Fantastic reflections from a great group of leaders at Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline at the end of our ‘Excellence through Leadership of Learning’ programme last week.
Common reflection points from this group of leaders were:
- Don’t assume that we have shared clarity in an environment of monologue. Deep shared clarity comes through dialogue.
- Shared clarity is crucial to building strong relational trust and productive feedback dialogue about improvement.
- The importance of creating processing capacity for learning
- Building and maintaining relational trust has to be on the day-to-day to-do-list
- Unless we design and facilitate high quality professional learning, then we have to own the consequences
- We see the world as we are, not as it is. Therefore it is important to consider how others will view decisions, choices and actions.
- Beware of perception gaps, both held by ourselves as well as helping others to recognise theirs.
I’m always fascinated by the reflections of participants at the end of any of my learning programmes.
Firstly, the reflections help me to reflect on the extent to which participants have synthesised the key learning from the programme. This includes the extent to which the interdependency between different aspects has been understood and then applied to their leadership.
Secondly, it provides me with rich examples of how leaders have applied the learning from the programme to their context. In any school there can be a wide range of starting points for a leader and their team. Consequently different leaders may stress different aspects of the programme depending upon the stage of development of their own team.
Finally, the process of reflecting, is crucial in itself. At the end of a multi-module programme, it can really help leaders to see and value the huge benefits of slower thinking. When leaders reflect on the gains they have made through the programme, as well as the way they have overcome learning pains that they have encountered, this regularly builds their individual and collective efficacy. Collective efficacy is the belief that we can positively impact on the performance of our peers and the learning of our young people.
My personal reflection on listening to the presentations of this group of middle leaders? It was a privilege to work with them all. They have fuelled me with their energy and passion. As I said in summary, five days spent with them, really didn’t seem like work!