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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Good evening! I think a lot about what to write in these Coaching Letters, and I sometimes have whole sequences laid out. You will not be surprised to know that these plans infrequently come to fruition. This has been an intense week and I’m just on day four. And it has been a great week, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been in five districts (and another one tomorrow), several schools, and had several pretty deep conversations with people […]
Good evening, I hope you’re well.
I got some feedback that Coaching Letter #60 before Thanksgiving was a little “preachy”, so this is my attempt to make the same message more palatable. Try reading this Harvard Business Review article by Mark Bonchek (and if you like it, you can click on his name to find other articles by him–he’s good.) In this article, he talks about the gaps that can open up between strategy and execution–he describes […]
Good afternoon! I’ve had a busy week and I’m a little sick, so this letter is a little punchier than usual.
I have been reading Made to Stick, which is the first of the uber-successful books by the Heath Brothers. (The Heath Brothers are just too good to be true—I can’t stand them. But they write very useful books, especially Switch, and they have great resources on their website if you register to receive their newsletter. Check out, […]
Hi, I hope you’re doing well. Things are pretty quiet around here, so I’m just sitting around, reading Dostoyevsky, getting my nails done. You know, same-ol’-same-ol’.
The Times had a piece on gratitude on Sunday, and I wrote a post on Thanksgiving last year (CL #14) that was probably the most popular thing I’ve ever written, judging by the responses I received. I think it becomes ever more important to bring to mind the things that we […]
Good evening, I hope this finds you well.
If you have time to spare this week (between the turkey and pumpkin pie) and are looking for great things to read and listen to, here are some suggestions.
Last week’s New Yorker has an essay by Atul Gawande, The Upgrade, about the complicated relationship between doctors and digital record-keeping. I’m a big Gawande fan, although I haven’t made it through all of his books because some of his writing is […]
This Coaching Letter is for anyone who has said or even thought that others just don’t have the same sense of urgency as you do, that others need to get on the bus, or that others need to change their mindset—because they have said something about the past, present or future that does not match what you think or what you want to hear.
I have made reference in other coaching letters to soliciting feedback that will help strengthen […]
Friends, I know this is a momentous day. Most of you are involved in some kind of professional learning today, and you still have to find the time to vote, and the weather is miserable. And I am sure I am not alone in having more on my plate than I can handle gracefully. So if you have a quiet moment, or can make one, I thought you might like the attached quotations drawn from […]
Hello! This your gentle reminder that the discussion online of Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets opens in two weeks. Please read the book by then! I’m sending this email to the entire Coaching Letter list, as a lot of people have been added since we started advertising the book club, and a lot of people have read the book but didn’t sign up for the reminders. Not too late to read it! Then join the Google+community and […]
Good morning! Last week was exceptionally busy, so I’m trying to catch up with my life. Lots going on, all good, and I’d like to get back to the lovely fall weather.
Fundamental to coaching is the idea that the coach exists in service of the client; that the coach has to figure out ways in which to be helpful, to support, and to tend to the needs of the client—and that all that happens in a manner that […]
Good morning, I hope you are having a good week. I’m writing this between days one and two of the Center’s annual Equity Institute, which is fabulous and a total emotional overload. Yesterday morning we spent time in the galleries at the Wadsworth, where we hold the institute in partnership with the Amistad Center. Last night we watched I Am Shakespeare, Henry Green’s story, told on film by Henry, a New Haven man who […]