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

The Why

To ensure you are responding to your colleague’s needs rather than your own


Supporting States of Being

The How

Step 1


Step 2

  • Inhale 4 counts/exhale 8 counts

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

  • Inhale wisdom/ exhale love


Step 3

  • Listen

  • Ensure you are focused on the individual’s development, not your need to be right.


Step 5

  • Check in with your feelings before offering a response to see if you are feeling emotionally triggered or if judgment is rising

  • Silently name the emotion or judgment so it doesn’t eclipse thinking

  • Breathe to reset and remind yourself of your objective

  • Refocus

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


This protocol works with students, too.

Potential Traps

  • Allowing your ego to drive your responses

  • Needing to be right

  • Being impatient


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


States of Being. Linda Belans, EdD