Many of you know I teach in the business school of one of San Francisco Bay Area’s local universities. The course work for one sixteen-week class involves an instructional tag-team approach. In other words, there are four of us instructors involved. Thus, coordination is important in reinforcing key messages in the course work. This particular class is comprised of sixteen CEO’s of mid-size companies from all over the United States.
Here’s a note I recently sent to my fellow instructors. I trust you can ‘listen in’ and benefit too. After all, it’s important for all of us to reinforce our colleagues identity of themselves as a professional.
Here’s my note.
“Reinforcing one’s identity of themselves as a professional (one of the key points from my week three work with the students) takes many forms. In some instances, it’s a number of (seemingly) small things, repeated many times.”
“I’m writing to encourage each of you in reinforcing our current XX students identity of themselves as a professional. It’s important for us to model (for them, the students) what we’re encouraging them to do (for their people).”
“Here’s one seemingly simple way to do this: when addressing the students or asking a question, preface your comments or question with ‘As a professional, …’.”
“For example, here’s a few samples. As you’ll see, each example is posed in two (slightly) different ways:
“What are you prepared to do to make your change plan come to life?”
“As a professional, what are you prepared to do to make your change plan come to life.”
“To what degree do you feel that this work product reflects your best thinking?”
“As a professional, to what degree do you feel this work product reflects your best thinking?”
“What is it that is incumbent on you to make your experience with this course a terrific one for yourself and your fellow XX colleagues?”
“As a professional, what is it that is incumbent on you to make your experience with this course a terrific one for yourself and your fellow XX colleagues?”
“The ‘professional preface’, when properly executed, produces a better result. Sometimes it takes awhile to kick in, but eventually ‘professional’ will become more top-of-mind for the student. That’s what we want.”
“Of course the ‘preface ahead’ of the salutation suggestion (or method) is not the only way to have ‘professional’ become more top of mind. But it’s a good one for we educators to start with.”
“This seems like a small thing. You may have doubts whether it will have impact. From experience, I can tell you it does.”
“Small things, repeated many times, can produce surprisingly remarkable results.”