Creating A Culture That Is Friendly To Error

Create a culture friendly to error

Life is full of mistakes! 

Unfortunately, most of us don’t like to admit when we’ve made a mistake. 

After a choice I wish I hadn’t made, I’m usually ready to learn from the mistake and move on.  Enough said! 

But…in our schools we need to create a feedback loop that encourages others to speak up when something is not right or is not working.

Once we know what the problem is, as a friend says, it’s all figure-outable! 

To be friendly with error, I’ve found it helps to stay open to fresh ideas and input.  

That means, listen.

Listen with respect. Listen without judging. Listen without criticism. 

We can jump start the listening process by doing the following:

  • Ask people their opinion.
  • Make short phone calls to get valuable input.
  • Use short and easy surveys to gather information that might otherwise not be easy to gather. 
  • Have regular group meetings to let those folks who are reluctant to voice a concern in a one-on-one situation.
  • When someone is ready to talk, be available.  This may mean you need to schedule a visit at another time but make yourself easy to access.
  • Use a suggestion box, being sure to acknowledge all suggestions.
  • Focus on the positive.  Perhaps keep a “What’s Wonderful This Week” bulletin board that students, staff and families can use to add notes.

Below find some survey questions that you might use one-on-one or in a form with staff, parents or students.  

Remember, life is full of mistakes.  Learn to listen and it’s all figure-outable!

Download the survey question ideas here.

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