Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 4 Reading: Enrollment

In The Art of Possibility the Zanders discuss “the way things are” and its relation to “enrollment.” They discuss that a “no” can seem like a slamming door to which we can give up, attack, or manipulate. Personally, I have done all three. During the last two years of employment, I was presented with two major conflicts that led to my resignation. The first was two years ago; our small parochial school was invited to join the public school for athletics. Being the athletic director, I was not intrigued by the idea, and I did not support the movement. I tried to dissuade the school board and parents. The school board had rejected the proposal twice before; however, parents had threatened to pull their kids from our school if we did not join. After a third public meeting and vote, the school joined the public school for athletics. For me this was a slammed door, and I did not find it to be fascinating; however, I agreed to stay on as athletic director and support the merger. I tried to create a spark by reminding people of the job I had done in encouraging junior high students to remain at our school, and I reminded them of the growth of the sports programs under my supervision the previous two years; however, their answer was a resounding no. Of course, I took it personally, but after reading this book, I now am better suited and prepared for future confrontation of this sort. Even though my spark did not catch on, it is important to not take the way things are personally. There will always be another opportunity for enrollment, and I am better armed to handle the confrontation in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your difficult experiences. It can be so difficult after you've spent time building something to not feel valued by those pushing for a different decision. I used to deal with being pushed out in a passive-aggressive way, in that I knew after I left they'd need two or three people to do the job that I had been doing on my own, and almost every time that was the case. That's too bad. I don't know that I could have done better and I did benefit from the change in position, so no sour milk there for me. Again, thanks for sharing.