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Principal's message
Principal Scott Knoebel 

January 2019

  • During the month of January our school is focusing on teaching Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood and Habit 6: Synergize.

    Habit 5 is all about understanding that we have greater influence with others if we truly understand them first. We have to completely understand another person before presenting our own point of view. We must listen with empathy and get to the heart of what matters to the other person, whether we agree or not. When we listen emphatically, we listen with the intent to understand instead of the intent to reply. Seeking to be understood is the second half of effective communication. Once we are confident others are understood, we can share our own point of view with clarity and respect.

    Habit 6 is about creativity, cooperation, diversity, and humility. It's a manifestation of all the other habits working together. It means collaborating to create 3rd Alternatives rather than settling for compromise. When we Synergize, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Synergy takes place when two or more people produce more together than the sum of what they could have produced separately. Synergy means that 1 + 1 may equal 8, 16, or even 1,600. It's more than just "my way" or "your way," a 3rd Alternative is a higher, better way. It's something that neither of us would have come up with on our own.

    Synergy is also all about valuing differences. We are effective when we value and embrace the differences of others rather than rejecting or merely tolerating them. We see others' differences as strengths, not weaknesses. Insecure people have a high need to clone others, to mold them over into their own thinking. They don't realize that the very strength of the relationship is in having another point of view. The essence of Synergy is to build on strengths, to compensate for weaknesses.

    This month, make it a priority to focus on practicing these habits at home, your place of employment, and with friends. It may be difficult at first, but stick with it. Be a true listener, value differences, and seek those 3rd Alternatives.


Scott P. Knoebel

Scott P. Knoebel 


Brenda Thompson, with UCF and the 2018 Leadership Osceola Class, visited NCES May 9th and took part in a "Principal for a Day" experience. She spent the day with Mr. Knoebel learning about his leadership role within the school.

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