LeadingAge.org, a charitable membership organization with a mission to be a voice for aging, is a supporter of the Montessori method in the field of aging services, dementia and memory care. In their recent annual meeting, Gary Johnson, Leadership Consultant at Monarch Risk Management and Cameron J. Camp, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development at Center for Applied Research in Dementia, presented arguments for using the Montessori approach in the workforce as well.
“A Montessori inspired community avoids performance evaluations, for example,” noted Johnson. “These types of evaluations are ‘disengagers.’ Instead, we encourage workplace communities to use direct feedback at the time of the action or behavior, to not be afraid of confrontation, and to instead use a coaching model focused on learning and growing instead of the outdated annual review model.”
Camp continued, “Trust must be the underlying value in a workplace community, much like a Montessori classroom. We must give choice to all staff members, encourage peer teaching, and create a culture of equality. For example, who should have business cards? Every staff member, not just the administrators or the most well paid.”
The session included participants working in elder care, memory care as well as Montessori professionals, many of whom requested more focus on Montessori in the 2021 meeting.
LeadingAge is now seeking proposals for the 2021 Annual Meeting.