How to develop yourself and work with others? #360Review (Part 3 of 6)


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In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday... Read more about @TeacherToolkit

In part 3 of my leadership review, I offer musings of my own school leadership. In this post: How to develop yourself and work with others? I pose a series of questions for the reader and offer my very own #360Review.

You are reading part 3 of a 6-part series of leadership articles on: ‘Developing self and working with others’ #360Review

Following publication of part 2, I was delighted to get the response below from @BrianLightman, who is General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. We are due to speak on the phone next week.

Click to open/feedback
Click to open/feedback

How to develop yourself and working with others?

Do you soak up personal development like a sponge?  Photo Credit: Horia Varlan via Compfight cc
Do you soak up personal development like a sponge?
Photo Credit: Horia Varlan via Compfight cc

This leadership reflection has been taken from the Leadership Standards and falls under two distinct categories and into six key areas.

  • The categories are Knowledge and Professional Qualities.
  • The key areas are Shaping the future; Leading learning and teaching; Developing self and working with others; Managing the organisation; Securing accountability; Strengthening the community.

Definition:

Development

Developing self and working with others (Knowledge):

“The headteacher should know about: the significance of interpersonal relationships, adult learning and models of continuing professional development (CPD); strategies to promote individual and team development; building and sustaining a learning community; the relationship between managing performance, CPD and sustained school improvement; the impact of change on organisations and individuals. (Knowledge)”

  • Do you know how to develop yourself?
  • How do you work with others?
  • How do you soak up the knowledge (like a sponge)?

Here are the key questions to consider, with my own analysis in the photo that follows.

  1. I know about the significance of interpersonal relationships.
  2. I know about adult learning
  3. I know about models of continuing professional development (CPD)
  4. I know about strategies to promote individual development
  5. I know about strategies to promote team development
  6. I know about building a learning community
  7. I know about sustaining a learning community
  8. I know about the relationship between managing performance, CPD and sustained school improvement
  9. I know about the impact of change on organisations
  10. I know about the impact of change on individuals.

My self-review is shown below. Click to enlarge.

Click to open
Click to open

Self- analysis:

I do consider this area to be the strongest element of my 360 review, although I have not rated many areas in the top-ranking section (D). As ever, it is okay to self-select these statements and say ‘I know’; but as any leader will know, it is what you do with this information to make an impact on yourself and others across the school.

The reason for me selecting ‘C’ in many of these areas, is because I know I can answer most of these questions. But when I say answer, what I really mean to say is, is that I can demonstrate knowledge of this leadership section as a strength (by doing them – some of them very well)… but I’m not quite sure of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ in terms of strategic knowledge – to be considered as a significant depth.

How can I formalise this into a framework for leadership to use for myself and others? I’m not sure I can, but at least by completing this 360-Review, this reflections has given me the impetuous to review areas of my own leadership; and has enabled me to see, that I may know or do (the ‘what’), with the aim of transforming the instinctual elements of knowing, into configurations of ‘how’ and ‘why’.

Self-review of Developing self and others (Professional Qualities):

“The headteacher should be committed to: effective working relationships; shared leadership; effective team working; continuing professional development for self and all others within the school. The headteacher should be able to: foster an open, fair, equitable culture and manage conflict; develop, empower and sustain individuals and teams; collaborate and network with others within and beyond the school; challenge, influence and motivate others to attain high goals; give and receive effective feedback and act to improve personal performance; accept support from others including colleagues, governors and the LEA. (Professional Qualities)”

Here are the key questions to consider, with my own analysis in the photo that follows.

  1. I am committed to effective working relationships
  2. I am committed to shared leadership
  3. I am committed to effective team working
  4. I am committed to continuing professional development for self
  5. I am committed to continuing professional development for all others within the school
  6. I am able to foster an open, fair, equitable culture
  7. I am able to manage conflict
  8. I am able to develop, empower individuals.
  9. I am able to sustain individuals.
  10. I am able to develop, empower teams
  11. I am able to sustain teams
  12. I am able to collaborate with others within school.
  13. I am able to network with others within the school.
  14. I am able to collaborate with others beyond school.
  15. I am able to network with others beyond the school.
  16. I am able to challenge others to attain higher goals.
  17. I am able to influence and motivate others to attain high goals.
  18. I am able to give effective feedback
  19. I am able to receive effective feedback
  20. I am able to act to improve personal performance
  21. I am able to accept support from others including colleagues.
  22. I am able to accept support from others including governors.
  23. I am able to accept support from others including the LEA.

My self-review is shown below. Click to enlarge.

Click to open
Click to open

Self- analysis:

Again, this area of professional qualities is a strength for me. But what would other colleagues say of me to make this truly a 360-Review? Well, I am saving this for parts 4-6 of this series. For the meantime, you will have to take my word for it and this online-open reflection on leadership. I have questioned myself twice, as to why I have rated shared-leadership; empower and sustain teams as grade ‘C’. One to revisit I think …

The verdict:

The verdict: Photo Credit: stevec77 via Compfight cc
The verdict: Photo Credit: stevec77 via Compfight cc

Using national guidance to collate evidence, I should show that I… (with my own summary in red font):

  • Treat people fairly, equitably and with dignity and respect to create and maintain a positive school culture. I am confident this is achieved and sustained.
  • Build a collaborative learning culture within the school and actively engage with other schools to build effective learning communities. I am confident this is achieved and sustained, but I do know I could do more to establish communities within my own council/borough, rather than what I currently do online – especially in terms of teaching and learning networks – but then, is this also an LEA responsibility to bring us all together? Or should I take more ownership to impact of my own role/school responsibility?
  • Develop and maintain effective strategies and procedures for staff inductions, professional development and performance review. As school CPD lead, I am never fulfilled with staff development. I always want to make it even better. I have said more about this here: I have a dream…
    Ensure effective planning, allocation, support and evaluation of work undertaken by teams and individuals, ensuring clear delegation of tasks and devolution of responsibilities. I am confident this is achieved and sustained. I am very happy to delegate; to challenge and to inspire – and I am fully aware, that I would never ask anyone to complete anything, I could (not/want) to do myself. Could I do this better; more tailored and challenging for others? Probably.
  • Acknowledge the responsibilities and celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams. I am very happy to do this; but do feel there is a culture within school(s) to retract from praise – as meaningless recognition. I am confident this is achieved and sustained by being sincere and ensuring this is face-to-face, as well as publicly, where applicable.
  • Develop and maintain a culture of high expectations for self and for others and takes appropriate action when performance is unsatisfactory. I am confident this is achieved and sustained.
  • Regularly review own practice, set personal targets and take responsibility for own personal development. Is this public blog not enough evidence?
  • Manage own workload and that of others to allow an appropriate work/life balance. Hah! Always a challenge; but I manage to complete 90% of all school and leaderships tasks ‘at work’. The tasks I choose to complete at home, are all self-selected. I am confident this is achieved and sustained of myself and others. I’d never expect any member of staff to complete work out of school. I ensure they have the timeframe and time available to complete.

How do you brush up?

Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / zaganDesign
Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / zaganDesign

Further reading:

In part 4 of this leadership series, you will be able to view my own #360Review of Managing the organisation. One, I anticipate will prove more of a challenge for reflection. Finally, in parts 4 – 6 of this series, I will offer comments from colleagues I have worked with, as part of this leadership #360Review. This will hopefully complete the cycle.

I hope to establish where I am in terms of leadership standards; as well as my own values (to be adapted to meet my own (school’s) vision).

  1. Part 1: Shaping the future: What makes an outstanding senior leader? #360Review
  2. Part 2: Leading Learning and Teaching: How would you lead teaching and learning? #360Review
  3. Part 3: Developing self and others: How to develop yourself and work with others? #360Review
  4. Part 4: Managing the organisation: Can you manage the school organisation? #360Review
  5. Part 5: Securing accountability: Securing accountability with leadership actions: #360Review
  6. Part 6: Strengthening the community; Headship: Can you engage with the internal and external school community? #360Review (Part 6 of 6)

 


6 thoughts on “How to develop yourself and work with others? #360Review (Part 3 of 6)

  1. Seeing how much thought, introspection and conscientious reflection goes into becoming a school leader just makes me wonder how so many distinctly unreflective and aloof people slipped through the net into Headteacher’s Offices.

  2. Thanks for your further thoughts, Ross.

    Just something which might be helpful, though I recognise that this may not be something you would wish to do publicly in your blog as it involves other people, (and you may well have done it already offline). When asking yourself how you rate against a statement such as: “Treat people fairly, equitably and with dignity and respect to create and maintain a positive school culture” consider 2 further questions. If you believe this is achieved and sustained, ask

    1. How exactly do I know? Give specific examples from your practice at school that clearly demonstrate you have achieved this. Be as precise as possible – what did you do? What effect did it have? What evidence is there that this actively contributed towards the maintenance of ‘a positive school culture’, etc

    then ask the

    2. ‘So what?’ question. Why is this important? How exactly has it impacted on the lives of staff and the experience of pupils? How has it moved you forward in your leadership journey? Perhaps how does it connect to your core values/philosophy of education?

    As I say, you may have done this already, but if not it does make you think more deeply and encourages you fully to justify/support/exemplify and evidence the ‘achieved and sustained’ judgement.

    Good luck with the next posts too!

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