Radical Candor, by Kim Scott

Why I read it: This one had been on my reading pile for a couple of years. Kim Scott offers a direct title and even clearer subtitle: ‘How to get what you want by saying what you mean.’ This isn’t just about having ‘tough conversations’, though, it’s a principle for leading teams that puts relationships,Continue reading “Radical Candor, by Kim Scott”

Leadership: Being, Knowing, Doing – by Stephen Tierney

Why I read it After reading a series of books on teams, I wanted to return to core school leadership skills and knowledge. A coachee had generously given me a voucher for Christmas, and, being a fan of Stephen Tierney’s previous books, I decided to spend it on his new book on leadership. In summaryContinue reading Leadership: Being, Knowing, Doing – by Stephen Tierney

Thriving Teams #4: Team Debriefs

Watching footage of post-game team talks by football managers always fascinated me, on the rare occasions when the cameras were allowed into the changing room. Sometimes it was dominated by cheering and roaring champagne as a team progressed to the next round of a cup; other times, a Neil Warnock-esque manager would be snarling andContinue reading “Thriving Teams #4: Team Debriefs”

Thriving Teams #3: Psychological Safety

It can be difficult to define what makes someone feel confident or at ease within their team. Some argue that a happy team is a productive team, while others say the opposite is true. In my years’ long pursuit of staff wellbeing and satisfaction, I’ve often leant towards autonomy, trust, and opportunities to collaborate asContinue reading “Thriving Teams #3: Psychological Safety”

Thriving Teams #2: Purpose and Goals

Every organisation has a purpose: a sense of why it exists and what it serves through that existence. For schools, this is perhaps obvious. The school exists to serve its children: to keep them safe, to help them to learn, to gain the best qualifications possible, and to prepare them for the world (add othersContinue reading Thriving Teams #2: Purpose and Goals

Thriving Teams #1: What is a team?

Each of us belongs to a number of teams, depending on your definition. A family. A sports team. A volunteer group. And, at work, you could be a member of several teams. Each team has its own purpose, dynamic, and tasks; each team’s success may be measured differently. Some of our teams may be healthy,Continue reading “Thriving Teams #1: What is a team?”

Change, by Damon Centola

Why I read it I had a wonderful day at ResearchEd Surrey in October. I caught up with old colleagues from Farnham Heath End, Weydon, and beyond, met new colleagues from Twitter, and attended some enlightening talks. I even navigated Jade Pearce’s PowerPoint in her excellent session on evidence-informed teaching. Adam Robbins’ talk on behaviouralContinue reading “Change, by Damon Centola”

Team Genius, by Rich Karlgaard and Michael Malone

Why I read it I really enjoy leading teams and being part of teams. All of us have interacted within a group, be it at school, work, or in an activity such as a sports team. We’ve all been in some unhealthy, unproductive teams. And, hopefully, we’ve experienced the opposite, too. I’ve always been fascinatedContinue reading “Team Genius, by Rich Karlgaard and Michael Malone”

10 tips to get the most out of being coached

‘Every coach should have a coach’ is an oft repeated mantra when you step into the world of coaching. It is an idea with merit. During the recent Coaching Accreditation Programme with Growth Coaching International, we were given the opportunity to experience being a coachee. Delegates coached each other, sometimes in pairs, and other timesContinue reading “10 tips to get the most out of being coached”

The Coach’s Guide to Teaching, by Doug Lemov

Why I read it  I’ve read Teach Like a Champion many times, although for whatever reason haven’t written a blog post about its brilliance! Doug Lemov is an astute thinker, has invested thousands of hours into what he researches and writes about, and brings precision and clarity to his work. I was delighted to attendContinue reading “The Coach’s Guide to Teaching, by Doug Lemov”

6 ways to start your coaching journey

In 2019-20, I lead a staff wellbeing research project, which aimed to explore evidence-based approaches to wellbeing in schools. This culminated in the Biscuits at Breaktime blog, an article in Impact, and, unfortunately, some cancelled primary research when COVID hit. My colleague, Rachel, and I read a lot about Self Determination Theory (SDT), a psychologicalContinue reading “6 ways to start your coaching journey”

Leading assemblies: nostalgia and lessons

Today, as I drove down to East Wittering for my half term break, I kept getting visual flashes of standing in front of a room, leading a community of students and staff in an assembly. One of my favourite aspects of the job. Actually, my favourite. Perhaps I miss being a Head of Sixth Form,Continue reading “Leading assemblies: nostalgia and lessons”

Making The Leap, by Dr Jill Berry

Why I read it  Aside from the fact that Dr Jill Berry is, I believe the term to be, a legend of the game, I actually won this in a prize draw at the Southern Rocks conference in 2018. I was an Assistant Headteacher in charge of Learning and Teaching, and had brought members ofContinue reading “Making The Leap, by Dr Jill Berry”

The Fearless Organisation, by Amy C. Edmondson

Why I read it  Ever since I ran a staff wellbeing research project, I’ve been on a journey to find evidence-informed strategies to help staff be the best versions of themselves. Often I’ve found that books go on a merry quest to countless high-performing organisations, in the pursuit of nirvana culture. However, I’d heard thatContinue reading “The Fearless Organisation, by Amy C. Edmondson”

ResearchEd Surrey 2021 – reflection

Dan Cable writes in Alive at Work, that a powerful method to build relatedness and belonging within a team is to ask each person when they are at their best. Which circumstances bring out the best version of themselves? It’s a fascinating question. The rationale is, that by sharing this self-reflection, your shared vulnerability helpsContinue reading “ResearchEd Surrey 2021 – reflection”