Tuesday, November 27, 2007

about refusal, and saying yes!

Last week, I read a Jenny Levine post quoting a YA librarian, who said: "I refuse to say NO". Brilliant!
Then, I read in HBR (the hard copy, still one of my favorite things at my public library) an article where psychologist John M. Gottman, a relationship specialist revealed the secret to great relationships was to "sprinkle yeses throughout your interactions" Brilliant2.
I say YES! I love this idea, "yes, I can help you", "yes we can try this", "yes it matters to us if it's important to you"...


One of the things I struggle with a lot is that I feel there continues to be a disconnect between great strides forward in library science and service, with staff being smart, innovative, fresh; and managing and funding bodies who tend to think their organizations should be "2.0" but their management and governance practices should not change.

It is the most important next step I see. Help them understand that innovation on their part is essential to innovation in the field. That "old fashion" management often brings the biggest barriers to true transformation. We have brilliant minds in the field who are producing some of the best technical improvements to library services, we have staff who keeps up. We have developed a culture of excellence in service that honors our roots and embraces new missions for us...

But we need management to PARTICIPATE in the transformation, not just watch it, applaud it and return to their office. Accept transparency as a way of life, decide that your user's participation will be worth your adjusting to the lack of control you have over it. Don't have a staff person WRITE YOUR BLOG! Be willing to defend myspace, gaming teens and food and drinks to your funding bodies. Be ready for imperfections, mistakes and great triumph. Resolve to say yes too.

ENTER YOUR BUILDINGS THRU THE FRONT DOOR, you may discover, understand and even become part of a great story.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! :)

Of course I can't find the cite right now, but somewhere I have a blog post someone else wrote in which they talked about conversations and how we tend to start our responsed with "no, but," even when we mean well. This person suggested that when you respond to someone else's idea, start with "yes, and."

It's something I've taken to heart personally, as it's more inclusive and less negative, and it doesn't put the other person on the defensive.

Jenny Levine
The Shifted Librarian