Pulling at the Heart
To promote change leaders can talk about how and what is going to happen and why it is going to happen. But do they make a connection with their students, staff, subordinates, customers by just saying the What, When, Where, How, and Why? No. Leaders and influencers understand that to really make a change they have to be able to not only deliver the WWWWH but deliver a meaning that tugs at the heart. Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” was a slideshow turned documentary that shows the effects of Global Warming. It could have been just another slideshow presentation but Mr. Gore knew how to connect to people and tug at their hearts. He talked about and showed evidence of global warming. He talked and showed what we could do to change it. He showed us picture of the future of Earth if we didn’t change. How did he tug at the hearts? Pictures, video, stories and guilt. “Several studies have experimentally tested the impact of viewing the film. A UK study found that showing selective clips from AIT resulted in participants feeling more empowered and more motivated to make lifestyle changes to fight climate change.” (Holmes, 2016).
And there you have it. Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” CHANGED how people thought and acted because of how he was able to pull at those heart strings…or did he? “However, the effect didn’t last long. This indicates that persistent communication efforts are required to promote sustained behavior change.” (Holmes, 2016). While Al Gore thought he started a revolution, he didn’t follow up with more information or awareness and the change only happened for a short time. It is possible with that failed because Al Gore wasn’t ready for communication and organization for the future. If there was a website that had a community to it (remember this is 2005/2006,before Facebook and MySpace was still a new concept) or a forum that was set up on http://an-inconvenient-truth.com/ it would have been more successful. You can start a revolution, but if there isn’t anymore than just the start, the resurgent of previous behaviors will emerge once again.
Negativity can spread like wild fire too from an influencer. Take for instance a company who has lack of compassion for their employees or product isn’t going to succeed or a principal who doesn’t relate to the students. While working in education I have been able to meet some amazing people that help educate and direct the future students. What I found is that they put on a great mask for their students. Hiding the fact that as educators they are a doormat to not only parents but principals as well. One of my friends worked in a school were the principal had no relation with the teachers or the students. There was never any encouragement but only negativity that came from the principal. There were threats to teachers of losing their job because of their ineffective performance. The principal believed that the teachers didn’t deserve positive feedback or reinforcement and would sell them out any time they could. Do you think the school was a high preforming school? Unfortunately, changes were never made and the school failed under the leadership of an influencer that only saw negative. 21 of the 79 staff and teachers transferred to different schools the following year, while the principal kept their job. It’s a shame because the only losers in this situation were the students and teachers. The teachers did what they were allowed to do because of restraint and fear of the principal. This ended up hindering the growth of the students and making the environment a very unhealthy one.
On the flipside, think of the positivity a principal can bring to a school or a leader to a business. We know the story of how an arrogant Steve Jobs almost tore apart Apple in his early years. Years later he is rehired at Apple. He turned the workplace into a fun, exciting, future holding place of innovation that lead technology to where it is today. In a school the same can happen with an affective teacher or principal. Take for instance, Principal Hamish Brewer a self-proclaimed “educational disruptor” is a challenging the status quo when it comes to education and principals. Hamish Brewer is a New Zealand native who has tattoos, pierced ears and rides skateboards through hallways at his school. He believes “relationships” are the key to a successful school. He made this the priority for the teachers by pulling and touching their hearts and reminding them why they are teachers and why they became teachers and what they can do for the future.
Utilizing the strategy of Blooms Taxonomy of Learning all together and not just one part or 2 parts but all 3 parts is how to be affective. The 3 parts: Cognitive, Psychomotor, Affective (Brain, Movement, Heart) works off of one another. Think of these 3 as parts that make up a human body. Cognitive and Affective can’t work together because a brain has to be able to send information to the body to move. Psychomotor and Affective because changes can’t happen without brain, because thoughts and actions need to happen. All 3 work together to make the biggest change.
How to Change People Who Don’t Want to Change | The Behavioral Science Guys
Why TED Talks don’t change people’s behaviors: Tom Asacker at TEDxCambridge 2014
John Kotter – The Heart of Change
Start With Why – Simon Sinek TED talk
Leading Change: Establish a Sense of Urgency
An Inconvenient Truth (2006) Official Trailer #1 – Al Gore Movie HD
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again | Freethink
Relentless Principal Uses UFC & Skateboards to Save a Failing School
An Inconvenient Truth created by Al Gore. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://an-inconvenient-truth.com/
Cook, J. (2020, April 17). Ten years on: how Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth made its mark. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/ten-years-on-how-al-gores-an-inconvenient-truth-made-its-mark-59387
Gore, A. (n.d.). An Inconvenient Truth (Movie). Retrieved from https://www.algore.com/library/an-inconvenient-truth-dvd
Student Motivations and Attitudes: The Role of the Affective Domain in Geoscience Learning. (2016, November 3). Retrieved from https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/index.html