In my previous blog post, Coaches as Leaders: Perceptions and Connections I shared the challenges many coaches face in seeing themselves as leaders and suggested some connections that can be made between coaching and leadership to illustrate how coaches can be and are leaders. If coaches can begin to see (and accept) themselves as leaders, what can they do to broaden their understanding of leadership and apply it in their own context?
As I reflect on my own journey, here are five (+1) ways I’ve been working through my own growth in the leadership aspects of my role as a coach.
1. Accept that as a coach, you are also a leader.
Reflect on how you are already a leader in your school, even a reluctant leader. Recognize those connections you can make between aspects of leadership (characteristics and actions) and your own perspectives, actions and goals.
2. Clarify your role in relation to your school’s mission and vision and goals.
Reflect on your role as a coach both in relation to your perspective on coaching and your job description. Discuss your coaching role with administrators to review and refine your job description, if needed, so it clearly supports the school’s mission and vision. Look for opportunities to advocate your involvement in divisional and school-wide initiatives.
3. Familiarize yourself with change theory and management.
This will give you some frameworks and strategies on how change can be effectively implemented. Your role as a coach is based on supporting and facilitating change and the more you understand how change can impact people, the more equipped you will be to plan for and address challenges.
4. Build up your facilitation skills and strategies.
To prepare for working with teams and groups, you’ll want to consider gaining some skills and experience in facilitating discussions and meetings. National School Reform Faculty (Critical Friends) and School Reform Initiative provide facilitation training and resources (including very useful protocols for a variety of situations).
5. Build your PLN for support and ideas and resources.
Seek out opportunities to learn more about leadership at professional learning events. Find a mentor, whether that is someone in your school or organization or someone outside it. Learn more from leadership experts and organizations such as Learning Forward and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Even the Harvard Business Review and HBR Podcasts provide leadership information that can be applied to educational settings.
+ Take a closer look at these instructional coaching PD opportunities.
I also encourage you to check out Eduro Learning for short and long term professional development for coaches that include aspects of leadership including our Microcredential The Coach, the Mastermind series on coaching (which includes my own module on Coaches as Leaders starting this fall) and a variety of short term coaching courses.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
by Diana Beabout
Academy Mentor: The Coach Microcredential