Thursday, August 26, 2021

In my mind I see a mirage on the wall, but unfortunately it's not there at all. (Iron Butterfly)

Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

Recently, I had occasion to reflect on my reflections on coaching (it's a room full of mirrors).

I've been posting on this blog since 2008 and in these last 13 years I've put up 16 posts on coaching. That's a fair amount.

I'm a solid believer in the idea that coaching happens in many different forums, mostly when I'm conversing with staff around the campus.

As a young teacher Colin Prentice had two coaching discussions with me as we walked around the Macleans College campus. I can't recall any kind of formal sit down with him but those two informal occasions changed my life. Yes, they did!

After that, as a middle and senior manager (starting as Head of English in 1990 at Waimea College and then as a senior manager in 1996 at MAGS) I have had many coaching and being coached sessions over the years.

As a professional development trainer and consultant in the Middle East (2009 to 2012) I led discussions of coaching with senior Qatari and Emerati school leaders.

Did I always get it right over those last 31 years? Do I know all there is to know about coaching? Ha ha. Of course not!

As Mark Manson says in his book (subtitled, a counterintuitive approach to living a good life):

Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new we don't go from 'wrong' to 'right'. Rather we go from wrong to slightly less wrong.

He goes on to say:

We shouldn't seek to find the ultimate 'right' answer for ourselves, but rather, we should seek to chip away at the ways we're wrong today so that we can be a little less wrong tomorrow.

It's in this spirit that I participate in coaching sessions in 2021 - still aiming to be a little less wrong as a coach.

Which brings me to the best coaching session I've had this year. It was with a colleague who I trust, having previously worked with her on professional development for staff in our organisation. She's a fellow Campus Principal so she knows the territory.

During the coaching session she asked excellent questions (we're following a GROWTH model this year) and it led to me making some interesting changes towards developing students as self-directed learners in my own campus.

It's like anything, a work in progress, but I feel like we're on the right path of being less wrong each time we discuss it as a staff.

And that concludes my 17th post on coaching since 2008.

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