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August 24, 2013

Today’s third workshop on Leading the Aligned School at uni began with this Daniel Goleman video exploring Emotional Intelligence.

We conducted an audit of skills and identified areas for development using a rubric with an understanding that recognition of qualities pervades the top two domains while regulation is embedded below:


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Undertaking the exercise, I drew on connections to Dweck’s mindset and the JoHari window (online tool for evaluating is available here). The ideal becomes ongoing refinement/ proficiency in self-management and self-monitoring – personal mastery. AITSL tools are also useful to promote feedback and reflection opportunities.

How do you fare?

According to Helen Wildy, who led today’s session:

  • Feedback gives you insights to yourself
  • Your reaction is dependent on who gives the information
  • You might accept feedback when in eliciting mode, or you might become defensive
  • When receiving feedback, negative content may not be heard
  • Trust is assured when the source of information is you
  • The best person to share a feedback process with is therefore yourself


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Here’s a thread that wants to unravel.

More importantly as a leader fostering change, familiarity with self-reflective processes builds capacity as we empower others to think reflectively about their own practice.


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Schon calls this iterative process reflection-in-action and distinguishes knowledge – which is implicit – from the manner in which we try to make sense of puzzles, conflicts or confusion/ overcome perceived problems/ learn. Procedures or operations are seen as important, along with experimentation. If we are

Stimulated by surprise, [we] turn thought back on action and on the knowing which is implicit in action… “What features do I notice when I recognize this thing? What are the criteria by which I make this judgment? What procedures am I enacting when I perform this skill? How am I framing the problem that I am trying to solve?” Usually reflection on knowing-in-action goes together with reflection on the stuff at hand. There is some puzzling, or troubling, or interesting phenomenon with which the individual is trying to deal (Schon, 1983, p. 50).

Spooling elements which bother me still:

  • judgments must be accurate and honest
  • time is an elastic variable
  • honing skills is continual and fundamental to capacity building
  • speaking your attuned mind is the gold star standard (failure to address problems conveys the impression you condone that behaviour)
  • reflect a question back to initiate self-reflection: “It is not my place to give you the answer” or “What do you think?”


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Selected references

AITSL. (2012). 360 reflection tool. Retrieved August 25, 2013 from Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership website:

Schon, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. USA: Basic Books.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2013 4:59 pm

    HI Sam. There seems to be a bit of crossover between your current studies and mine! I’m undertaking “Values in Leadership” at the moment. Your post is a distraction from focussing on my assignment – but has given me additional support/thoughts as well.

    In terms of your “spooling elements still bothering”, I’ve just been reading some of Chris Branson’s works on values and leadership and his thoughts/positions might address some of those areas? Esp re: need for reflection on own values to ensure alignment between self-ideal and lived out reality.

    References here:
    Branson, C. M. (2010). Leading educational change wisely (chapt.4). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

    Branson, C.M. (2009). Leadership for an Age of Wisdom. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Educational Publishing. 73-75

  2. August 25, 2013 7:47 pm

    Love this serendipity!

    Thanks for the tip-off which led me to Branson’s thesis An Exploration of the Concept of Values-Led Principalship:

    I also found a paper by Day, Harris and Hadfield in the International Journal Leadership in Education titled “Challenging the Orthodoxy of Effective School Leadership” via Taylor & Francis online. Interesting, plus curious contradictions. Lots of research publications for Chris Branson here:
    … as well as a couple via Mendeley:

    Bedtime reading, plus further thought-threads. Assignment number 2, here I come.
    Thanks, Denise 🙂


  1. trust culture & co-coaching | tolerance for ambiguity
  2. Getting Feedback: The Terrifying, Combustive, Wondrous Frontier | Principals in Training

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