Creating Great Culture At Home and at School
The Leader in Me process has given us so many opportunities to individually and collectively progress through the transformational process, where we are now going for Lighthouse status at Oakleigh Grammar. Whilst nothing is perfect in life and as people we make mistakes, it’s the growth mindset of our leadership journey that allows us to reflect on where we were 6 years ago, where we are now, and where we would like to be in the future. One of the key aspects to creating a great leadership environment is recognising the importance of culture.
What is Culture?
It has been said that culture eats strategy for breakfast every day of the week. This is so true. So, what is culture? The Leader in Me book describes culture as “the way we do things around here.” It also states that culture isn’t the list of norms, values, the policy manual or even what is proclaimed as the mission of the organization.
Culture is how people actually behave and treat each other on a daily basis. Culture is what you see, hear, and feel. It provides the connection and the way in which people journey through life.
Our students generally spend most of their time in two places: at school and at home. Both have their unique cultures. The critical questions we must ask ourselves, as parents and educators are: what are they seeing, hearing and feeling in discussions that occur in the classrooms, and out on the playground, around the dinner table and play area of their home?
Do they feel loved, accepted, empowered, inspired, supported, validated, and understood? Do they have a clear understanding of expectations? Do they know they can say the truth and not receive punitive consequences? Do they have opportunities to discover their unique genius? Are they compared to siblings? Do they have parental unity in parenting styles? Do they listen to empowering language or is inappropriate language the norm around the dinner table or when tempers flare? These and other questions create the climate for cultural improvement and change. We can always travel together in a manner which deepens respect, trust, love, empowerment and individual validation.
On a final note, we are always seeking to improve the partnership between our school and home. Why would it matter? What are the benefits of making the connection, of providing consistency between cultures?
Stop and reflect…
- How would creating consistency between the school and home cultures assist you as a parent?
- How would it help improve your school and the morale of the teachers?
- How would it help your child?
- By seeking first to understand and then to be understood, we are all developing our interpersonal skills and relationships.
- Do you believe that partnership between home and school is critical to the academic success of your children?
Having consistency between healthy cultures promotes a feeling of unity, safety, provides stability, offers consistent expectations of behavior and attitudes, and creates opportunities for success. It also creates added strength and support to these individual cultures. It creates an environment for synergy to occur, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It allows for a myriad of solutions to complex problems.
All children are leaders in their own unique way because they have greatness within them. As parents and educators, we have the opportunity to create the culture in our homes and school to reflect that paradigm. We can create a culture that inspires greatness.
Through the next several newsletter articles, we will be identifying and discussing opportunities and tools that can be used to create a leadership culture in your homes. We’ll take a look at our paradigms, also known as “the way we see things.” We’ll focus on foundational basics that will assist you to create a successful family culture.
We’ll share experiences of how the common language and practices within Leader in Me can be implemented in both our homes and school and provide tools so that we develop strong character roots, increasing our personal and interpersonal effectiveness.
Together, we can inspire greatness.
[Excerpt adapted for Oakleigh Grammar from The Leader in Me Blog Newsletter by Franklin Covey]