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How best to support a colleague?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by littlerussell, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    I think that's almost impossible to answer on here, since it depends on your strengths, the other head's strengths, and what the actual issues are.
  2. Have you been asked to help by the LA or is it a friend? If it is a formal arrangement then coaching is the best model- building their capacity. If they don't have the capacity then a challenging role! Good luck either way.
  3. Not an official role more like colleague to local colleague. Parental flack, poor PR and similar. Just wondered how to best support rather than just listening. Top re coaching style is good one thanks.
  4. Like many Heads I have been asked to help others sometimes through certain routes and sometimes informally. I have found that when people are deep in crisis they find it hard to listen to you so don't try to speak at first much. One Head I didn't know spent an afternoon with me in quite a manic state, spoke at me for 4 hours then calmed down the next visit. Another cried a great deal but knew what she needed to do next in a tricky situation really and just needed reassurance. You never know what you'll need to do. One colleague/friend I met over a few months needed to talk first, say everything, sometimes repeating themselves. Lots of coffee and tissues. I have recommended a life coach or counselling service to people if appropriate as sometimes work starts to have a detremental effect on all aspects of home life too. You'll see when they are ready and want to begin. Keep very calm and go slow. Don't be tempted to tell them what to do. Offer copies of documents to save them time and to show how systems work well. I like to go round the school every time and comment on anything I can which is positive and moving forward, if they want to meet at school. My first advice is to try and get to work each day and be seen walking the walk. Try and agree areas which you can support at each visit and stick to them so you can see progress over time eg. parental engagement, using the local paper for good news, sending out a weekly newsletter, whatever the agreed action will be. When you think the time is right it might seem appropriate to review their personal ethos and what they want to achieve.

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