Creating a Soulful School Culture: Nurturing Growth and Wellbeing for All

Performance Management and Bringing Out the Best in Others

When we talk about developing others, I firmly believe that we must remember to attend to the “soul in the role,” not just the tasks an individual is expected to perform. Developing others means addressing their growth needs as human beings, which implies nurturing their soul growth needs as well.

Performance management is the process most schools adopt for this task. Unfortunately, it is often seen as superficial and not a significant driver for school improvement. This results in missed opportunities for developing potential and bringing out the best in others.

From my experience working with school leaders, I have observed that when line managers are skilled in using coaching principles within performance management processes, they help create a clear path for developing a school culture characterised by:

“An organic sense of self-improvement fueled by the genuine and self-motivated desire of all individuals to make things better.” (Buck, 2009)

Creating Cultures that Thrive

When a school’s culture aligns with this description, it is much more likely to nurture individuals’ holistic growth and attend to well-being in its broadest sense. This creates common understandings and beliefs about bringing out the best in others. Schools recognise that the most generative and nurturing conversations focus on:

  • Creating alignment between organisational and personal objectives.
  • Growing and developing other people.
  • Enabling others to step outside their comfort zones.
  • Supporting others to achieve their full potential.
  • Inspiring confidence in others’ ability to succeed.
  • Ensuring ownership and accountability based on internal rather than external directives.

When opposite beliefs and attitudes exist about the purpose and value of conversations to support others’ growth, school cultures are created where individuals:

  • Struggle to take responsibility for their own actions.
  • Become dependent on others for solutions, limiting their ability to problem-solve.
  • Lack the internal motivation and desire to succeed.
  • Weaken their ability to take risks and learn from their mistakes.

The simple truth is that when systems for staff development do not enhance a person’s sense of self-worth, a void is created between their perception of self and what they feel capable of achieving. In such environments, individuals consciously or subconsciously limit their contributions to themselves and their school. Thus, growth is restricted for themselves, those they lead and manage, and ultimately, the pupils they teach.

This should never be allowed to happen. But sadly, it does.

Supporting Confidence and Personal Growth

When coaching is at the heart of the performance management process, teachers and other staff members experience a process where belief in human potential becomes central. They come to see their unique roles and contributions to improving their school. Rather than viewing performance management as something done to them, they begin to understand self-accountability and own the process. With self-accountability comes confidence and growth. With growth comes an increased sense of potential. Confidence and a true understanding of possibilities create a space for trying out new behaviours.

Ultimately, they grow, expand, and become more of themselves, giving more to themselves and their communities.

Creating a Soulful School Culture: What More Can You Do?

At Integrity Coaching, we believe fostering the ability to lead from the soul centres around CPD that understands:

“A teacher’s capacity to teach well is linked to a set of affable qualities… that often become characterised as heart, passion, or connectedness. These intricate qualities emerge from a teacher’s life’s inner core or landscape.”

Consequently, we advocate for a paradigm shift in professional development that transcends conventional coaching approaches to delve into the depths of the soul. Our Essential Coaching Skills Programme offers a transformative journey towards reconnecting with one’s true self, equipping school leaders to authentically meet their growth needs and those of their teams.

Join the Journey

If this resonates with you, why not embark on this transformative journey with us? Our upcoming cohort commences on September 26th and 27th, offering limited spaces for those eager to explore the soulful realms of educational leadership. If you are interested, click here to register now to unlock your potential and empower those you lead to thrive.


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