States of Being: The What Why and How of Coaching Urgent School Leaders

The Why

Over the course of building a trusting relationship with colleagues that we coach, we almost always only hear their side of the story. It's important to remember that there is valuable data and insight in others’ views, experience, and wisdom by others who agree with and challenge them. 


Supporting States of Being


The How

Step 1

Begin with Self: Am I actively addressing/practicing the 7 Essential Equity Questions?

Step 2

  • Before you begin, imagine the person at her* best: a moment that you saw her succeeding

  • Inhale 4/Exhale 8

  • Inhale appreciation/exhale compassion/love

  • Breathe


Step 3

  • Appreciate the colleague’s knowledge and experience

  • Ask nonjudgmental questions

  • Ask if your colleague has received input from others to help assess and inform solutions

  • Leverage your colleague’s successes and strengths

  • Help your colleague connect the dots


Step 4

  • Offer resources and wisdom though other coaches, leaders, teachers and experts who have experience with the same kind of challenging situations.

  • Offer research.


Potential Traps

  • Certainty that there is only one right solution

  • Believing that progress only comes from telling rather than asking

  • Being impatient

  • Focusing only on results

  • Viewing people as obstacles not allies

  • Leading with ego


Close by asking: What's clearer to you?


This protocol works with students, too.

In each State of Being, I will toggle among pronouns She, They, and He.

States of Being, Linda Belans EdD