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Although I have had a lot of instruction and practice in listening techniques, I believe Evocative Coaching has clarified the importance of listening and the value of being totally present; not solving problems but building on the positive.
Everything that I have learned is influencing and impacting my work with students as a teacher, as a PLC facilitator with my colleagues, and with the building and district leadership as I drop “pebbles” of the Evocative Coaching model along the pathway to our school and district’s transformation.
Each week in the Evocative Coaching Training Program I learn more and more that will impact my job. I am becoming more comfortable in using the strategies and have become much more reflective in my discussions with teachers.
Through this training program I have become a better listener; I give less advice and instead practice giving empathy. I think about how the skills I am learning can impact my students and my work environment. It has helped me detach in a good way from stressors in my environment.
The consistent focus on positive feedback really supports the self-efficacy of my staff. Being reminded of the Möbius strip with story, empathy, inquiry and design thinking has really effected how I communicate / coach my staff.
I joined this course because I wanted to transform schools; I have found instead that I have been transformed.
Through this course, I have started to really feel myself on the cusp of something quite tremendous as a professional and also as a person.
Imaginative listening is a game changer in that it allows teachers to tell their stories with full engagement. The more teachers understand their stories as stories, rather than as settled facts over which they have no control, the more teachers are cultivating a willingness to change and become lifelong learners.
By listening mindfully, quietly and reflectively when teachers tell their stories, coaches disarm resistance and evoke open dialogue which sets the stage for change. It is seldom that a person is listened to without judgment and with no agenda. This alone may be why evocative coaching is refreshing and powerful enough to transform an entire school.
When I meet with a teacher or walk into his or her class, I finally feel as if I have the tools to help them reach their potential. I took this job because I like the coaching aspect but after my first year, I was not sure if I had the “it” that caused teacher to see me as more than just a helper. I feel empowered!
A growing body of research documents the crucial role that trust plays in schools. Where trust is high, communication flows freely, collaboration and professionalism abound, and a spirit of openness allows the school to flexibly adapt to the high expectations of a rapidly changing world. In such an environment, student learning thrives. Conversely, schools with a pervasive culture of distrust are dismal places where the Blame Game holds sway and morale and commitment are low. Energy is siphoned away from the central mission of learning into defensiveness and self-protection for students, teachers, and leaders alike.
Fortunately, there is a way through these difficult situations. Our strengths-based approach has proven to be an effective intervention whether we are working with two individuals or large groups. Based on the model of trust presented in the best-selling book, Trust Matters: Leadership for Successful Schools, by Megan Tschannen-Moran, this process invites stakeholders to explore the shared values that connect participants even after trust has been damaged or broken. Exploring their essential interdependence in this way enables participants to rekindle their confidence in each others’ benevolence, honesty, openness, reliability, and competence. Making use of an Appreciative Inquiry methodology, this process creates the context for productive conversations through which trust can be restored. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.