Learning to Lead part 1

Yesterday I attended the first session of the Aspiring Senior Leaders Development Programme in which I am participating this year.  It was an enjoyable day that left me with plenty to think about. There is an interesting and diverse group of colleagues – both from my school and others – in my cohort, which created a stimulating environment for discussion. I got a lot out of each part of the day – the data analysis task was challenging and I am glad that there will be a future session on this as it is not one of my strengths.

For me though, Victor Allen’s session on “Emotionally Literate Leadership” was the highlight of the day and I found it absolutely fascinating. It made me reflect on how I interact both with learners and with colleagues (especially my team) and how, even though I feel that I generally relate well to all of those groups, there are many ways in which I could do so better.  Looking at the different MBTI personality types had the inevitable effect of  making me recall people I know who I felt fitted the different categories and to review situations where, even with the  limited knowledge I have now, I might have interacted with them differently!  It struck me as a complex model that would take a huge amount of skill to use intuitively.  I have performance management to carry out as part of my current role and this would seem to be a good opportunity to try and consider these ideas in practice.

Using these principles effectively in the classroom will be essential too and I am going to work hard at doing this.  I can think of occasions where these behaviours may have a significant effect in a lesson – for example when using certain AFL techniques, will some students will cope better than others modelling different behaviour types? Putting into a practical context, we have a “no hands up” policy in our school, and I wonder if students exhibiting certain behaviour types, cope with this better than others. In (very) simple terms, do Extraverts cope with being “picked on” better than “Introverts”?  Can Extraverts cope with the fact that if a teacher is choosing names randomly, they may not get to contribute?  Can Introverts cope with reflective and evaluative tasks better?  What about managing group work?  And how do we teach children to consider these differences in their interactions with each other? I know that I have looked at this model in a VERY simple way, and at the moment I have lots more questions than answers.  I need to find more out about “ELL”, particularly with regard to how to manage it in a classroom setting.  At the end of the day, when we were asked to consider the traits of an effective leader, emotional intelligence figured pretty high on everyone’s list and I can’t conceive of a way of being able lead people well without being emotionally literate.   Looks like I have work to do…

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