Why Leaders Must Engage in Courageous Conversations

Change is emotional. When change is not handled properly, problems multiply.

Let us be careful. Most of the seminars given to Filipino teachers are meant to fix them. In my last post, I talked about how consultants, when invited to speak before teachers, tend to think that our job is to fix teachers. That we must motivate them and renew their passion. That we must make them more committed to teaching. We come to speak, not to listen. Then we wonder why teachers resist change.

Teachers also want to grow. They want their children to get the best education they can give. Like you and me, they want to create a better future that we truly care about. They want change, but not necessarily on our own terms.
In my next journey, I will be employing more courageous conversations. And during these conversations, I must listen more.

I will be with them not as a speaker or a consultant or a trainer. I will be there as someone who is willing to help them get our shared dreams of a better future.

I will ask them what they desire for themselves as teachers — and the “ideal teacher” they wanted themselves to become. I want them to know that my mission is to help them get what they want. I will not mold them into my image.
I will ask them about their fears. I want to know what prevents them from getting to where they want to be. Are they afraid to lose anything.

Lastly, I want to know how I can help them.

Courageous conversations are not about having the courage to speak to them. I see these conversations as having the courage to listen to them, to understand their needs, and to accept that not everything I felt they need are necessary. I am only an instrument. I can be a catalyst. But the teachers are the real changemakers.

To become better teachers, teachers must decided to change themselves. I cannot do that for them. I can only change myself. My job is to help them decide and make a quick start.