As literacy leaders in a district, it is easy to default to sharing our expertise with the people we coach or the teachers we lead.
Leading With Humility Builds Relationships
There is nothing wrong with sharing our expertise. It is a huge part of our job. It is easy to share what has worked for us in the past. In fact, sharing things that have worked in your classroom (or classrooms you’ve supported) can help you gain credibility in your role as a literacy leader.
However, we have to walk a fine line of always sharing our expertise. It is important for us to find ways to share our expertise with humility.
When we lead with humility, we can build positive relationships, empower our coachees, and make them more comfortable to work with us.
So how do we do that? Let’s dig into this coaching hurdle.
Three tips to help you share your expertise with humility:
- Make someone else famous
One way we can share expertise as a literacy leader is to share an idea, but give someone else the credit (even if the idea was your own). Giving another teacher or an article you’ve read credit, can level the playing field for you and your coachee. In this case, you are still sharing a tip or strategy that will support this teacher, but not placing you as the expert with all the answers and good ideas.
You can try this by using one of these sentence stems…
“I saw a teacher….”
“I read in an article….”
“I was in a classroom and the students…”
- Share your insecurities
Another way you can share your expertise with humility is to allow yourself to be vulnerable with your coachees. While coaching or leading, highlight your insecurities, thinking aloud as you work them. We know that often times our coachees can feel vulnerable working with a coach. Sharing your own vulnerabilities will help them see that what they are feeling is a normal part of the process.
- Share your mistakes
Be open and honest about mistakes you have made in your own journey. Be transparent about how your own mistakes help you to grow and learn, as you put better practice into place.
Sharing your mistakes will validate for your coachee that making mistakes and learning from them is not only normal, but the secret ingredient that helps us to grow in our practice. Highlighting our own learning journeys will allow our coachees to see that the progress they want to make is achievable–not a hill too hard to climb.
And finally, remember that the coaching relationships we form are about the people we are working with, not us. We can model our humility by trusting that through our coaching, our coachees will be able to problem solve and find solutions to challenges they are facing without us naming the solutions for them.
Hope these tips help as you lead others!
Hey coaches and literacy leaders! Would you like to see more of our coaching tools? Join our private coaching group, the LitFORCE Coaching Huddle for access to the full Coaching Toolkit!