Common Language of Success

One of the greatest strengths of the Habits of Mind is that it gives us a common language to talk about successful behaviours. By building this common language in the home, workplace or school it helps us clearly communicate our expectations and discuss our growth of Habits of Mind.

In schools and homes we often use a variety of language to communicate basically the same message. We want children to “work hard” to “keep trying”, to “listen” to “give things a go”, to develop a “positive work ethic” to “grow up”… there are hundreds of terms we use. What’s more, the specific term one person uses is likely to be different to other adults in the family or teachers at the school.

The video below describes how one family have adopted the Habits of Mind as a common language of success that they share with the school and how this has helped them communicate more clearly the expectations for their children.

A similar situation can be found in the workplace. Modern workplaces are very good at defining work expectations. Job descriptions, Mission and Vision Indicators, Key Performance Indicators, and other forms of descriptions are used to help clearly define the role, goal or task that needs to be achieved. However, how clear are we about the type of thinking behaviours that need to be exercised in order to meet these outcomes? In many ways knowing WHAT has to be achieved is relatively easy, knowing how to go about achieving it successful is another matter all together.

The lanaguage of the Habits of Mind can be a powerful tool to help bring clarity to the sorts of behaviours that are expected to be developed and applied in the work place.

For example, if you are in a position of employing someone for a new role. You have a clear description of what the role will involve. When it comes to the interview how closely do the Habits of Mind match the qualities you are looking for in an applicant. Certainly you will likely want relevant experience and knowledge, but in terms of the applicants ability to work effectively, might your ideas be clarified by the list in this summary of the Habits of Mind?