Thursday Thoughts No. 13 (10/21/21)

When teachers believe they can positively influence student learning through their collective actions, the students succeed at a rate almost four times faster than an average school year. This shared belief is called Collective Teacher Efficacy (CTE). A renowned researcher, John Hattie, and his team conducted meta-analyses on millions of students across the globe. They quantitatively measure influences on student achievement. Collective Teacher Efficacy is one of the most effective influences on student achievement; more so than socioeconomic factors, study time, teacher feedback, and student’s prior knowledge, to name a few. According to Jenni Donoho, a leading expert, teachers with CTE show greater effort and persistence, willingness to try new teaching approaches, and attend more closely to struggling students’ needs.

I heard a story about a student who was not doing well in school. He struggled to pass his classes and did not seem to have much of a future. When he got his SAT scores back, he received 1400, which was enough to be accepted into college regardless of his high school transcript. That student went to college and successfully completed his first year. Shortly thereafter, he found out that the SAT issued him the wrong score. His actual score was much lower and reflected that of his K-12 career. When asked how he succeeded his first year in college, he responded that he finally believed in himself and his ability to succeed—something he had never possessed before.

This student’s story is a perfect example of self-efficacy, which is the belief in oneself to execute the desired outcome. Let’s take CTE and self-efficacy and coin the phrase “Collective Efficacy.”

This phenomenon can be transposed into business leadership. This is your ability to build a strong team, a supportive network, and the ability to push your organization to new heights. When you have cheerleaders and people who fully believe in your ability to achieve your dreams, you’re unstoppable.

Take a look at the model below. The Success Mindset model includes capacity, confidence, action, and results. If the word “low” precedes the words on the cycle, one can expect poor results. Inversely, if the word “high” precedes the words on the cycle, you can expect big results.

The key is helping people believe in themselves and have the confidence to take action.

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Take time to reflect on the efficacy in your life:


  • Do you believe in yourself? Why? Why not?
  • Do you have a supportive network of colleagues and friends?
  • Does your trusted advisor believe in you? If not, it might be time to find someone who does.
  • Who helps you gain the confidence to take action and get results?
  • Do you let unsolicited feedback and negative comments get you down? See my past newsletter to combat this common deflator.

Your Employees:

  • How can you instill a sense of collective efficacy within your employees?
  • Do you believe in them?
  • Do you build them up?
  • Do you give them the capacity to foster their own self-efficacy by allowing your employees to solve their own problems and take ownership of their work?
  • Do your actions, beliefs, and words model collective efficacy at work?

Your community:

  • Do you believe in your kids? Your significant other? Your family? Your spiritual institutions? Your neighborhood? Your volunteer organizations?
  • How can you build others up around you instead of using words and actions to tear them down?

Are you asking yourself, “How do I do this?” I can help!


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