We chose our seven operating principles based on the eight principles the SASD Coaching Leadership Team used in their meetings. In small and large groups, we discussed the caveats of each principle, defined them and stated “what is” and “what isn’t” involved in each principle. Enforcement of the operating principles follows:
1. Straight Talk
Definition: We value straight talk that is ethical and with integrity.
What it is: Open, honest, direct, straight forward, communicative, accurate, unemotional, with proper perspective and behavior, in good faith.
What it isn’t: Personal forum, not biased or misleading, hidden objective, malicious, vindictive, intimidating.
2. Active Listening
Definition: Over half of effective communication is listening.
What it is: Being able to repeat, giving eye contact.
What it isn’t:Having to agree, interrupting
3. Outside/Hallway Conversations a.k.a. “The meeting after the meeting.”
Definition: Discussing things you were not willing to talk about at the meeting. We will make an effort to have conversations that are positive and productive for our team.
What it is: Productive, professional
What it isn’t:Subversive, creating rumors
Definition: Working with a team honestly and openly towards a decision everyone can support.
What it is: Being prepared, facts, feeling comfortable, open to ideas
What it isn’t: Argumentative, not emotion, fearful or reluctant to speak, close minded.
We hope to achieve alignment through Consensus Decision-Making:
*thumbs up, thumbs down, with explanation
*can live with it
*can support it
*open to other perspectives
*for the good of the whole
Definition: Working together to discover/create the best environment for Horace Mann.
What it is: Thinking outside the box, good for the whole, finding options, positive approach, “can”
What it isn’t:“We’ve always done it this way,” territorial, settling, looking for barriers, “can’t”
Definition: Forward progress toward our goals. Our building goals and all goals.
What it is: Alignment with our decision-making matrix, communication/follow-up, documentation.
What it isn’t:Talking in circles, trying to solve problems that aren’t ours to solve, too many things without added time
7. Clear Measurable Outcomes
Definition: Specific, Measurable, Aggressive yet achievable, Relevant, Time-bound (SMART)
What it is: accountable, accountability
Questions: Are building goals updated quarterly?
Not sure what our goal is?
How can SBM be more focused on building goals?
8. Value Team Members
Definition: Start on time, stay with the agenda, assign a timekeeper.
Informational items provided in writing with the agenda to be read by all team members prior to the meeting.
What it is: See Definition
What it isn't: Starting late, ignoring time frames
Enforcement and violations of said Operating Principles will be addressed as follows:
1. List Operating Principles on agenda.
2. Agree on what to share at the close of the meeting/create a “check-out” list.
3. All team members are the “Keepers of the Operating Principles” at each meeting.
4. Yellow/red flag may be thrown.
5. Check out on the Operating Principles at the end of each meeting. We will list this as an agenda item so we can talk about how we did or did not observe application of the Operating Principles throughout the meeting.
6. A separate meeting for a violation may be needed