Coaching & Leadership Development
Why Headteachers Need Different Support to Teachers

Why Headteachers Need Different Support to Teachers

    Everyone can use support in their careers. But what many people don’t realise is that the further you progress in your career, the more support you need. Many assume that once you climb to the Head teacher post that; – Either support is no longer required or, – You require a similar level of support to that received in previous posts   However, nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, the role of Head teacher is markedly different from any other teaching or leadership post that you might have held; strategically and operationally, mentally and emotionally. It is for these reasons that Heads need support that is bespoke and tailored to meet the specific personal and professional challenges of the role.   When you are a Head there are a myriad of challenges that you will face; challenges that require you to receive support that is different from your teachers and others that you lead and manage…   1. Isolation   Like all top leadership positions, school leadership and headship in particular brings with it the type of power that isolates: positional power. The higher up you are in an organisation, the more your positional power means that you not only have increased pressures and responsibilities, it also means an increased distancing in relationships. Learning how to balance the need for human connection, with the need to maintain the integrity of the leadership role, is a challenge many school leaders face. Individuals have to decide where their personal and professional boundaries lie and the degree to which they will give of themselves.   When...
3 Types of Leadership Development that every Headteacher Needs

3 Types of Leadership Development that every Headteacher Needs

    “Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realise your own potential”   Warren Bennis   This is one of my favourite leadership quotes as more often than not, when I use it when I am delivering training with Heads, I get somewhat of a quizzical look, when I ask, “What development needs will you need to have met in order to realise your own potential?”   If I ask them about the development needs of their staff, the responses are usually fast and furious. So accustomed are they to coming up with solutions and strategies for meeting other people’s development needs. But when it comes to the meeting of their own, they are often stumped. This shouldn’t be the case. Every Head teacher, whether new in post or well-established needs to understand that above and beyond courses that support the operational and strategic aspects of running a school, there are a myriad of other leadership development needs that must be met to facilitate a holistic approach to their own growth and development in the role.   Of the many types of leadership development needs that Heads need there are three that I consider to be fundamental…   1. Leadership development that increases Emotional Intelligence   If you are familiar with the work of Daniel Goleman, you will be familiar with his four components of Emotional Intelligence:   1.  Self-awareness – This is the ability to read your own emotions. It is a competency that allows people to know their strengths, limitations and...

How FREE NEU Coaching can Benefit New Headteachers

  Stepping into a new school leadership role can be one of the most exciting — and challenging — things you’ll ever do. The more you can make the role your own, the smoother this transition is likely to be, so if you’re feeling daunted at the thought of stepping into someone else’s shoes, here are a few tips that will enable the transition to feel that much easier. 1. Remain connected to your values   Your values are going to be your rock throughout your Headship. They’re what drives your vision, passion and purpose and they’re where your leadership behaviours stem from. People are going to be looking for consistency from you in this new role, and that’s something you just can’t fake — it only comes from being very clear on what your values are, and actively living them day by day. What’s more, when you’re in crisis (and I know sometimes Headship can feel like one big, years-long crisis!), your values will keep you steady, sane, and committed to the fulfillment of your vision. 2. Get clarity about your professional vision   Similarly, you need to get some real clarity around your vision, not only for your school and your career, but for your life as a whole. The only way that you will ever get people to follow you is if you can get them to buy into your vision, so think about it carefully. What do you really want for your school?  A good way to answer this question, is to imagine what a child might say when they come to the end of...
Every School Leader needs to remember this when Goal-Setting!

Every School Leader needs to remember this when Goal-Setting!

    Setting goals with teachers at the start of every academic term can be a very productive process. However, as simple as the process might seem, it is very often executed poorly. As a result, many individuals fall short of the goals that either they or others have set for them.   When goals are set properly they enable individuals to:   – Achieve a greater sense of direction:When we know where we are heading we are far less likely to be knocked off course and even when we are, we know the path that will take us back to where we want to get to.   – Identify where to focus their time and energy:  Clear goals give us clarity of thought and with greater clarity, comes greater wisdom as to how one’s time is best used in pursuit of clear goals. We are better able to master our thoughts and become less prone to dispersed and erratic behaviour that are not in service of our roles and responsibilities.   – Feel secure: When we are working towards clearly defined and meaningful goals they give us a sense that even with the ups and downs, all will eventually be well. This added sense of security is part of what helps us to get up and keep moving forward, despite the frequent falls and knockbacks.   So how can you effectively use goal-setting within your own school context?     Help Individuals connect Goals with their Purpose & Values   From my own experience, individuals who feel that they have played a key role in setting their own goals...
How can Headteachers Support the Wellbeing of their Staff?

How can Headteachers Support the Wellbeing of their Staff?

      Mental Health and well-being in our schools are hot topics at the moment and for good reason! Too many teachers and school leaders have left and continue to leave the profession because the system has given short shrift to taking care of the person in the role.   It is my belief that if we are to preserve the personhood of our teachers, then alongside strategies for reducing workload etc, they must also be supported and empowered to take control of their own responses to stress.   This blog outlines four key habits that Head teachers can encourage their staff to adopt to enable them to take greater responsibility for their own well-being. The premise from which I am starting is that well-being is about having a healthy and courageous relationship with self. It is concerned with doing the inner work that brings integrity and authenticity to the outer work of being human.   Most teachers know that the best teaching happens when they are alive to their subject, fully present for the children in their class, and when they have a deep resonance and respect both for their craft and the children that they teach. That’s when the magic happens!   How teachers maintain their vocational vitality is fundamental to their well-being. It is about care of the inner self; the world of thoughts, feelings and emotions. If teachers are to protect their well-being, they must be supported to develop the habits that will sustain them for the long haul.   There are four key habits that I believe, with a bit of support, Heads...