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The Listening Leader
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LIST OF FIGURES, TABLES, AND EXHIBITS XIII FOREWORD XVII PREFACE XXI Introduction XXV Equitable School Transformation Is Possible * Leader ]ful Schools, Not Leader ]thin * Primary Audiences for This Book * The Listening Leader Map * How to Read This Book * Anonymity and Pseudonyms Chapter 1: The Transformative Power of Listening 1 Learning to Listen * What We've Inherited * A Few Core Beliefs * Key Challenge 1: The Persistence of Inequity * Key Challenge 2: Integrity in the Face of Pressure * Key Challenge 3: Dealing With Trauma * Key Challenge 4: Disconnected Data * Becoming a Listening Leader * A Word on Mindfulness * The Arts Academy Revisited PART ONE: AWARENESS What do I need to know and understand to become a Listening Leader? Chapter 2: The Core Tenets of Listening Leadership 31 The Leader Who Wanted to Write People Up * Listening Is Brain-Savvy * The Neighborhoods of the Brain * Tenet 1: Our Brains Are Wired for Survival First * Tenet 2: Our Brains React to Survival Threats Through Fight, Flight, or "Tend-and-Befriend" * Tenet 3: Social Threats Signal Survival Threats to Our Brains * Tenet 4: Every Brain Grows in the Right Conditions * Tenet 5: Organizations Have Core Memories Chapter 3: Listening for Equity 55 The Fragility of Trust Across Difference * Tuning in to Structural Racism * Tuning in to Unconscious Bias * Tuning in to Cultural Difference * Lessons Learned: Joy and Wendy Chapter 4: Getting Ready to Listen 79 Listening Below the Green Line * No Shortcut to Trust * Bids and Betrayals * Understand Your Living System * Mindful Listening * The Problem of Rumination * A Seamless Transition PART TWO: RELATIONAL CAPITAL How do I build the interpersonal currency needed to support and develop adult learners? Chapter 5: Practicing Deep Listening 105 The Fallout of Failing to Listen * Relational Capital * Two Types of Listening: Deep and Strategic * Principles of Deep Listening * Deep Listening Stance 1: Attention to Nonverbal Cues * Deep Listening Stance 2: Mature Empathy * Deep Listening Stance 3: Affirmation Chapter 6: Practicing Strategic Listening 127 The Impact of the Right Question * Building Capacity Through Listening * Principles of Strategic Listening * Strategic Listening Stance 1: An Orientation to Vision * Strategic Listening Stance 2: Reflective Inquiry * Strategic Listening Stance 3: A Bias Toward Action * Integrating the Six Stances * Seeds of Transformation Chapter 7: Listening to Parents 146 When Things Fall Apart * Navigating Difference With Parents * Flipping the Script Between Parents and Educators * Five Ways to Listen to Parents * Jackie's Reflections Chapter 8: Listening to Students 166 Listening to Students Tell the Real Story Even When It's Hard to Hear * Discarding Well ]Worn Scripts * Five Ways to Listen to Students * Listening and Democracy PART THREE: COMPLEX CHANGE How do I diagnose and navigate the challenges I face as a leader? Chapter 9: Influencing Complex Change 189 The Listening Leader's Landscape * Leadership in a Living System * Diagnose Your Problems and Challenges * Six Steps to Influence Complex Change * Shaping the Path Chapter 10: Leveraging Listening Routines 214 A Staff Meeting with 100% Engagement * Grown ]Ups Need Routines Too * First, Take Your Team's Temperature * Next, Design Humanizing Routines * Revisiting the Engaged Staff Meeting Chapter 11: Growing a Listening Culture 238 A High School Network in Transition * From Hero to Host * The Four Seasons of a Listening Culture * "Set the Table" with Annual Retreats * Listening Campaigns * Learning Leader Chats * Team One ]on ]Ones * Safe ]to ]Learn Inquiry * Transforming a Culture Chapter 12: Listening for Liberation 259 Conversation by Conversation * Building a Movement * The Courage to Listen APPENDIX A: LISTENING LEADERSHIP RUBRIC 263 APPENDIX B: THE SIX STANCES OF A LISTENING LEADER 271 APPENDIX C: THE INSTRUCTIONAL CONVERSATION PLANNING TOOL 274 APPENDIX D: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR LISTENING TO PARENTS 275 APPENDIX E: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR LISTENING TO STUDENTS 278 APPENDIX F: TELLING THE CURRENT-STATE STORY TOOL 282 APPENDIX G: TOOLS AND FACILITATION STEPS FOR LISTENING ROUTINES 283 APPENDIX H: TOOLS FOR GROWING A LISTENING CULTURE 296 GLOSSARY 304 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 312 ABOUT THE AUTHOR 315 INDEX 317

About the Author

SHANE SAFIR is a coach, writer, and facilitator. She was the founding co-principal of June Jordan School for Equity, an innovative national model identified by scholar Linda Darling-Hammond as having "beaten the odds in supporting the success of low-income students of color." Visit her at shanesafir.com.

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