Help! I Can't Bring People Together!

Jun 16, 2022
Help I Can't Bring People Together

“There can only be one state of mind as you approach any profound test; total concentration, spirit of togetherness, and strength.” Pat Riley

Today’s Kickstarter challenge came from a school administrator who shared that the administration and teachers are trying to lean towards a more equitable learning environment, but the political world often gets in the way. After learning a little more about the context, the Kickstarters group used the flipping technique to arrive at the following…

Positive Frame

Name it: Administrators and teachers cannot have civil conversations.

Flip it: We can have civil conversations.

Frame it: We have a deep desire for practical and tangible togetherness, meaning everyone matters.

Other Suggested Frames

  • Right and wrong would be something of the past.
  • Conversations that include both listening and speaking on all sides of the issue.
  • We collaborate around the vision of our organization.
  • Winning would be inconsequential.
  • People would lean into the complexity of these issues.
  • We work towards what is best for the children.
  • Finding coming ground would be the foundation on which we build.
  • We have psychological safety where everyone can speak without fear of being put down.

Generative Questions  

When we reflected on what questions would help the administrators and teachers engage in a fruitful conversation that would move them towards a collective desired outcomes,  the insightful Kickstarters group came up with the following:

  • How would we need to respond to each other to create the sense of togetherness?
  • What would the end of the conversation/session feel like?
  • What does everyone “need” to be true/real? Meaning what really matters to each and every one, thus to make it real?
  • When was a time when you felt like you and your opinions mattered on this issue? What made you feel that way?
  • If our children are interviewed about the way we’ve approached working together, what do we want to hear them describe about us?
  • Can we translate “civil” into needs or desires?
  • What would a safe environment look like to have these types of conversations?
  • What does tangible togetherness look like?
  • What do you most want to include in the conversation?
  • Where are we already in agreement?
  • What’s working in/on that issue?
  • What’s been a high point experience of working together?
  • When have you seen administrators, teachers and parents having these conversations? What made them successful?
  • Who do you most want to include in the conversation?
  • What role would the facilitator play?
  • What are your primary concerns?

Cool Tip

When determining the frame, it helps to look a little deeper for what is possible, as demonstrated by today’s choice, “We have a deep desire for practical and tangible togetherness, meaning everyone matters.”