Part 3: Creating A Coaching Culture In Your School
What’s the Impact?
Training all staff to adopt a ‘coach approach’ is an important and useful departure point for your coaching journey. So, if you commit to creating a coaching culture across your school, what is the return on investment?
Consistency & confidence:
When your staff share a common ‘coach approach’ mindset, language and behaviours, the result will be a more confident and effective staff body.
Staff resilience & wellbeing:
As school leaders, how do we successfully manage that tension between driving school improvement and looking after our staff’s wellbeing?
Schools are inherently stressful places to work in, and that will always be the case. Whilst we can’t completely remove the stresses of the job, we know that resilient staff will manage the stresses and challenges more successfully. So, building staff resilience is the critical starting point for improving staff wellbeing.
If you want to build staff resilience, I can’t stress enough the importance of building a coaching culture across the school over time. As we’ve seen, this is a culture where staff adopt a positive, solution-focussed approach because they feel empowered to find their own answers to challenges. That leads to greater resilience.
And medical science tells us that, in terms of our mental & emotional health: Empowerment + Control = Increased Wellbeing
Effective school leaders focus relentlessly on their area of direct impact: improving staff performance.
In particular, they focus on developing staff leadership skills at all levels (including self-leadership). And they do that in order to secure distributed leadership throughout the school.
They achieve that distributed leadership by empowering staff to be leaders in their own right, while holding them to account for their performance.
Establishing a coaching culture across the school will empower all staff to develop a leadership mindset.
So, in a nutshell, creating a coaching culture across your school will impact positively on many important aspects of school improvement, as you can see below:
- create a shared understanding across the school of the coach approach and its benefits
- establish a shared ‘coach-approach’ mindset amongst all staff
- establish a shared ‘coach-approach’ language amongst all staff
- establish consistent ‘coach-approach’ behaviours amongst all staff
- provide staff with core coaching skills which they can use in the classroom and in ALL interactions with staff, pupils and parents around the school
- improve the quality of questions being asked, and the quality of responses being given as a result
- improve the quality of listening, and the quality of conversations as a result
- accelerate staff and pupil progress through these improved interactions
- allow staff and pupils to grow in independence and confidence by being empowered to find their own solutions to issues rather than being told or directed
- build staff resilience through empowerment & greater self-direction
- support self-leadership and distributed leadership throughout the school
Obviously, the above benefits only come with high quality ‘coach approach’ training. CoachingInSchools was the only company I trusted to provide that high-quality training because:
- their expertise was specifically in working with schools;
- they were able to provide copious evidence of tangible impact as a direct result of their work, and;
- I had had personal recommendations from several other Headteachers
So, as a Headteacher, the question I had to answer wasn’t, “Can I afford to train all staff in adopting a coach-approach, as the first step to establishing a coaching culture over time?”
For me, the only question was, “Can I afford not to?”
Monica Austin (Headteacher)
P.S. In case you missed them, you can see my previous posts here: