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The Art of Coaching Teams: Building Resilient Communities that Transform Schools

ISBN: 978-1-118-98415-4
384 pages
February 2016, Jossey-Bass
The Art of Coaching Teams: Building Resilient Communities that Transform Schools (1118984153) cover image

Description

The missing how-to manual for being an effective team leader

The Art of Coaching Teams is the manual you never received when you signed on to lead a team. Being a great teacher is one thing, but leading a team, or team development, is an entirely different dynamic. Your successes are public, but so are your failures—and there's no specific rubric or curriculum to give you direction. Team development is an art form, and this book is your how-to guide to doing it effectively. You'll learn the administrative tasks that keep your team on track, and you'll gain access to a wealth of downloadable tools that simplify the "getting organized" process. Just as importantly, you'll explore what it means to be the kind of leader that can bring people together to accomplish difficult tasks. You'll find practical suggestions, tools, and clear instructions for the logistics of team development as well as for building trust, developing healthy communication, and managing conflict.

Inside these pages you'll find concrete guidance on:

  • Designing agendas, making decisions, establishing effective protocols, and more
  • Boosting your resilience, understanding and managing your emotions, and meeting your goals
  • Cultivating your team's emotional intelligence and dealing with cynicism
  • Utilizing practical tools to create a customized framework for developing highly effective teams

There is no universal formula for building a great team, because every team is different. Different skills, abilities, personalities, and goals make a one-size-fits-all approach ineffective at best. Instead, The Art of Coaching Teams provides a practical framework to help you develop your group as a whole, and keep the team moving toward their common goals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

A Tale of Two Teams • What’s in This Book? • Who Is This Book For? • Toward a Beloved Community

Chapter 1: Refining a Vision 1

A Note on Terms • What Is a Great Team? • What Makes an Effective Team? • Why Do We Need Teams? • When Do We Really Need a Team? • How Do We Build Teams?

Chapter 2: Knowing Ourselves as Leaders 13

The Amygdala in a Strange Land • Exploring the Terrain of Leadership • The Potential of Transformational Leadership • Spotting the Tentacles of Power • Emotions Are Contagious

Chapter 3: Creating a Culture of Trust 39

Why Human Bingo Doesn’t Build Trust • Trust Isn’t Built in a Day, But We Can Lay Bricks Every Hour • Use Hindsight to Strengthen Foresight

Chapter 4: Defining Purpose, Process, and Product 63

The Necessity of a Reason for Being • It’s All about How We Work Together • What Are We Going to Do Together? • Mapping Out the Journey

Chapter 5: Laying a Foundation for Trust 95

Community Agreements Build Culture • A Good Norm Is Not Hard to Find • Getting from Here to Norms • Make Your Norms Serve You • Setting Intentions: A Counterpart to Norms • A Beloved Community

Chapter 6: Developing the Emotional Intelligence of a Team 121

What Is the Emotional Intelligence of a Team? • How Do I Create an Emotionally Intelligent Team? • Managing Unexpected Change • Taming the Stress Demons

Chapter 7: Cultivating Healthy Communication 137

A Blueprint for Transformational Conversations • Constructing Good Conversations • Twenty Ways to Improve Your Team’s Communication • Giving Feedback • Equity of Participation

Chapter 8: Making Good Decisions 159

Indicators of Effective Decision Making • Identifying Decision-Making Moments • Who Is Involved and How Much Say DoThey Get • Decision-Making Processes • Facilitating Discussions • When Conversations Get Stuck • Reflection and Feedback

Chapter 9: Supporting Adult Learners 183

The Big Picture:The Learning Organization • From Theory to Practice • Common Challenges • Dealing with Resistance

Chapter 10: Orchestrating Meaningful Meetings 205

To Meet or Not to Meet? • Why Meet? • Which Activities Should We Do? • How Do I Choose What to Do?

Chapter 11: Setting the Stage for Artful Meetings 231

Start with Feedback • Don’t Forget the Facilitator’s Agenda • Prepare Your Internal Self • Put on the Finishing Touches • Find the Joy in Planning

Chapter 12: Navigating Conflict 245

What Is Conflict and Why Is It So Scary? • What Is Healthy Conflict in a Team? • How Can I Facilitate Healthy Conflict? • A Note on Talking about Race and Other Really Hard Things • How Can I Respond to Unhealthy Conflict? • What If None of These Suggestions Work?

Chapter 13: Assessing Organizational Conditions 269

The Primacy of Purpose • Focus, Focus, Focus • Alignment Up and Out • Stability • Leadership • Membership • A Culture of Learning • Trust • Decision Making • Time

CONCLUSION: COMING TO AN END 291

Ten Truths about Building Teams • Amid the Redwoods

APPENDICES 297

APPENDIX A: FACILITATOR CORE COMPETENCIES 299

APPENDIX B: TEAM EFFECTIVENESS SELF-ASSESSMENT 305

APPENDIX C: COMMUNITY-BUILDING ACTIVITIES AND RANDOM GROUPING STRATEGIES 307

APPENDIX D: FACILITATION PLANNING TOOL AND FACILITATION OBSERVATION TOOL 313

APPENDIX E: ACTIVITIES FOR MEETINGS 319

E1.The Consultancy Protocol • E2.The Feedback Protocol • E3. Chalk Talk • E4. DYADS

APPENDIX F: RECOMMENDED RESOURCES 327

On Emotions and Self-Knowledge • On Leadership • On Brain Science • On Managing Change • On Systems Thinking • On Community Building • On Meetings and Facilitation • On Communication • Race, Racism, and Systemic Oppression • For Inspiration

APPENDIX G: PLAN FOR TEAM BUILDING 331

For Leading a New Team • When Continuing to Lead a Team and Identifying Next Steps

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 335

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 339

REFERENCES 341

INDEX 345

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Author Information

ELENA AGUILAR is a teacher, coach and consultant with over twenty years of experience working in schools. Elena is also the author of The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation. She has been a frequent writer for Edutopia since 2008 and writes a blog on EdWeek Teacher for coaches.

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