumination requires the willingness and ability to see what works rather than what doesn’t.
Rader refers to illumination like the sun. “When it radiates, people feel it and are warmed by it-and are therefore eager to give their best.”
We always seem to be searching for answers in posts, books, articles, on Twitter, etc… but people’s strengths, capabilities, needs, wants, hopes, and dreams are a readily abundant, yet frequently are an overlooked source of positive power in our own buildings and districts.
The Chapter goes on to focus on four practices of illumination. The book is filled with thoughtful and intriguing questions to stimulate appreciative action and conversation
4 Practices of illumination:
1. Seeking the best of people, situations, and organizations.
Do you seek to understand why people succeed? Are you a strengths spotter?
2. Seeing what works when people are at their best-Appreciative leaders have a way to get to the root causes of someone’s success.
Do you facilitate dialogue about the root causes of success?
3. Sharing stories of best practices for learning and standardization-Appreciative leaders tell stories of success and give credit to where it belongs.
Do you collect stories and share them every chance you get?
4. Aligning strengths for development and collaborative advantage-Optimize strengths by cultivating people’s unique skills and talents.
Do you engage diverse groups of people to optimize strengths?
As I return to work tomorrow, I am participating in Instructional Rounds. It is an example of an opportunity I have, to begin the process of illumination. I am excited to spread the positives of what I see every day. No longer do I begin with what we need and what we don’t have…what I begin with is the inherent good that I see every day. The knowledge is in the room, it is in our building, and with that we build on our strengths, knowing that they arm us to face our challenges and grow together.
“Success breeds success – it creates momentum.”