Collaborate too!

Further on the path to collaboration

Very early on in working with schools we recognised that about 5% of teachers could, almost magically, cause students to want to engage with the teacher and the work they set. When we ran focus groups with students they said that in the presence of such teachers they “would go out of their way not to letdown or disappoint the teacher”.

In short, they would collaborate.

The students were acting for the well-being of the teacher and other research (and many successful adults’ own experiences) indicated that students did this because such teachers were helping them to develop in fundamental – life changing – ways.

Students also respond in this way because they are still children and it is natural to respond in kind when such a gift is being offered.

It was from observing what these teachers were doing that led to the development of our cognitive coaching methodology. A coach is doing what these teachers were doing simply as part of who they were.

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The difference is that most adults, even when recognising the benefits they have gained from being coached, don’t automatically respond in kind, that is with a focus on the well-being of the coach. Mainly,this is because we are so accustomed to focus on our own concerns and it is indeed valuable to us to be listened to and not to be judged, so our focus is on that.

Gradually, one would think, this will change and two adults coming together in a professional context would have the well-being of the other uppermost in their minds. To the greater benefit of both.

This is collaboration.

John Corrigan