Why is perspective critical to leading and teaching?

Sun glasses

In our quest to create positive change in the world, I have been inspired to reflect upon the idea that people see the world in different ways. We all wear metaphorical “sun glasses.” These glasses color the way we see and act in the world. The book “Seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey argues that our “sun glasses” are colored by experience and nature. In a teaching or leadership situation, I would encourage us to consider trying to look at the world through the “sun glasses” of our students or team members.

Teachers and leaders need to pay attention to perspective

Sarah and I are big Dave Ramsey fans. We were first introduced to Dave’s organization through “Financial Peace University.”   As my professional life in software development has turned toward leadership, Sarah bought me the book “Entreleadership.”   In this course, Dave Ramsey reveals how he and his team lead and inspire their company. This book and related social media content have been life changing. Even though it’s a book targeted at business, I feel all professional educators, non-profit leaders, and influencers should consider reading this very practical book.   I also recommend that you check out their podcast.   The information will change you.

I had the great pleasure to attend a one day conference on Entreleadership yesterday. ( see Twitter activity)  Chris LoCurto, a VP with Dave’s company,  shared that a basic understanding of personality styles can help us communicate better with our team.  The team can be a group of students, a team of engineers, or people who might purchase a product from us.   From a student perspective, teacher’s seek to sell their students the product called the “love of life-long learning.”

 How do I learn about the world view of others?

Chris LoCurto reviewed the “DISC Assessment” tool used at Dave Ramsey’s organization.   I think it’s really cool that all team members at Dave’s company have their personality style posted publically.   This helps the organization communicate more effectively since information creators become aware of the world view of their target audience.

I would encourage you to visit the following resources to learn more:

Details on DISC Assessment Dimensions

  • 40% of us are Steady(S)
  • 25% of us are Compliant(C)
  • 25% of us are Influencing(I)
  • 10% of us are Dominant(D)

DISC assessment

Summary of personality dimensions from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DISC_assessment

  • Drive (D): People who score high in the intensity of the “D” styles factor are very active in dealing with problems and challenges, while low “D” scores are people who want to do more research before committing to a decision. High “D” people are described as demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Low D scores describe those who are conservative, low keyed, cooperative, calculating, undemanding, cautious, mild, agreeable, modest and peaceful.
  • Influence (I): People with high “I” scores influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional. They are described as convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. Those with low “I” scores influence more by data and facts, and not with feelings. They are described as reflective, factual, calculating, skeptical, logical, suspicious, matter of fact, pessimistic, and critical.
  • Steadiness(S): People with high “S” styles scores want a steady pace, security, and do not like sudden change. High “S” individuals are calm, relaxed, patient, possessive, predictable, deliberate, stable, consistent, and tend to be unemotional and poker faced. Low “S” intensity scores are those who like change and variety. People with low “S” scores are described as restless, demonstrative, impatient, eager, or even impulsive.
  • Compliance(C): People with high “C” styles adhere to rules, regulations, and structure. They like to do quality work and do it right the first time. High “C” people are careful, cautious, exacting, neat, systematic, diplomatic, accurate, and tactful. Those with low “C” scores challenge the rules and want independence and are described as self-willed, stubborn, opinionated, unsystematic, arbitrary, and unconcerned with details. How can this information help in your family relationships?  How can this information help you in a teaching context?

If you knew the “sun glasses” that existed in your family, workplace or class room, how would you use this information?   How can our students and team members use this information?


Photo taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/floringorgan/4964488979/sizes/m/in/photostream/

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