LEADERSHIP READINGS that she wanted to work less and with more joy. She shared her intention to focus her life on what worked, instead of putting all her energy into what didn’t work. Finally, she declared her wish to work in a team that would take joint ownership to create a school they felt excited to enter each morning. Through the coaching, Mrs. Schiller had learned to distinguish between instances where she had created problems in her mind and blown them out of proportion versus her own thinking that presented tangible challenges to be jointly address with her team. She painted a powerful vision of the school she wanted to lead, and the team she wanted to be part of. Her faculty team was touched by her openness and her willingness to be vulnerable, especially since the previous headmistress of the school had fostered a culture in which any form of personal sharing amongst colleagues felt inappropriate. Inspired by her vision, the team decided to use the Four-Quadrant Matrix for a collective reflection. They invited me to facilitate the process. Based on the team’s perception of their current reality, we formulated questions to help them define an appealing vision of the future of their school and their team. The questions allowed them to bring to the surface what they currently experienced as positive aspects they wanted to integrate, and identify things they needed to change. Based on these questions, each team member began to share what they would like to have more of and what they each felt they needed to stop. Soon some common themes began to emerge: ‘Exterior’ quadrant Individual/behavioral • B ehaviors we like: friendly, solution-oriented, appreciative • V alues: humor, reliability, creativity • B ehaviors to stop: complaining Collective • H elpful processes: –Teacher teams for each year instead of being centered around subjects –Weekly team meetings – Regular exchange with teachers from other teams –Inviting students and parents to meetings • S top: old complaint management system
‘Interior’ quadrant Individual/behavioral • E mpowering beliefs: I have the potential to change; others have the potential to change; I mean well; others also mean well; our school has the potential to be one of the best in town; we could give each other energy • S top: believing that we don’t have the time Collective • P ositive in our team: sense of humor and frequent laughter; shared values around learning, creativity, empathy, humor and respect • S top: interrupting each other • S tart: sharing more about ourselves The faculty team decided to use their description of their desired future during a school day at which students, teachers, and parents worked together on expanding the vision of the school they wanted. Their school now applies the lens of the Four-Quadrant-Matrix regularly to assess progress and define the next steps in their development journey. My client, Mrs. Schiller, continues to base her self-reflection on the four quadrants to discover what works and determine actionable steps for what she wants to create, not just at school, but in all areas of her life. Download your empty copy of the matrix to create your own questions or organize your responses by visiting www.whydoesthisalwayshappentome.com. NADJESCHDA TARANCZEWSKI is a Mobius Transformational Faculty member and works as an executive and team coach in the areas of leadership and team-development, culture transformation. She is also a speaker and author. After completing her master in Psychology, Nadjeschda focused her coaching career on helping individuals and teams to understand themselves, challenge their mindsets and implement more constructive ways of being and communicating. To keep updated on her book, visit www.whydoesthisalwayshappentome.com.
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