So I gave them a survey. Can you believe it? As if we haven’t had enough surveys?
I asked them to write a number on a piece of paper. “1” was “I want the best scores possible. You will not have to push me.” “2” was “I cannot
always push myself. Sometimes I expect you to push me.” “3” was, “I cannot motivate myself. If you want excellence from me, you will always have to push
I told them to leave their answer anonymous. I told them it didn’t matter to me which number they chose, and that I only wanted to know what I could expect from
them and what they expected from me. I let them put little pieces of paper in a box and I tallied the results.
What do you think happened?
Well, first of all, they were dying to know what the totals were. So by simply
asking the right question I had already unified the Chorus. The results were also encouraging: About half chose “1” and half chose “2.”
By examining the results, I was able to reflect back at them that we had a very motivated chorus, which makes them feel good. We also have a good sense of what to what to expect going forward, so when I have to push them, no one will be surprised and no one will be angry. Finally, this is a good use of data, which should make my administrative team happy!
There were a couple of unexpected turns. One of my best students did sign her
name, and yet she gave herself a “3.” That suggests that there may have been a disconnect between their self-perception and their actual behavior.
Even though the survey has its limitations, the activity was a terrific way to regain focus on the goal: a successful performance, however we have to get there.
What do you think of my idea, and how might you have done it differently?