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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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 […]
Good afternoon, I hope you are well. I’m hoping to get this to you before you fade into the weekend… This issue of the Coaching Letter is really just an attempt to keep up with all the many interesting things have been happening in the world of education.
The “buy your way into college” story was big, obviously, and I sat down last weekend and wrote my reflection about how my experience elucidates that it’s easy to lose sight […]
Good afternoon, I hope this finds you well. It has been a crazy couple of weeks for me, so I hope your life has been calmer than mine, but probably not. This Coaching Letter is about psychological safety, because it’s the subject of our latest Reading for Leading book selection, The Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson, but also because it’s a thread that connects multiple strands of the Center’s work, and comes up frequently in the Coaching Letters (most […]
Happy snow day! At least a foot at my house, took me 2 hours to dig out the driveway. Thank you for all the kind messages and emails about the publication of my Kappan article. If you haven’t read it yet, here it is. Also, just a reminder that we are hosting a strategy workshop in June based on many of the ideas in the article. Click here for the flyer, and click here to […]
Good afternoon! This isn’t a Coaching Letter, exactly, although it’s going out to all the Coaching Letter recipients. And you may receive this information multiple times, depending on which Center mailing lists you are on. If you receive the Coaching Letter but you are NOT on the Center’s mailing list and want to join it, email Bridget. If you do receive this information multiple times and that’s annoying, I’m sorry, and all I can say is a) […]
Happy Presidents’ Day. I hope you’ve been able to disconnect from work today. This Coaching Letter is about lots of things, but mostly about the idea of “complicating the narrative”. And how that should impact our decision-making.
I was a first-year principal when the Columbine shootings happened. I have written about this before, and I am confident that I shall again. One immediate consequence was that kids who were labeled as/self-identified as “Goth” were demonized, because there was an […]
Good evening, and I hope you had a relaxing weekend.
I was asked to do some consulting for a public defender’s office in another state. They are working with new lawyers and training them to be public defenders, and wanted help making their training more in line with best practices in adult learning. This was a very interesting challenge, because almost all my work has been within the public schools, so I can usually make […]
Good evening, I hope you’re doing well. The Super Bowl is on. This year, like so many others, I ordered wings for the boys and put on the game. But for various reasons, I’m the only one in front of the TV right now, and without anyone to explain to me what’s going on, I am completely clueless. I feel like there’s a lesson in there somewhere…
I talk and write all the time about strategy, and this […]
This week must win some prize for weirdest weather ever. Beginning of the week my driveway was Greenland ice sheet, and today it was positively tropical outside—60 degrees warmer, windy, and bucketing down with rain. Driving to Boston this morning was NO FUN. But I’m glad I did it—I’m writing this at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Convening for the recipients of grants from Nellie Mae to work on root causes of educational inequity. I’m here because the […]
Good evening. I hope that the weather isn’t going to be too disruptive to your plans over the next few days. I’m kind of hoping we get trapped in the house for a couple of days, to be honest. I could use the time.
A lot’s been going on recently. I wrote the Letter on how we think about bureaucracy and good government before the government shut down—I had no idea that was going to happen—so there has […]