Mary-Jo Hill

09 Jul 2018
It's a tightrope, a mine-field, a fine line, that is so often a topic in coaching. Many times, I have discussed with school staff at what point on that line is it necessary to challenge. "Well, it's just that he is like that, it's their personality, their character" and so not wanting to rock a boat or confront an issue the unhelpful behaviours continue and results in inaction and a cognitive dissonance that can hinder a team's collective efficacy. Indeed it is the personality that is the identity of the person, but their character is their learned behaviour. Is it okay to let a member of the 'team' continue in a fashion that is 'just a dis-organised' person that can walk the walk and talk the talk for those that want to hear it" but is actually functioning at quite a cost to their fellow team members? Yes, we all do it. In fact, as a system, we know as educational professionals that homework at primary school has no significant impact at all, yet we also know that some parents like it and perhaps expect it, but are we brave enough collectively to challenge this? Yes, we know that Teaching Assistants are also a high cost, low impact intervention but we also know that staff, pupils and parents value them highly. Where do you and your organisation stand on that line? I find many teachers and educational professionals too scared to have the difficult conversation. In fact, many a time in structured, professional dialogue, we look at the positive and embracing manner in which we can successfully challenge others. What difficult conversation are you avoiding?