01 February 2017

The power of many, the challenge of one.

What is happening and why?

Feedback: Over the course of this academic year I have invited my colleagues to share feedback with me using the Interlead Feedback tool and most recently the domains self-assessment. I have been reading the book "Thanks for the Feedback". Early in this book, the following quote captured my attention "The key variable in your growth, is not your supervisor or mentor. It's you!" I reflected with my coach this week on how far I have come in receiving feedback. I welcome critical feedback, cognitive dissonance and synergy and have learned to use this as a tool to mould myself into a better version. As I read through this book I find myself reflecting on my own role in giving and receiving feedback. The authors suggest that there are 3 types of feedback - appreciative, evaluative and coaching. We need all 3, but we can often mis-communicate the type of feedback we are offering. As I explore the anonymous vs open feedback debate (mostly with myself) I am more inclined to think that open feedback is most useful, this way you can can get others perspective of yourself and align that with your own story of yourself. I also realized that people have offered me feedback in the past, i just haven't been in tune with their type of feedback or haven't been open to listening to it. 

The power of many, the challenge of one: In our Cognitive Coaching training we learned a strategy called "Danish circle", the idea of the Danish circle is to support people in using the states of mind to explore possible solutions. I presented a challenge I was having in my work, teachers used States of Mind questions cards to ask me questions and rather than responding with the answer I thought of the answer in my head, then nodded when I was ready for the next question. At the end of the semi-circle I identified the question that helped unlock my thinking the most. We then opened up for dialogue at the end of the questions, and the next person had a turn at sharing their challenge. Some of the questions were: "Why is this important to you?", "Of all of the options, which of these might have the biggest impact..?" I can see that this would be a useful strategy when supporting teachers with challenging behaviour in their classrooms. This goes to show that collectively we are stronger. 
Kindergarten teachers were invited to critique the TKS Social Competence guidelines this week, we fielded some great critique and most importantly engaged in some wonderful cognitive dissonance about social competence. This certainly proved that the voices, perspectives and ideas from many people will make this a stronger document. 

Leadership Intelligences Pecha Kucha:
I will be presenting my Pecha Kucha about Leadership Intelligences to my team next week.

What is not happening and why?

  • Exploring the link between Social Competence and Executive Function - the social competence guidelines have been shared with the Kindergarten staff, I havent yet looked at the impact of this on the social competence guidelines. My hunch is that there is still more dialogue to be had and collectively some of the 'big questions' can be answered by teachers and assistants.
  • Refining data/collection and coaching 

What am I going to do to influence what is not happening and why?

  • Continue to use 'Danish circle' in Pod Meetings to support teachers and share other coaching strategies that might be useful.
  • At the end of each coaching conversation ask coachees "How has this conversation helped you with your thinking?" (one form of feedback).
  • Ask for critique in coaching at Meta-coaching sessions with other PedCos.
  • Revisit Norms of Collaboration with my team to re-assess where we are. (Thanks to Derek for this Norms Poster).

Leadership Intelligences