If you’re a regular reader of this blog, or listener of the podcast, you know that I am a huge fan of Joellen Killion. You might even call me a superfan – I’ve been an avid reader of her work for well over a decade!

So I was over the moon excited to chat with her on the #coachbetter podcast. And, today, I’m going to share a preview to that episode with a highlight that I thought was so valuable it needed it’s own separate post!

On the call, we talked about what makes coaching programs successful in schools around the world, and she shared her specific structure for how to build a successful coaching program from her book, Coaching Matters, co-authored with Cindy Harrison, Chris Brian and Heather Clifton.

(Side note: this is exactly what we talk about inside The Coach Certificate and Mentorship Program! In fact, Joellen’s work is a foundational resource inside the program, and you’ll be follow our THRIVE framework which is built upon the work of Joellen and the work of Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman in Mentoring Matters. So if any of this resonates with you, The Coach is exactly what you need for your next professional learning experience!).

8 Steps to Build a Successful Coaching Program

You’ll need to be able to answer each of these questions to truly have a successful coaching program…

1: Define your purpose and your goal

What do you hope to achieve through this coaching program. What’s your vision?

2: Define Coaching

What does coaching mean to you, in your school, with your community? Build a common understanding among all stakeholders in your school.

3: Have a Hiring Strategy

How will you ensure you’re hiring the right coaches for your school at the right time? How will you support and develop them inside this program?

4: Scheduling Coaches

How do we decide what coaches do? How will they spend their time? You might also like Joellen’s article: The 10 Key Roles of Coaches for further research. It’s important to note that coaches shouldn’t be doing all 10 roles at the same time. As a school, you need to decide which two or three roles are most important and those become the priority for the coach at that time.

5: Train the Principals

It is essential that the principals understand:

  • the purpose of coaching,
  • the roles of coaches,
  • how coaching is going to work,
  • their role in supporting coaches, and
  • setting expectations for staff in working with coaches

If those aren’t in place, it’s going to be a real struggle for coaching to be successful (as those who are in coaching positions without leadership alignment already know all too well!)

6: Scheduling Coaches

As you are building a coaching program you need to think about:

  • where coaches work
  • how they work
  • who they work with
  • what is their time spent doing
  • how is that time put into the calendar for the structure of the school day

We all know that what gets scheduled is what happens, so where are you making time in the schedule for coaching to happen?

7: Build a Culture of Coaching

To create a successful coaching culture, you’ll need to figure out what’s working, and then assess what’s missing and what needs to be tuned up – on a regular cycle. This also includes identifying who is going to be responsible for making it happen.

8: Evaluating Coaches

Develop an evaluation system for coaches and the coaching program so that everyone is clear of what the expectations are, and there is a framework in place to conduct evaluations. In my interview with Laura Lipton (coming up after Joellen Killion), we also talk about the importance of separating the evaluation of the coaching program from the evaluation of the coach, the person. Those are two separate things!

Watch the Video

Is it time to reflect on your coaching program?

As you read through all of those 8 steps to building a successful coaching program, where do you think your program is thriving, and where might it be struggling? If now is the time for you to think how you can begin the process to ensure coaching is successful in your school environment, you might like our brand new free download: Coaching Program Evaluation!

You’ll walk through all of the steps in the THRIVE model to determine where your current program needs attention – and where you’re already strong. You’ll have a clear understanding of the gaps that you need to address in your program. You can even dig deeper into the evaluation process with our upcoming LIVE webinar: 3 Steps to Create a Thriving Coaching Culture All Coaches Need to Know!


Webinar Description: Are you struggling to build a coaching culture in your school setting? Are you frustrated by teacher reluctance or lack of leadership? Do you feel like something is missing to make coaching work? There are 3 key elements necessary to create a thriving coaching culture in all school settings. But, the reality is that most schools are missing one – and they don’t even realize it! In this workshop, you’ll learn exactly what’s needed to create a thriving coaching culture AND get the tools to identify the gaps in your coaching program so you can take action immediately! Are you ready to create a thriving coaching culture in your school this year?

And, if you’re ready to fill those gaps, that’s exactly what we do inside The Coach Certificate and Mentorship Program. Wherever you are in building a coaching culture in your school, The Coach will give you the strategies, skills and tools you need to make coaching a success and will empower you to confidently apply instructional coaching strategies in any situation – from building a coaching program, to having coaching conversations, to being a leader in your school community. We facilitate only one cohort each academic year so we can offer individualized support for each participant.

Registration for our next global cohort opens on the 21st February and closes on the 14th of March.

Find out more at: https://edurolearning.com/coach/