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

The Why

To help your colleague break patterns that may be interfering with progress or success

Supporting States of Being


The How

Step 1

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

  • Imagine the person at a moment when you saw her* succeeding.

  • Inhale 4 counts/exhale 8 counts:

  • Breathe in listen/breathe out  compassion or love

 Step 2

  • Listen and watch for recurring patterns of behavior that may be interfering with progress

  • Acknowledge the beauty of patterns that once served but now interfere with effectiveness

  • Be kind, empathetic, and bold

  • Name the pattern for the individual so she can begin to recognize it.

  • Name the specific impact the patterned behavior is having

  • Patterns are usually old behaviors. Check to see if she recognizes the pattern: it’s only important that she understands the origin of this pattern, and doesn’t have to share that information

Step 3

  • Assist her in finding a replacement for the behavior

  • Practice using the replacement behavior


Close by asking: What's clearer to you now?


Potential Traps

  • Wanting to fix the colleague

  • Being judgmental

  • Asking for personal information about the history of the pattern

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


Copyrighted by Linda Belans and used with her permission.