Exit strategy

[cross-posted at LeaderTalk]
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Last month I blogged about the importance of first impressions.\nIn other words, what do visitors see and hear when they first walk into\nyour school organization? Is that experience positive or negative? This\nmonth's post will be on exit strategy.

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No, I don't mean your own personal strategy for getting out!\nInstead, I mean what are visitors' experiences when they leave your\norganization? Do they see some interesting, motivating, or upbeat\nmessage as they walk out of the building? Do they see\ncharts of significant progress the school is making? Are there pictures\nof students doing interesting work? Does someone say something nice to\nthem as they leave? Are they leaving their visit with a positive taste\nin their mouth?

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Like first impressions, what visitors see and hear as they leave\nyour building can have big impacts on their overall feelings and\nbeliefs about your organization. Leaders should strive to have every\nvisitor walk away with a positive impression of the organization. If\nthat's not possible, perhaps due to a difficult conversation that just\noccurred inside, leaders should at least do everything they can to\nminimize the negative feelings with which visitors leave. No one wants\nvisitors to leave unhappy, ready to spread the bad news about your\norganization to others.

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As leaders, I encourage you to take a critical, objective look at\nyour school's entry and exit experiences. Ask yourself, 'As a visitor,\nwhat do I see and hear when I enter and leave this place? How am I\ntreated during my time in this building?' Get others to do this too –\nthey'll have different thoughts and impressions than you will.\nBrainstorm ways to make outsiders' visits more positive and\nhospitable – you'll probably find many low or no cost ways of improving\nthose experiences.

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Oh, and did I mention that whatever you come up with also should help the general vibe of your students and staff too?

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Y'all come back now, hear?

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