Category: #Mentoring

Spreading and Sharing-The Sale!

Two books were given away this week! Jon Gordon and Alex Demczak are the authors of The Sale. If you have not had a chance, please pick up your copy today. The book has four lessons on integrity—a great book for individuals, managers, leaders and teams. I shared with two great school leaders! They can read, grow and share!

Ms. Lindsey Prunkard is the current principal at South View Upper Elementary, Danville, Illinois. She has served education in many roles over the past years and will continue to grow in her leadership. I was blessed to be part of watching her grow, and I am happy to continue to support her. Her love for what she does is shown in her smile and her why is always on display.

Ms. Angelique Simon is the current principal of Liberty Elementary, Danville, Illinois. She has served in education for many years with a passion for always wanting to know more. I first met her as she was assigned to be my intern as I had just been transferred to the middle school principal position. We learned together about the staff, students, families, and community. She helped lead the changes in culture, diversity, and our approaches. Ms. Simon learned about the Two Rule philosophy and how it is applied.

The Sale

It is important to me to continue to support leaders who continue to serve others. The actions we take speak louder than the words we speak, helping others develop the tools they need to continue to influence and guide others. Integrity and trust are the focus of the lessons in the new book. These are critical foundational skills for every team, organization, and individual.

Jon Gordon’s books never disappoint, and I encourage everyone to read them when they have an opportunity. More books to give away this week! Do you want to receive one?

Put us in, we want to coach or be coached!

Coaching helps every level

The need for coaching support today is more extensive than it has ever been before. Help at each level in the organizational chain needs to be strengthened after being pushed to the limits over the past few years.

Every individual, if asked in a survey, will tell you they have been impacted over the last three years by the events happening in our world. We have experienced illness, death, lockdowns, trauma, soaring gas prices, and supply shortages, and the list can be expanded to many other issues. The critical point is trauma and the stress it has provided.

Building a support system within our organization or bringing in outside coaching will help individuals get back to their center to regain a balance. Stability is the thread we need to sew our environment back to the strength, resilience, and flexible fabric it needs to be as we work to achieve.

Who are Coaches?

Effective coaches treat individuals as professionals. Building a professional relationship knowing and recognizing individuals are capable of making decisions for themselves. People will engage in conversations when they understand coaches are not imposing practices, thoughts, or ideas on them. Coaches are partnering with them to determine the best course of action. When we try to do something different, it is a dehumanizing act, and it minimizes the effect of the potential for professional growth. Coaches need to examine who they are and how their actions affect others. Most importantly, always look at the coaching process as we help make it the best for each individual.

Important questions for coaches to ask themselves:

  • What are my beliefs?
  • What can I do to build trust?
  • How do I communicate?
  • Do I listen?
  • What action steps do I take?
  • How do I lead myself?
  • How do I lead others?

Impact of Coaches

Coaching is unique! Selecting the right coaches for the right team or individual is an essential part of the process. Matching the needs of those being coached with the individual who can provide for them is critical, but matching the personality is also an essential piece!

One of my favorite TedTalks is Rita Pierson! Her best line is, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” Adults are the same way! The first step in every relationship is building trust and finding common ground. Establishing a partnership in working together to achieve growth over time is the primary goal. Establishing a clear understanding of what coaching is will help build the foundation for a positive working relationship.

Coaches will bring a toolbox of strategies and resources to support the individual or group they are working to help grow. The method will be selected, implemented, monitored, and then analyzed. They will work on this together to evaluate the next steps. The coach’s impact will result in the efforts of all those involved. Clear communication and record keeping will help them make adjustments as they proceed. This should never be an evaluation piece but an improvement, growth, and innovative approach for individuals to take ownership of their development.

Do I need one?

If you are asking if you need a coach, the answer is yes. I have had a coach, I am a coach, and I have supervised coaches. Coaches are like your own personal trainer, cheerleader, and go-to person. They can help bring you ideas and tell you if you need to think about something from a different lens or if you did a great job communicating that idea. Coaches are so important. My area of expertise is in education, but I am available to help any leader. Please leave me a comment or send me an Email. I am willing to help you at no cost via Zoom, email, and phone. Leadership is significant, and I want you to be successful. My solution is to provide as much support as possible to those who are leading and serving others.

What do you think?

Do you ever have someone ask you so what do you think? Everyone is looking 👀 at you; the pressure is on, you are the new person in the group, you look around, and you say……

  • I think…
  • If you ask me….
  • I believe….
  • It is my understanding….
  • As I understand it…..
  • I heard you say….
  • The point made by….
  • Several people have made different points…..

There are many ways to respond to someone asking you what you think. In asking you this question, they want your opinion. If you do not feel safe or comfortable in the group, often people respond with a no answer. Then the group is still left with not knowing your opinion and will move on if you have crafted your response well. An example might be: “I have enjoyed this conversation with all of the thoughts being shared; I wanted to hear more about your thoughts on this topic before sharing.”

If the topic is something you are passionate about why not share your thoughts if you are confident. If some disagree, are you able to debate professionally? It isn’t easy when you are brand new to the job, but always remember who you are and your purpose (why). People like to know what you stand for or if you stand with who every you are with at the moment.

I like to ask more questions! The more you ask, the more everyone can learn from the shared information. However, there are times when the issues touch your core values, beliefs, and passion. It is always important to share your thoughts respectfully or remove yourself from the conversation. We will talk more about conversations, sharing ideas, and the importance of thinking before clicking on social media. I find myself stepping away at times and other times standing up. Give it some thought and share some ideas in this space if you like.

Lead from where you are!

When do you become a leader? Is it when you finally get that top spot or the title you have been dreaming of? Think about the leaders you know; what titles do they have? What characteristics do they have? The best questions are:

  • Why do you think they are leaders?
  • Why do you follow them?
  • Do they know they are a leader?

In our world today, we need great leadership. I have always said, “ Leadership is not a title, a position, or a picture of a person you can describe. It is a heart, purpose, calling, and desire to serve others as you model leadership.”

Where are you today?

Where do you want to be in five years?

What are you doing to help yourself move in the direction you plan to go?

I recommend the book Simple Truths of Leadership, 52 Ways to be a Servant Leader and Build Trust by Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley. This book will provide you with the best way to continue to grow, build capacity within your team, help engage as a coach or mentor. The book’s setup offers a weekly Simple Truth to follow. The big topics are identified, discussion guide at the back of the book to correlate with the #number you select. You can start anywhere you want! I love this book! I am biased a little because I have followed Ken Blanchard throughout my career! I continue to learn from his leadership.

I bought an extra copy to share with someone else! Who has the best story to share of why they need to have my extra copy? Please pick up a copy or two, share, start a book study! I will be happy to help you through Zoom! We need you! I am happy to serve in helping you grow! We are the solution daily as we work together in a world that needs all of you!

Make Mentoring a Mission that matters!

One of the needs every individual has is to feel validated. As educators, we set it as a priority to establish positive relationships with co-workers, students, and families. However, we do not spend enough time helping each other learn how to accomplish them. One way is mentoring!

Why not start a mentoring program at your school? Teachers mentor other teachers, staff members mentor students, students mentor students, parents help to mentor other mentors. When mentoring becomes the norm, you can begin to see a more helpful and welcoming environment. The wonderful thing about mentoring is the benefit both receive!

In that list of mentors, I left out the most crucial role that needs a mentor the most, the principal. Often we forget to feed our leaders with rich development and dedicated support to help the schools the most. Is there a fear of having a mentor or coach? Is this a signal the leadership is not strong? I sure hope not.

Mentors are “trusted” wise individuals who offer advice, suggestions, ideas, teach, and model. Sooner or later in our lives, we all need inspiration, direction, and instruction as we face many different things. Even mentors and coaches need to have someone to help them too. We can prepare, be informed, and try to keep up with everything, but if we try that approach, burnout is what we will have.

Modeling for others is the best way to get mentoring started. Provide information about your mentoring experience and see if anyone is interested in participating. Mentors are the best cheerleaders for those they are mentoring. They are also the ones that will provide a reality check—in addition, stretching you to reach beyond your comfort zone to achieve goals.

Rules to Mentoring

  • Help establish goals
  • Be an active listener
  • Ask questions to stretch thinking
  • Facilitate Problem Solving with an open-minded approach
  • Be consistent with offering time
  • Confidentiality and trustworthy
  • Keep the focus on the individual and not you
  • Honest feedback

Expectations from Receiving Mentoring

  • Help with goal setting
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • Providing new ways to look at situations
  • Learning new skills
  • Gathering tools, strategies, and resources
  • Networking with others to build professional connections
  • Confidence, Inspiration, Motivation

Every mentoring relationship is different. How you set up your work together is how the outcomes will be developed. At the first meeting together, you can establish the goals you want from the mentoring process.