Institutes & Workshops
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Better Conversations

Better Conversations

Learn the 6 beliefs and 10 habits to communicate clearly and emotionally connect, improving your relationships and school culture. See how changing your approach can lead to more engagement and better learning outcomes for your students.

designed for
Instructional Coaches, Teachers, Administrators
format
Both In-person and Virtual
credit hours

Upcoming Dates

Don't see a workshop date that works for you? Request a workshop to bring ICG to your school or district. For other registration questions, contact us here.
January 18, 2024
Jan 18
Jan 18, 2024
Jan 18
Jan 18, 2024
January 2024
register
March 1, 2024
Mar 1
Mar 1, 2024
Mar 1
Mar 1, 2024
March 2024
register
August 1, 2024
Aug 1
Mar 1, 2024
Aug 1
Mar 1, 2024
August 2024
register
November 1, 2024
Nov 1
Nov 1, 2024
Nov 1
Nov 1, 2024
November 2024
register

Content Overview

Better Conversations is one of the most popular workshops we offer. Based on the book Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other To Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected, the workshop offers an intensive exploration of six Better Conversations Beliefs and ten Better Conversations Habits that can help anyone communicate more effectively at work or at home.

Effective communication strategies are essential for professional success. Coaches, leaders, and educators who make an impact communicate their message clearly, build healthy emotional connections with others, and maneuver through emotionally complex situations in ways that allow them to speak the truth in ways that will be heard.  

Effective communication strategies are even more important in people’s personal lives.  We live our lives in relationships, and much of the joy or unhappiness we experience is the direct result of our relationships with others.  Effective communication strategies enable us to live happier, more fulfilling lives by enabling us to experience healthier personal relationships.

Tens of thousands of educators around the world have read the book and attended an event. However, as powerful as the workshop is, the real impact of the book and workshop happens when people apply the Beliefs and Habits to their professional and personal lives. Improved communication is a concept that is best learned through application, and this virtual workshop provides an opportunity for just such an experience.

Course Outline

The Better Conversation Beliefs

  • Explanation of the Better Conversation Beliefs
  • An introduction to the personal reflection activities related to the Beliefs

Demonstrating Empathy

  • Participants discuss their reflections related to the Better Conversations Beliefs
  • An overview of what empathy is, why it is important, and how to demonstrate it

Listening and Asking Better Questions

  • Participants discuss their experiences demonstrating empathy
  • Explanation of why listening is important and explanation to several easy and powerful strategies people can use to improve their listening
  • Explanation of characteristics of effective questions

Making Emotional Connections and Finding Common Ground

  • Participants discuss their experiences practicing and reflecting on how well they listen and ask questions
  • Explanation of the essential components of emotional connection and what people can do to increase emotional connection
  • Explanation of strategies people can use to find common ground

Redirect Toxic Conversations and Building Trust

  • Participants discuss their experiences practicing and reflecting on building emotional connections and their experiences attempting to find common ground
  • Explanation of why redirecting toxic conversations is important and strategies people can use to redirect them
  • Explanation of five factors that influence trust

Course Schedule

  • Cohort meets for one day
  • 9:00am - 3:30pm CST, with one 60-minute break for lunch

Please Note

For individuals with schedule conflicts or who live in different time zones, this workshop is recorded and available for registrants to watch on-demand for 30 days.

If you are interested in attending with a group of 14+ from your school/district and want to ensure you are experiencing this workshop as a team, contact us to register for a private session >>

In the event you need to cancel your virtual workshop registration you can receive a full refund prior to your cohort start date. If you have any questions please contact us at hello@instructionalcoaching.com

If a workshop cohort does not meet enrollment minimum, registrations will be transferred to another offered cohort date of your choice.

If you do not receive an email containing course information at least 1 day prior to the event, please contact brooke@instructionalcoaching.com.

What People Are Saying About the Better Conversations Workshop

“This was a great experience and I am excited to continue to learn and grow. I definitely recommend to others. Taking the time to be a engaged learner during our time together will result in new learning and being a better coach!”

“I thought this course was highly beneficial and the skills learned will not only be utilized in my personal life but in my professional life as well. I would recommend this to my colleagues since many of us are in coaching roles/positions. I truly feel I have more resources to have better conversations.”

“I really appreciated the format – especially right now. It was a good variety – presentation, large group discussion, small group discussion, suggestions for readings and reflections on your own time.”

“I wish I had taken this course at the beginning of my career instead of towards the end (although I have a feeling my career will never end; I am having too much fun and courses like this one confirm the passion). It should be a required course for anyone who is in a teaching, coaching, or an administrative role. It would be helpful to pre-service teachers. It is simply the basics to being a good human being.

I am so happy that I invested the time in this class. I must say that Ann Hoffman is perfect for offering this class as she is a beautiful example of better conversation, kindness and respect. I called her ‘an angel with rigor’. Even though the content was beautifully delivered with much respect and demonstrating those habits, there was rigor to the pacing and content of the class.”

Upcoming Sessions

Better Conversations

January 18, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
Jan 18
Jan 18, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
January 2024

Better Conversations

March 1, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
Mar 1
Mar 1, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
March 2024

Better Conversations

August 1, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
Aug 1
Mar 1, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
August 2024

Better Conversations

November 1, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
Nov 1
Nov 1, 2024
9:00 am
3:30 pm
November 2024

Upcoming Sessions

5-day In-person Institute

Jan 16
Mar 29, 2024
10:00 am
1:30 pm
lawrence, ks
January 16, 2024
January 2024

16-week Virtual Institute

Jan 16
Mar 29, 2024
10:00 am
1:30 pm
Virtual
January 16, 2024
January 2024

5-day In-person Institute

Jan 22
Jan 26, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
lawrence, ks
January 22, 2024
January 2024

16-week Virtual Institute

Jan 22
Jan 26, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
Virtual
January 22, 2024
January 2024

5-day In-person Institute

Apr 8
Apr 12, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
lawrence, ks
April 8, 2024
April 2024

16-week Virtual Institute

Apr 8
Apr 12, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
Virtual
April 8, 2024
April 2024

5-day In-person Institute

May 1
May 1, 2024
10:00 am
1:30 pm
lawrence, ks
May 1, 2024
May 2024

16-week Virtual Institute

May 1
May 1, 2024
10:00 am
1:30 pm
Virtual
May 1, 2024
May 2024

5-day In-person Institute

Jul 15
Jul 19, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
lawrence, ks
July 15, 2024
July 2024

16-week Virtual Institute

Jul 15
Jul 19, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
Virtual
July 15, 2024
July 2024

5-day In-person Institute

Aug 1
Aug 1, 2024
10:00 am
1:30 pm
lawrence, ks
August 1, 2024
August 2024

16-week Virtual Institute

Aug 1
Aug 1, 2024
10:00 am
1:30 pm
Virtual
August 1, 2024
August 2024

5-day In-person Institute

Oct 7
Oct 11, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
lawrence, ks
October 7, 2024
October 2024

16-week Virtual Institute

Oct 7
Oct 11, 2024
8:30 am
4:00 pm
Virtual
October 7, 2024
October 2024
Profile shot of Jim Knight, founding partner of ICG.
One course. 20 years of research.

One course. 20 years of research.

Led by Dr. Jim Knight, Founding Partner of ICG

Jim Knight, Founder and Senior Partner of Instructional Coaching Group (ICG), is also a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has spent more than two decades studying professional learning and instructional coaching. Jim earned his PhD in Education from the University of Kansas and has won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards. The pioneering work Jim and his colleagues have conducted has led to many innovations that are now central to professional development in schools.

Michelle Harris
Director of Consulting

Michelle Harris, Senior Consultant at ICG, began teaching in El Cajon, California. She taught middle school English and social studies before serving as an instructional coach, Title I coordinator, student manager, and assistant principal at three middle schools, a K-8 school, and a 6-12 IBO school, all in Beaverton, Oregon. A seasoned staff developer, Michelle has presented and keynoted all over the United States and in Europe and Africa. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two sons. When not working, she enjoys reading, traveling, attending her sons’ numerous sporting events, entertaining friends and family, and sitting in a chair on a sunny beach. Michelle is co-author of Evaluating Instructional Coaching and The Instructional Playbook.

Amy Musante
Senior Consultant

Amy Musante is an educator and instructional coach, and at the heart of her work is a belief in learning with others, building relationships and helping diversified school communities move into action that authentically suits their unique needs. She spent 18 years in Oregon as a High School English Language Arts teacher, Instructional Coach, and Secondary Schools Intervention Specialist. She received her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University with a focus on Secondary literacy. Amy supports districts and leaders nationally and internationally in her work with ICG intentionally focusing on developing long term partnerships to impact outcomes for all students in all classrooms.

Kamina Fitzgerald
Consultant

Kamina began her career in North Carolina as a High School Teacher and Varsity Cheerleading Coach. She has also served as an Instructional Coach, Beginning Teacher Mentor, Career Development Coordinator and School Administrator. The heart of her work is building relationships, improving instruction, and increasing student achievement. Kamina received her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Gardner-Webb University where her focus was on evaluating the effectiveness of the Career and Technical Education curriculum to student outcomes. Kamina loves making meaningful connections with people and have a keen desire to help others maximize their potential and productivity.

Dr. Mary Webb
January 18, 2024
Consultant

Mary began her teaching career in Texas before becoming a campus administrator. With more than 19 years of experience in administration and Managing Director of Elementary Instruction, Mary successfully built her large suburban district's elementary instructional coaching program into a cohesive and robust support program for teachers and students in partnership with the Instructional Coaching Group. Mary received her doctoral degree in Education Leadership from the University of North Texas where her focus was identifying the systems and supports a district can put into place to support the Principal and Instructional Coach.

Profile shot of Jim Knight, founding partner of ICG.
Dr. Jim Knight
Founding Partner

Jim Knight, Founder and Senior Partner of Instructional Coaching Group (ICG), is also a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has spent more than two decades studying professional learning and instructional coaching. Jim earned his PhD in Education from the University of Kansas and has won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards. The pioneering work Jim and his colleagues have conducted has led to many innovations that are now central to professional development in schools.

What Participants Are Saying

“As a first time instructional coach who was very unsure of what my position would look like and the anxiety that goes with it, this really, REALLY helped. Thank you!”

New Instructional Coach

Key Takeaways

  • Learn How to Improve the Quality of Communications
  • How to Listen with Empathy and Foster Dialogue
  • How to Ask Better Questions
  • Emotional Connections and Finding Common Ground
  • Redirecting Toxic Conversations and Controlling Toxic Emotions
  • The Five Factors that Influence Trust

Course Toolkit

Materials included in the cost of registration
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Topics Covered

Everything you’ll learn at the 5-day Intensive Instructional Coaching Institute in Lawrence, Kansas

The Impact Cycle

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Takeaways include:

  • Getting a Clear Picture of Reality: video, interviews, student work, observations
  • Introducing video to your school
  • Using the “Identify Questions”
  • PEERS Goals
  • Identifying teaching strategies
  • The power of checklists
  • 6 ways to model teaching strategies
  • The “Improve Questions”
  • Book References: Focus on Teaching and The Impact Cycle

The Partnership Principles

The Impact Cycle

Better Conversations

Coaching for Engagement

Coaching for Achievement

The Instructional Playbook

System Support

Better Leaders

Better Conversations

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Coaching for Engagement

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Coaching for Achievement

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Evaluating Instructional Coaching

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System Support

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Teams of 10 or more receive 15% discount on post-Institute coaching support.

Institute Details

Resources Provided

  • The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching (Knight 2021)
  • Evaluating Instructional Coaching (2021)
  • The Instructional Playbook (Knight 2019) book bundle
  • The Impact Cycle (Knight 2017) book bundle
  • Better Conversations (Knight 2015) book bundle
  • High-Impact Instruction (Knight 2012)
  • Accompanying workbooks
8 books are displayed on top of a maple woodgrain table -- the books are "The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching" by Jim Knight, "Evaluating Instructional Coaching" by Sharon Thomas, Jim Knight, Michelle Harris, and Ann Hoffman, "The Impact Cycle" by Jim Knight, "The Instructional Playbook" by Jim Knight, Ann Hoffman, Michelle Harris, and Sharon Thomas, "Better Conversations" by Jim Knight, "High-Impact Instruction" by Jim Knight, the "What Administrators Need to Know" workbook by Jim Knight, and the "Better Leaders" workbook by Jim Knight.

On-demand Access

For individuals with schedule conflicts or who live in different time zones, these virtual sessions are recorded and available for registrants to watch on-demand for 30 days.

Graduate Credit

Attendees of The Intensive Instructional Coaching Institute are eligible for 3 graduate credits through University of the Pacific.

Learn more here

Cancellation Policy

10 or more days prior to the event – full refund
Less than 10 days prior to the event – no refund

Note: Your registration may be transferred to someone else, or transferred to a future Institute (in-person or virtual), at any time with no penalty attached.

Contact Us

Hotels & Accommodations

There are several options for accommodations at the in-person Institute in Lawrence, Kansas:

Towneplace Suites (2 blocks from Institute venue)
(785) 842-8800
900 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, KS 66044

The Oread (6 blocks from Institute venue)
(785) 843-1200
1200 Oread Ave, Lawrence, KS 66044

There are also some nice Airbnb options in town that your group may want to consider when searching for accommodations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take the workshop with my team?

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Open FAQ

What is your refund policy?

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How many participants are in each cohort?

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How will I access the virtual workshops?

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Open FAQ

If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please contact us at hello@instructionalcoaching.com.