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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chess Piece or Teammate

Chess piece or teammate?
There are many ways of looking at organizations, initiatives, and collaboration.

One way is to consider how you think of your team and what structure supports good work.

In some cases, team leaders at any level in any field consider their team members as chess pieces. These leaders carefully craft plans and design efforts where they decide what each "chess piece" will do. If you're the "chess piece" in this endeavor you rarely have the same sense of investment, empowerment, or interest as when you're considered a teammate--a full contributing member of the team.

To build strong teams, there are components that are essential, components such as voice, decision making, lead time, collaborative meetings, and good communication. I believe that team builds good work rather than a chess game style where many are thought of a game pieces rather than full members of the team.

As I move forward in schools, I want to join and invest in initiatives that involve a strong sense of team. I like what happens in this regard. On the other hand, I want to steer clear, when possible, of events where I'm treated only as a chess piece.

Similarly, I don't want my students to feel like "chess pieces" in the game of school. Instead I want to invite their voice, decision making, and collaboration with lead time and good communication. I want to do the same for the colleagues, families, leaders, and community members who make up our classroom team as well.