Saturday, August 8, 2015

Selling yourself

Although it is only the first week of school, some teachers already know it will be their last year in their particular school  For whatever reason it is time for them to move on.  Around this time of year, these leaving teachers start to think about the recruitment process and how best to package and sell themselves when looking for a new school.  I was interested to read Dan Pink's views on selling yourself in his book To Sell Is Human;  The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing and Influencing Others, which was the holiday read for the non-teaching staff at ASB.

Pink states that our first instinct is that we should sell ourselves based on our achievements.  We should emphasize what we have done and the impact we have made.  Perhaps we also want to let others know about the ways we have been recognized through promotion or through various awards. However Pink quotes from a 2012 paper by Zakary Tormala and Jayson Jia of Stanford University and Michael Norton of the Harvard Business School, who claim we are better emphasizing our potential, rather than our achievements.  They write that "the potential to be good at something can be preferred over actually being good at that very same thing".  In some ways this is strange because potential is more uncertain.  However these researchers argue that this leads people to think more deeply about the person they are evaluating, which in turn can lead to them coming up with more and better reasons why the person would be a good hire.

The message here is simple:  don't just concentrate on what you have already achieved in your teaching career, instead emphasize the potential of what you could achieve in the future.

Photo Credit: Rene Mensen via Compfight cc

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