For any number of reasons, you may be thinking it is time to reboot the way you are coaching. Maybe you have made some miscalculations about how to approach people – you don’t feel certain relationships are where they need to be, and you want to see if your approach can be tweaked to build more trust or create closer coaching relationships. Alternatively, maybe you would like to implement the Impact Cycle a bit more solidly or take the way you communicate to the next level. This post presents a quick step-by-step guide on how to look at your current coaching approach, gain a fresh perspective on your style, and learn ways to grow your effectiveness as a coach.
Way of Being
In order to get the most out of a reboot to your coaching approach, the first step is to examine your way of being. Take some time to consider and think through all of your coaching relationships from the previous semester, or previous year, using the perspective granted through the partnership principles. To learn more about all seven partnership principles, watch this collection of short videos.
Consider blocking off a couple of hours to think deeply about the following questions: What is my way of being? How do I approach people? What are my actions in these coaching relationships?
The second step is to examine the coaching process, that is, the Impact Cycle. To review your coaching process, you can refer to a checklist like the one found in The Impact Cycle and ask yourself, “Am I following the Impact Cycle?”
If what you are doing is a long way from what is listed in The Impact Cycle, but you want to be doing that kind of coaching, then seek out someone who would be a great learning partner. Approach that person, not as if you have mastered all of this material, but to suggest that you are open to learning from him or her. Seek out the person knowing that your goal while doing the Impact Cycle is to learn and improve.
The third step in your ideal reboot is to learn more about your communication skills.
Nobody who reads this blog will be surprised to learn that we recommend watching yourself coach on video. You could video-record your coaching (with permission from the teacher, of course), and then, using a checklist as a guide, analyze your conversation to see how you are doing.
Keep doing this until you feel like you are listening and questioning effectively. Your own knowledge, experience, and personal context may lead you to modify the checklist, but this behavior and observation checklist serves as a good point of departure.
Evaluate Coaching Knowledge
Finally, the last step is to decide if you want to reboot your knowledge of coaching. To do that, it is a good idea to create an instructional playbook. This can be done with colleagues or on your own. Building a playbook involves identifying the High Impact strategies that we use a lot with teachers to help them reach their goals. It will also involve developing checklists for those practices. To learn more about developing checklists, read our recent blog post, Everything You’ve Heard About Checklists is Wrong.
For more resources about instructional playbooks:
- Seven Success Factors 2: The Instructional Playbook, written by ICG senior consultant, Sharon Thomas
- The Instructional Playbook, written by Jim Knight and the ICG senior consultants
So, whether you are starting with a new teacher, wanting to improve your fidelity to the Impact Cycle, or simply looking to reconnect with your practice, these steps are a great starting point for a successful reboot.
Have you tried any of these resources? Did you find them useful? Let us know in the comments section.