Sunday, August 3, 2014

Multipliers vrs. Diminishers

Liz Wiseman, Lois N. Allen & Elise Foster THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT: TAPPING THE GENIUS INSIDE OUR SCHOOLS—Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools

“Teachers who speak of ‘learning styles’ are labelling students in terms of how they (the teachers) think the students think, and thus overlooking the fact that the student can change, and learn new ways of thinking and can meet challenges in learning” (pg. 89).

When I heard a colleague refer to themselves a a hopeful "Multiplier" I was intrigued. When I heard another college reference themselves as a reformed "Diminisher" with aspirations of becoming a mindful "Multiplier" I was more than curious.  

Leadership experts Wiseman, Allen and Foster collaborated to approach leadership in our schools differently to get "dramatically enhanced results" by "utilizing others at their fullest." By definition a Diminisher sucks all the air from the room. They recognize themselves as the owner, facilitator and dictator of the learning. Haven't we all worked with someone like that? Frankly it's exhausting.  I DO comes to mind.

The "Multipliers" think differently, they operate differently, which causes people to respond differently." They see people as smart with the ability to get smarter, and stretch their thinking to build the collective "growth mindset" defined by Carol Dweck. Multipliers recognizes the genius in each of us and helps us thrive. Who wouldn't want to work in that type of leading environment?

So which one am I, a Multiplier or an Accidental Diminisher? Honestly I was afraid to find out. Could I be diminishing others despite best intentions to do otherwise?  I took the on-line self-reflective 3 minute quiz to find out at The questions were straightforward and I answered them in confidence. 

Yikes! Tell me it isn't so.  I was more in the middle than I thought.  Although the authors reassured me that the "reality is that we all fall somewhere closer to the Accidental Diminisher’s scale than we realize. The important part comes in the knowing and making the changes needed to recognize and utilize the "smarts" of others and enjoy the journey of improvement with a collective mindset. 

This is an invaluable read for each type of educator to rethink our assumptions of leadership, remember we can't do it by ourselves, and why would we want to when there are multiple genius around us to support the thinking needed for effective change.

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