The Coaching Letter is written by Center staff member Isobel Stevenson, who has extensive experience as both a leader and a coach. The Coaching Letter’s perspective is that leaders could be a bit more successful if they thought and acted more like coaches, and coaches could be a bit more successful if they thought and acted more like leaders. Isobel draws on research and theory in organizational development, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics, as well as her own experience, to suggest to leaders and coaches ways to think about their work that push them a little bit beyond their current mental models. The Coaching Letter is rich, thoughtful, personal, and funny.
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Friends, I hope this finds you well. I feel like I am stealing a few moments between the end of HQI Live in Milford yesterday and the Strategy Workshop at Connecticut College next week—an intense couple of weeks! But I wanted to write about the similarities between the two, partly for my own benefit as I think through some of these ideas, and partly because I think these are ideas that you can make use of. And, in […]
Today is the first day of a very ambitious adult learning experience in Milford. There are 70 people here at Foran High School today—two teachers from each school, and all the building and central office administrators. We are here in preparation for the really ambitious part, which happens next week. Two teachers are going to teach two classes of rising 5th and 6th graders math, and the 70 adults who are here today are going to watch. Then […]
This Coaching Letter is about Coaching! I think a lot about coaches and teacher leaders, and how to leverage them better. These educators tend to be really strong teachers who also have other great qualities—they are hard-working, reliable, committed to student success, committed to their own improvement, credible to their colleagues, and have good people skills. One of the things that has become increasingly clear to me over the last few years is that we ask […]
Not too late to sign up for our Reading for Leading Soiree next week. Here’s the link. I chose Amy Edmondson’s book, The Fearless Organization, because of several experiences I had last year working with principals and other relatively junior educational leaders who believed that they had been given the message by senior leaders in their organizations that their feedback was not welcome. Actually, I would put it more strongly than that. They had received […]
This Coaching Letter is about listening and empathy. I really appreciate Shane Parrish’s work, and I am grateful for the Brain Food newsletter, the Farnam Street blog (see this post on decision making, which is my favorite so far, although this one on mental models is also very interesting) and the Knowledge Project podcast. And see also CL #61. However, I do think there’s a bit of a pattern: the interviews of women tend to be about […]
Good evening, I hope this finds you well.
First, when we first announced that The Fearless Organization was our latest Reading for Leading book selection, we asked you to hold May 29 for a soirée. We shifted that date to June 4, because that evening the author, Amy Edmondson, can join us by video chat. This is great news! I’m very excited. You should have received an email invitation earlier today; I hope you’re planning on coming—register here. […]
So much happens that I can’t write about it all. Sometimes I can’t even cover everything that happens in one day. Take the coaching workshop that Kerry and I hosted on Monday. We talked about coaching for equity, feedback, creating a shared understanding of high quality instruction, perceived self-efficacy… and those are only the headlines.
Now that there are readers of the Coaching Letter all over the globe (US, UK, Germany, Oman, Kuwait, India, Korea…) and given that not […]
Hi, I hope you are well. Tons of feedback on last week’s Coaching Letter, so here, unsurprisingly, is more about feedback.
During one of my stints teaching in principal preparation programs (three different universities, so far), one of my colleagues asked to talk to me after one of our classes. “So,” she said, “How do you think it went?” This, I recognized from my years of experience giving and receiving feedback, was code for, “I have something I want […]
Last week was intense—partly because it was packed, and partly because several of the events packing it seemed very high stakes. So I’m going to talk about two of them and try to cleverly tie together big ideas about strategy, feedback, and failure as a rehearsal for success.
I spent Thursday with the leadership team in Derby. These are wonderful people, many of whom I have worked with before on other projects—that’s not what made it high stakes. This […]
Hi, I hope your week is off to a good start. I am writing this on Sunday afternoon at PAX East. Last year my kids wanted me to stick with them, but this year they don’t care, so I brought my computer and am enjoying watching the rain move over the Boston skyline and drinking the remarkably good coffee.
This Coaching Letter is about feedback, again. It is a follow on from earlier Coaching Letters that drew to your […]