10 Oct 2017

#3- Coaches: Know thy Impact with Peter Dewitt & Lindsay Deacon

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To read Peter Dewitt’s TLC interview go here

“Interesting.  When we give feedback, we notice that the receiver isn’t good at receiving it.  When we receive feedback, we notice that the giver isn’t good at giving it.” (Stone & Heed, 2014)

I was drawn to this session because I had been reading Peter Dewitt’s blog “Finding Common Ground” for years and was excited to see him present on coaching.  I was also looking forward to hearing a practitioner and instructional coach perspective from co-presenter Lindsay Deacon, a Corwin consultant. The session focused on self-efficacy in coaching and was anchored in Bandura’s definition that self-efficacy “refers to beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments.”  This session looked at why self-efficacy matters and the ways in which it can be raised in those we coach, as well as ourselves.  Coaching is about empowering others, not enabling them.  As such, self-efficacy is an important concept for coaches to examine.

Dewitt referred to Megan Tschannen-Moran’s work (one of his heroes) and her findings that: “Self-efficacy beliefs are context-specific, however, people do not feel equally efficacious for all situations.”

In this session, we were reminded of the link between scaffolding and self-efficacy.

As Dewitt shared: “Strategies are unlikely to be initiated unless teachers believe they have the skills and capabilities to selectively support their students when needed” (Zee & Kooen, 2016).

One of the most interesting parts of this session for me was the discussion around the three types of feedback (appreciative, coaching and evaluation) and the role it can play in helping or hindering growth.  For more information on this check out Douglas Stone & Sheila Heed’s (2014) book: Thanks for the Feedback.  A great book excerpt is found in this 2014 Globe & Mail article

This session also shared Stone & Heen’s 3 Feedback triggers:

Truth Triggers– are when we are upset about the substance.  It’s off, unhelpful or simply untrue.

Relationship Triggers – are tripped by the particular person.  It’s what we believe about the giver and their credibility

Identity Triggers– when it’s hurting the identity we set for ourselves.

Understanding how to give effective feedback is critical to powerful coaching and as participants, we  were given the opportunity to role play a coaching session with feedback after watching two short teaching videos (an elementary and secondary class).  Despite the terrible room layout, the presenters did a great job introducing key ideas around self-efficacy and feedback and also providing an appropriate amount of time for their exploration-in-action.

One of the great things about these conferences is that you never know who is among your participants.  It was a wonderful surprise for Peter Dewitt to connect with Megan Tschannen-Moran & I got to snap the photo!

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