Laying a Foundation of Trust

Last spring, I had the opportunity to go to Oakland, California to attend Elena Aguilar’s training, “The Art of Coaching Teams.” We were in a beautiful, peaceful setting and the days were filled with opportunities to collaborate with others and reflect on our roles as instructional coaches. I left the training with a sense of goodness, hope and optimism about the work that we do.

During our time together, we talked a lot about trust. In her book, also called “The Art of Coaching Teams,” Elena quotes,

Without trust there can be no coaching.

So, as we start a new school year, let’s turn our attention to laying a foundation of trust in our coaching relationships. How might we develop trust? In Chapter 5 of her book “The Art of Coaching,” Elena Aguilar provides these tips for building trusting relationships with teachers during coaching sessions:

  1. Plan and Prepare
  2. Cautiously Gather Background information
  3. Establish Confidentiality
  4. Listen
  5. Ask Questions
  6. Connect
  7. Validate
  8. Be Open about Who You Are and What You Do
  9. Ask for Permission to Coach
  10. Keep Commitments

I have made the commitment to myself and to my teachers, that I will be very mindful this year about the following two goals to build and maintain trust:

  • Listen with Acceptance- Leave ego behind and listen deeply. Seek to understand perspectives and experiences.
  • Ask Questions- Enter into coaching conversations with a spirit of inquiry and curiosity.

What goals might you set for building trust this year?

In his book The Heart of Coaching, Thomas Crane invites us to see coaching as learning. His premise is that if we are to be effective coaches, we must have an “open, learning stance toward life.” He says,

“Someone once invited me to exchange my rightness for curiosity.”

It is with this mindset that I start a new year of instructional coaching. I am so excited!

Reeve_Catie_WEBCatie Reeve

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