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Monday, February 21, 2011

Coaching Skills For Teachers

Coaching Skills For Teachers
By guest author: Dot Struthers

Coaching is now a well regarded tool for teachers to develop themselves both personally and professionally and is growing in popularity because its short, sharp and effective.

Getting coaching for yourself is one thing but developing your skills to coach others is another and requires self awareness, understanding and practice.

Coaching should be a non-judgemental and stimulating process which gives the other person time to think and share their feelings. Your job as the coach is to challenge their attitude, offer inspiration and get them to a place of action.

Here are five key principles that will help you to be an effective coach:-

1. Play to a person's strengths
We all know what we are not good at and there is no point in trying to solve a problem from a place of weakness. If you are an introvert you can't suddenly become an extrovert, it would be unnatural. When you focus on a person's strengths and uniqueness, you build their confidence.

2. Create time to think
The only way to see the wood from the trees is to step back and create some space and time. Helping people to see the bigger picture allows them to gain perspective but also to focus on their specific issue more clearly. By encouraging reflection, you are able to create more self awareness.

3. Solutions are within
So often we think the answers are outside of us but the truth is that we are good at getting in the way of our own solutions. Helping someone to explore options, ideas or thoughts has a magical quality which allows us to connect with our inner wisdom and create those "aha" moments.

4. Being Present
So often we are distracted by either reminiscing the past where our memories live or the getting lost in our dreams in the future. Helping someone to stay present in the current moment "now" will help them to stay focused and bring about the changes and improvements they want.

5. Personal Responsibility
It can be so easy to judge others and tell them what they are doing wrong or what they should be doing but in fact you are only holding them back and could be creating a rod for your own back. When you insist on another person taking responsibility for their actions and behaviours you are giving them the control and authority they need to take ownership.

Coaching skills are life skills and worth investing in. They are particularly helpful in times of stress, conflict and change and after a while it becomes a way of doing things rather than a set of techniques.

Dot Struthers works with school leaders wanting to develop their leadership and management skills. including personal coaching, HR consultancy and management skills training. For more information go to

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick