Middle Leaders Development Program
Teacher leaders, Coordinators, Department Heads, Vice-Principals and non-academic team leaders are the heart of the school. They are the true change agents and will be the most effective tool in ensuring transformative and sustained change. This program will instruct participants how to foster greater interdependency among team members and develop a sustainable collaborative team culture. Teacher lead teams that communicate effectively and work interdependently improve student learning!
Participants in this program will:
- Learn to foster interdependent relationships focused on school improvement and student learning;
- Understand their role to ensure staff satisfaction and engagement;
- Demonstrate effective communication with different stakeholders (Parents, Peers and Leadership); and
- Learn how to assess team performance and provide performance feedback to their team.
The Middle Leaders Development Program supports leaders to adapt their leadership skills and strengths to the unique obstacles they’ll face throughout the school year. This is an exciting opportunity to have staff at all levels of experience work together to improve their teams’ performance
“I really love the discussion around collaboration – transactional & transformational was very interesting and makes you reflect on your own team.” ~ Middle Leaders Development workshop attendee
Survey plays an important role in this program to ensure program content and engagement can be differentiated to meet the needs of each participant. The survey and assessment process includes:
- Participants will be surveyed to understand their experience, ambitions and anticipated challenges;
- Senior Leadership are invited to provide feedback on their expectations and goals (This also serves to build awareness of the program and ensure support);
- Participants take the DiSC Everything Workplace Profile to develop a greater awareness of self and others, especially when tasked with delegating work and navigating difficult conversations;
- The team of each participant will complete a Team Health Check (THC) to provide a benchmark on individual team health and to identify a team performance improvement goal;
- Participants will provide feedback throughout the program to ensure content and assignments are context specific and appropriate to their level of mastery; and
- Participants will receive regular feedback from the facilitator and peers
If you want to be influential you need to be able to understand yourself and your reactions as well as understand other people’s perceptions. The DISC model groups four common behavioral patterns found universally in all people on earth. This simple four-quadrant model is used to articulate the common ways that all human beings tend to act and communicate.
- DiSC provides a common language to help teams understand one another and work better together
- Develop awareness of self and other to improve communication
- Identify and hone key presentation skills
- Improve confidence and influencing skills
- Develop and hone Co-presentation skills
- Reduce conflict and avoid misunderstandings
- Demonstrate capacity to devise and deliver a compelling value proposition
Team Health Check
THC has been carefully designed to pinpoint specific areas of performance improvement within a team. It’s comprehensive nature, involving quick and easy responses to 156 one-line statements, covers 13 team performance categories:
- Balanced Roles
- Clear Objectives and Purpose
- Openness, Trust, Confrontation and Conflict Resolution
- Co-Operation, Support, Interpersonal Communication and Relationships
- Individual and Team Learning and Development
- Sound Inter-Group Relations and Communications
- Appropriate Management/Leadership
- Sound Team Procedures and Regular Review
- Output, Performance, Quality and Accountability
- Change, Creativity Challenge the Status Quo
- Decision-Making and Problem Solving
Assessment results will produce a team report that will enable a team to take positive, purposeful actions in areas that are likely to generate the greatest return on investment in terms of performance enhancement activities. The THC has been designed to be applicable to all teams, regardless of function or size of the team.
This program is divided into 6 half-day workshops. The first three workshops focus on developing participants leadership capabilities in a culturally diverse environment. The learning objectives for the first 3 workshops are:
- Define the role and expectations of Middle Leaders in an International School;
- Experience how a team’s build trust and to adhere to group norms;
- Understand how teams develop over the course of a school year; and
- Learn to manage difficult personalities and navigate difficult conversations.
The last 3 workshops will help participants to understand how to improve team performance. Participants will identify a THC metric that they feel they can improve on and draft an action plan to achieve the desired outcome. The learning objectives for the final 3 workshops are:
- Use protocol to assess data from the THC to identify opportunities for team growth;
- Identifying and communicating a need or opportunity for improvement;
- Identify obstacles to change and leadership strategies to overcome them; and
- Learn to use Performance Feedback to address team complacency and reduce conflict.
- Team Formation
Group norms are formed in the first meeting, whether you intend them to be or not, and once formed can be incredibly difficult to address in later stages of team development. This workshop will help you define your role as a leader, facilitate effective team meetings and provide you with the tools necessary to ensure your team starts the year with a strong foundation to collaborate from.
Essential Question: What do I need to know and be able to do to lead a collaborative team?
- Participants will explore the why, what, and how of collaboration
- Participants will learn how to manage effective meetings, ensure equity and foster interdependence.
- Participants will use tools and strategies to establish and enforce group norms.
- Participants will learn how to build consensus to identify the team purpose and goals.
- Collaborative Communication (DiSC)
Understand the importance of adapting one’s leadership style to accommodate the beliefs and values of team members. Participants will use their DiSC results to learn to adapt to communication for different team members and use communication strategies to mitigate barriers to communication.
Essential Question: How can I adapt my communication and leadership style to improve my influence and effectiveness as a team leader?
- Participants will explore and understand how to accommodate different beliefs about leadership.
- Participants will gain an understanding and appreciation of different work styles.
- Participants will practice effective communication skills.
- Managing Difficult Personalities
2-3 months into the school year group norms begin to get tested and members will begin to question their role on the team. The team leaders role at this stage should be more focused on reinforcing the purpose of the team, the role that each member plays and how to foster greater interdependency between each team member.
Essential Question: How can I safely and successfully engage in difficult or challenging conversations while preserving relationships and reputations of all parties involved?
- Participants will learn how to work with 5 difficult personalities.
- Participants will demonstrate assertive communication skills.
- Participants will demonstrate effective questioning skills to understand the needs of others, as well as help others to see things from a different perspective.
- Assessing Team Performance (THC)
At some point in your career, you desired change on the team you worked in, whether it was curricular or organizational, you felt a strong need for that change. Identifying and communicating that need with the right people is the first step towards achieving change. Next, you need to support that need for change with the appropriate tools and buy-in from the affected stakeholders. Participants will use the Team Health Check (THC) to identify and support their need for change.
Essential Question: How can I affect meaningful change as a middle leader?
- Participants will use strategic planning tools (THC) to identify a need for change;
- Participants will be introduced to the human responses for change and draft communications plans to address anticipated stakeholder concerns; and
- Participants will demonstrate effective communication skills for questioning, listening, reflecting and responding.
5. Making the Case for Change
When we are ready to make a change, we need to begin with the end in mind. We not only need to reassure our team of where we want to take them but we also need to identify all of the challenges and obstacles before we ask them to join us. Participants will be introduced to planning and leadership strategies to empower action.
Essential Question: How can I effect meaningful change as a middle leader?
- Participants will use strategic planning tools to clarify purpose, roles, and experiences that evidence the desired outcome has been achieved; and
- Participants will identify milestones and data that will enable the monitoring and evaluation of the project.
- Performance Feedback
Transformational change is empowering and sets the stage for continuous improvement across the school, but sustaining the systems that enabled change requires consolidating successes, understanding set backs, continuous feedback and continued investments in process and people.
Essential Question: How do I effectively monitor and evaluate team performance and ensure a safe environment to communicate with team members?
- Participants will demonstrate consultative communication skills;
- Participants will experience how to facilitate performance feedback with and between team members; and
- Participants will understand how to coach their team through various stages of development.
This workshop is available for facilitation in English. All written materials will be in English to support the schools working language environment.