As a coach, it can be hard to know if your coaching is having an impact and how teachers feel about working with you. We know it’s important to make time for feedback, and usually that time is right about now, at the end of the year.
3 Levels of Feedback
There are lots of different ways to collect feedback. We’ve heard many different strategies here on the #coachbetter podcast. Today, I’m going to consolidate that thinking into 3 levels that you can use at all different stages of the school year.
Level 1: Individual Feedback
You can make feedback a regular part of every coaching conversation! This is a simple strategy that I use every time I have a coaching conversation. Before we wrap up our conversation, I always ask: “What was most valuable for you today?” This is a great way for your coachee to recognize that there were valuable elements to today’s conversation. It’s also a great way for you to see what stood out to them, as compared to what you might have thought was most impactful.
Another easy “add on” to the question above, is to ask “Is there anything you would like me to do differently next time?” Especially when you’re early on in your coaching relationship, this lets you tailor and adjust your conversation practice right on the spot.
When I’m asking these questions, I always note them down in our shared meeting agenda, so that I have a record of what was requested and what I was able to adapt from meeting to meeting. (Psst! If you’re not documenting your coaching conversations, you should be! Check out our last post for more on how to do that.)
Level 2: Small Group Feedback: Express Action Research
It can be good to get feedback from a small group, to allow them to share and connect around their experiences with you to really flush out their thinking. You can do this by asking a group of colleagues who’ve worked with you to share their feedback with you as a team.
To facilitate their conversation, you can ask a trusted colleague to use some question prompts that you (or they) design together. The great thing about this method is that they have the opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other. Plus, you know who the people are, so it’s not totally anonymous, but it’s also distant enough from you to get honest feedback.
Level 3: Wide Scale Feedback: Survey
This is probably the most obvious and commonly used form of feedback gathering. Usually it makes sense to do something like this once a year, or even once a semester. This is a great way to get a pulse of the school in terms of their work with individual coaches, as well as how the school feels about coaching. This is an important way to get a broader perspective.
Don’t Forget About Students and Parents!
You can use all of these feedback methods with both students and parents, although the small group and wide scale might be the most appropriate. It’s important to remember that if you’re in the classroom, students are seeing you coach too, and they will have a different perspective that’s worth hearing. It’s likely that you’re working with parents in a variety of settings, seeking their feedback and input can help you support that particular stakeholder group even better!
Gathering data from all different areas of the school will allow you adjust your coaching to the needs of your school community.
Level Up Your Feedback In The Coach Microcredential!
Do you make time to collect feedback on your work as a coach?
Is this something you would like to do even better next academic year?
Join us for the next cohort of The Coach Microcredential and take your coaching to the next level!