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Principal’s Panui – 21 June 2019

We get to choose our response in each and every moment.

One of the catch phrases that I use with staff is “don’t play the ace when the 4 will do”. This links to respect and responsibility. Don’t assume the worst of people when you have been told something or have seen something. Often you only have heard or seen part of the full picture.

I ask staff to be the naive enquirer which means asking a genuine question, in other words playing the 4 and not asking a question as if you already know the answer, the Ace, and really means that I am not listening to the answer or the other person’s point of view. Inevitably this means you have jumped to a high-end conclusion and consequence and trust will be damaged.

It is your responsibility to display respect and hear both sides of the story. It’s up to an individual’s integrity whether they choose to tell the full truth and deploy above the line thinking.  Students need to be taught and learn to take this approach as well.

Also try to keep in mind, even if someone has done you some wrong, remember that resentment is wasted energy. Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick. It’s better to try and resolve it than resent it.

We have a choice every day about our attitude. I choose to be positive.

One way to display a positive attitude is to adopt above the line thinking in everything you do;

Those who play above the line do what? They take “Ownership” of their life, they say I am “Accountable” for the results in my life and the “Responsibility” lies with me.  The difference between the two is people who play below the line have a fixed mindset and don’t believe they are in control of their life. People who play above the line have a growth mindset, they believe that they are in control of their own destiny. They are using the “OAR” to steer their own ship.

Most who play below the line do what if something goes wrong? They lay “Blame”. If they can’t find someone to blame then what do they do, they come up with “Excuses”.  Thirdly… if they can’t make excuses they “Deny” there is a problem.  Below the line, you make your “BED” and you must lie in it. By playing above the line, we take ownership of what is happening around us and accept the responsibility and accountability that goes with it.

When something goes wrong, the easiest thing to do is to blame it on somebody else, find an excuse or deny that there is a problem. This ‘playing below the line’ is destructive, as it does not resolve anything and problems get worse. This type of reaction is typical of the fixed mindset – failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy for people who think like this as they believe they can’t change or improve or won’t make the effort.

Playing above the line is constructive because taking ownership of, and responsibility for challenges, leads to the resolution of problems. This pro-active approach is typical of people with a growth mindset and a positive can-do attitude. Growth mindset people also tend to be happy and therefore successful.

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