Does Your Professional Learning Experience Have A ‘Strong Door’?
August 22, 2017
Read Jennifer's guest blog column for Learning Forward on how to have a "strong door" in your professional learning experience.
I have a restauranteur friend, Lynn. Although we come from different industries and perspectives, we both believe a restaurant needs to have a “strong door”: the good feeling you get when you walk through the door and immediately feel welcomed. Within the first moments of your arrival, the strong door hostess greets you, positively manages your experience if there’s a wait, and makes you feel seen and acknowledged. A strong door creates the impression that you are in a place you want to be.
We’ve all been to restaurants that don’t have a strong door: No one acknowledges your arrival, the “weak door” hostess is in no hurry to ask for your name, and you can feel the indifference as she shows you to your table. Unfortunately, it isn’t just at restaurants where a weak door metaphor works; some district offices, schools and professional learning events have weak doors, as well.
About Jennifer Abrams
Jennifer Abrams considers herself a "voice coach," helping others learn how to best use their voices – be it collaborating on a team, presenting in front of an audience, coaching a colleague and supervising an employee. Jennifer holds a Master's degree in Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor's degree in English from Tufts University. She lives in Palo Alto, California. Jennifer's latest book is Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives. Her previous publications include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicating, Collaborating & Creating Community and Hard Conversations Unpacked – the Whos, the Whens and the What Ifs. She has also created a Corwin Press e-course by the same name.
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Praise for Jennifer
“Jennifer has so squarely hit the mark with our teacher-leaders that she is one of the few presenters that they are always requesting when professional development is the question. Here at the University of Chicago, this acclaim and recognition does not come easily! Jennifer has a way of presenting information that gets quickly to the heart of the matter. Her ability to read the true needs of the group, regardless of the original focus, has made her a favorite among the faculty here at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.”