Six years ago Sharon Laney joined Lon and Larry Stednitz Ph.D. on January 23, 2012 to discuss “Overcoming Resistance to Change.” The conversation ranged from the sources and causes of resistance to change from students, staff and parents in therapeutic boarding schools, to some of the insights she had learned from her 20+ years working with residential schools and programs for struggling teens. The insights cover the basics of what is necessary to overcome resistance to change and help the students learn more healthy ways of living. It also touches on what were some of the major understandings of that stage of deverlopment of the relatively new creation of therapeutic boarding schools. Sharon was Executive Director of Lake House Academy in North Carolina at the time. She is now VP of New Business Operations at InnerChange, which includes Lake House Academy as one of their seven schools. This discussion still applies to management of modern therapeutic boarding schools. -Lon
This is one of a series of interviews about developments in the network of private, parent-choice schools and programs helping struggling teens and young adults. The guests are innovative leaders in this network.
Listen to Part One of this podcast:
Listen to Part Two of this podcast:
Jan. 23, 2012
“Human nature is to be cautious and there is a natural resistance to change” stated Sharon Laney, the Executive Director of Lake House Academy. Co-hosting on today’s show was Larry Stednitz, PhD, an affiliate of Woodbury Reports, Inc, joining in on the topic of change and how effective leadership helps students and staff overcome the resistance to change.
“How important is the ‘culture’ of the school or program in order to move forward with change?” Lon posed Sharon. “If a positive culture is in place, the students will blossom and bloom. If it is not sound, it is very difficult for change. In my career, I have had to go into a program with an open mind, be able to assess what is going on and identify the weaknesses and strengths and recognize what we do great and what do we need to do to move forward. It is important to show support and care for both students and staff (in regards to change), be visible and lead by example.”
“It is very critical to clearly articulate the vision of the program’s mission statement and that staff see it posted and that it is talked about and discussed. Engaging the staff with humor helps also”, Sharon replied to Larry’s question on: how does the mission statement play into a positive peer culture. Working with staff, holding others accountable and supervising (by managers and supervisors) is important in creating a healthy community. With a structured balance and a safe nurturing environment, getting back to the fundamentals of our standards, in addition to consistency, allows for the security the students (and staff) need when there is change.” As Sharon shared “not only talk the talk, you need to walk the walk, own the program and others will follow.”