THREAD: Twitter Spaces with Helen Woodward @helen_maryg [https://twitter.com/helen_maryg] - How to deal with challenging situations and avoid burnout
We speak to school leaders every day, & they repeatedly tell us that their job is getting harder. They are experiencing more challenging situations than ever before in a world where the pandemic has had a huge impact on the edu system, & where staff morale is at an all time low.
What we find is that too often, leaders have no one to turn too. No one who they feel they can trust, and the situation is much worse if they are new to leadership roles. This should not be happening.
According to the @EdSupportUK [https://twitter.com/EdSupportUK] wellbeing Index, a recent survey of over 3k education professionals showed that 78%of all staff experienced mental health symptoms due to their work.
We see this everyday in our community. Lots of people reach out for support. We are dedicated to helping school leaders, and spend many hours a week helping them.
Over the last few weeks, we have been working hard to create a coaching programme that is aimed at resolving this issue. [email protected]
We’ve had a huge response. Leaders have either signposted their colleagues, inviting them to take part, or signed up for themselves.
What we want to help leaders to know is:1. How to deal with challenging situations and 2. How to avoid burnout in the doing so.
This is the HeadteacherChat Spaces session with Lucy, Jonathan and Helen Woodward, our associate coaching expert.We are going to find out the answer to those questions right now…..
How can leaders deal with challenging situations?Look after your:• Physical health• Mental health• Prioritise self care• Take breaks• Learn strategies to deal with difficult situations such as breathing techniques. Breathe in for 5 and breathe out for 7.
Psychologist John Gottman found that pausing just at the point of conflict escalation in our personal relationships is the single best predictor of relationship longevity. Through his research he was able (with over 90% accuracy) to predict which couples would stay together.
Who can you talk to? I can’t emphasise this enough - isolation is destructive. Don’t go to someone who will shower you with sympathy and commiserate. It won’t help. Go to someone you can you trust, who will listen, not judge, and be by your side while together you rake it through
Where do you find refuge so you can ground yourself? The gym, a walk, your kitchen… where do you go to get perspective and comfort?What - what re the activities that help you calm down, re-orientate and ground yourself? Cooking, walking, reading etc?
We know that you are busy looking after leaders through coaching. How can a coach help?• Coaching can provide support and guidance as you navigate the challenges of your role as a school leader.
• A coach can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for managing stress.• A coach can provide an objective perspective on your challenges and offer guidance on how to overcome them.
• Coaching can help you set priorities and boundaries and find a healthy work-life balance, all of which can prevent burnout.• Through coaching, you can learn new skills and approaches that can help you to effectively manage your workload and avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Tell us why connecting with other leaders, such as in our group coaching sessions is so important?
Group sessions for coaching can be helpful for school leaders in several ways.
First, group sessions can provide a sense of community and support. As a school leader, you may feel isolated in your role and group coaching can help you to connect with others who are facing similar challenges.
Second, group coaching sessions can provide a diverse range of perspectives and ideas. By hearing from other school leaders, you may gain new insights and approaches that can help you to effectively navigate your own challenges.
Finally, group coaching can provide opportunities for peer learning and feedback. By participating in group discussions and activities, you can learn from and provide feedback to your peers, which can help you to develop new skills and grow as a leader.
Leaders are wanting to do the right thing, BUT they need support to do so.We are dedicated to helping leaders as much as we can.
School leadership improves teaching and learning, indirectly and most powerfully, by improving the status of significant key classroom and school conditions. Leithwood, Harris and Hopkins (2019)