Listening by Design

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April 17, 2011 by jbrettjacobsen

I had the opportunity to receive an invitation to post an entry to a site called edu180atlbeta (What did you learn today?).  As stated, “The mission of the edu180atl project is to nurture and encourage the spirits of those who love to learn, to connect learners across disciplines and settings, and to deepen the national conversation about education by enabling parents, students, and educators to share stories of what they are learning every day.”

As seen on edu180atlbeta…

Listening by Design

In the business section of the Sunday New York Times, each week an executive is interviewed and expresses a significant leadership lesson that he/she has learned over time.  It never fails that approximately 90% of the time the leader reveals that listening is one of the most critical ingredients to great leadership.

So, I thought I would give listening a try today.  I did and this is what I learned from students, teachers, parents and administrators in my Mount Vernon community where I reside.

Listening to…

Claire, she taught me to be in the moment and enjoy.

Stephen, he reminded me to always assume the best.

Cate, she taught me to lead with your heart more than your head.

Allison, she taught me to see the angles.

Lauren, she modeled discernment.

Andy, he taught me that small deposits have a cumulative effect.

Eric, he taught to be a calming force.

Marsha, she pointed me in the right direction.

Paula, she ignited my creative juices.

Miles, he reminded me to take risks.

Robert, he reinvigorated my passion.

Mary, she embodied growth mindset.

Jovahn, he reminded me that nice guys do finish first.

Adrienne, she modeled serving others.

Bruce, he taught me the pursuit of precision.

Morgan, she exemplified the mindset to never, never give up.

Heather, she encouraged me to consider another point of view.

Braden, he reminded me that a sense of humor is necessary to team building.

What an incredible day of listening and learning! I need to do more of it.  I am privileged to be surrounded by great mentors.  However, as someone said recently, “Application makes all the difference.”  Now, it is time to make innovative ideas happen.


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Dr. Brett Jacobsen

Head of School
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Atlanta, GA

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