Denton A. Cooley, MD

  Denton A. Cooley, MD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





In his book, Teaching the Elephant to Dance, author Jim Belasco tells the story of Dr. Denton Cooley, the famous heart surgeon.  One day Belasco followed Dr. Cooley on his rounds and, en route to the operating room, saw the doctor stop and talk to a man mopping the hallway.  The two mean conversed for nearly ten minutes before the surgeon dashed into the operating room.  Curious, Belasco walked over to the man with the mop and said, “That was a long conversation.”  The man replied, “Yes, Dr. Cooley and I talk quite often.”  Then Belasco asked, “What exactly do you do at the hospital?”  The man replied, “We save lives.”

In the best organizations, there is not such thing as them and us; there is only “we”- all of us working together.  In the big picture everyone has a unique roll to fill… everyone has a piece to the puzzle, everyone makes a difference.  Is this the attitude in your school? If not, how can you work to make a change in your organization?  How does your language with the others in the school reflect your value of them?


Cuban Artist: Victor Manuel Garcia 1929

Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple. Every head is a world.
Cuban Proverb

Think about the worlds you encounter each day in the life of your home, school or center.  What is the connection between listening, verbal language, body language, and nonverbal modes of communication?  Does that image of “every head is a world” give you pause to think of the responsibility we have to value each person we encounter-children, parents, co educators? Do we reflect the value we hold in our language? Today you WILL impact the world!  Pretty heady stuff!