Coaching & Leadership Development
The Coaching Leadership Style – the Pros and Cons

The Coaching Leadership Style – the Pros and Cons

  As a school leader you will no doubt, have a vast array of knowledge about leadership styles and how and when to deploy them.   We all know context is everything and there is no point adopting a democratic leadership style, when the school fire alarm has gone off and the building needs to be evacuated immediately!   However, I never cease to be amazed when working with school leaders, that out of the six most commonly referred to leadership styles i.e. Visionary, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting, Authoritative and Coaching, the latter is the one that most leaders appear to find the hardest to develop. There are a number of reasons as to why this is so…   1. The frenetic pace of the school life: The speed at which things need to happen, means that many a time you have to set a fast pace, to get things done. So, pace-setting and authoritative styles of leadership lend themselves quite naturally to the role.   2. Everyone needs to be on board the bus: Everyone has to be in alignment with the school’s vision and goals. A school’s trajectory will flounder if there is not a clear sense of purpose and direction. Visionary leaders know this and ensure that at key times through-out the school year, they adopt a Visionary style to keep everyone on the bus.   3. Relationships are the key to school improvement: School Improvement plans are not the key to a school’s success, relationships are. It is the relationships that school leaders form with their staff that are important. They determine the degree to which...
How to Develop a School Coaching Culture

How to Develop a School Coaching Culture

  There seems to be a lot of buzz around coaching at the moment and for good reason. Coaching is a great tool for getting the best out of others and in the school environment can complement a wide range of people management processes.   When we think about developing a coaching culture we need to begin by developing a clear picture of what might be the hallmarks of a school where coaching is an integral part of the school’s processes.   From my experience schools with a strong coaching culture have the following hallmarks:   – Individuals are solution focused when problems arise – Individuals have a strong sense of self-advocacy – Questions are used insightfully and as a way to progress conversations – Individuals take ownership of their own professional development – Coaching models and techniques are used to inform the appraisal process, lesson observation feedback and other performance management processes – Risk taking is encouraged – There are high levels of professional trust   If you are in the early stages of considering how to develop a coaching culture in your school, one of the key questions that you might simply be asking yourself is, “Where do I begin?’   In response to this question, one of the best places to begin, is by simply taking a snapshot of where your school is at and identifying where you want to get to.   According to Organisational Coach David Clutterbuck, there are four levels of development in creating a coaching culture and it can be helpful to identify what stage your school is currently at.   Where...
How School Leaders Can Learn to Bring out the Best in Others

How School Leaders Can Learn to Bring out the Best in Others

  Most School leaders recognise that Performance management is an essential process that exists in schools for managing adult behaviour.   However, because the process is often seen as perfunctory, and in some cases is not seen as a significant driver to assist school improvement, a real opportunity is missed for developing potential and bringing out the best in others.   When school leaders are skilled in using the principles of coaching to assist their performance management meetings they help to create a clear path for creating a school culture where there is an:   “Organic sense of self-improvement fuelled by the genuine and self-motivated desire of all individuals to make things better.”   [Andy Buck, 2009: What Makes a Great School?]   When a school’s culture is as described above, what is created is a set of common understanding and beliefs about performance management. That accepts it as a process for accelerating the achievement of school targets through:   – Creating alignment between organisational and personal objectives – Growing and developing others – Enabling others to step outside of their comfort zones – Supporting others to achieve their full potential – Inspiring confidence in other’s ability to succeed – Ensuring ownership and accountability.   When opposite beliefs and attitudes exist about the purpose and value of performance management, school cultures are created in which individuals: – Struggle to take responsibility for their own actions – Become dependent on others for solutions and place limitations on their own ability to problem solve – Lack the internal motivation and desire to succeed – Weaken their ability to take risks and...