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  • Jim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip - August 1, 2022: Be Attentive

Today’s Tip: Be Attentive


Two words are often used to describe successful SAM teams:


Intentionality and Attentiveness

SAM leaders are intentional about their work. When scheduling events the SAM team has to select the category, descriptor and associate with an individual or group. This leads to being asked about follow-up work after the event and use of charts and graphs to consider if the work is moving the individual or group in the right direction. Definitely intentional. Definitely effective.


Attentiveness is equally important but harder to do consistently. Attentiveness applies to the leader and SAM, of course. You have to pay attention to each other in order to have your SAM Daily Meeting. Attentiveness also applies to your interaction with staff, community, and students. It applies to all the adults and students in you school.

When talking with an individual do you look them in the eye? Are you focused on the person or your tech? Do you invite conversation by being attentive? Do you push people away or pull them in?


The SAM process includes a Communication Protocol designed to increase attentiveness as you decrease the number of times the school leader’s planned work is interrupted.

The Communications Protocol is used by many secretaries, receptionists and SAMs across the country. Many post the protocol next to their phone. It is a one page, four step process that is proven by research to work. Here’s a secret: Some leaders use the Communications Protocol when working with staff, students, and parents. It works for, them, too.

It takes practice, however. In other words, you must be intentional to be attentive.

Want to give it a try?

Click here to download and print. bit.ly/3AUFXZ7

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