Section 7 of 16
In Progress

Evocative Coaching

Portico uses a guiding coaching model, Evocative Coaching, developed by Megan and Bob Tschannen-Moran, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time.

While written for coaching teachers, the book is also relevant to coaching school administrators. Using the LEAD (listen, emphasize, appreciate, and design) process, Evocative Coaches take a partnership role, ask questions, and co-create designs. This person-centered, no-fault, strengths-based model is grounded in adult learning theory and positive psychology and emphasizes the emotional intelligence needed to establish trust. Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time is grounded in research, includes real-life vignettes and sample dialogues, and provides tools designed to invite reflection.

You will see the LEAD approach integrated into various Portico coaching activities throughout the year.

Listen Coaching begins when people share their stories. Listening can be a difficult behavior to master in coaching because often we fall into the trap of wanting to rush into strategies or to tell our coachees how to solve their problems. We put on our “fix it” hat because we have walked a mile in their shoes. But when we listen to a person’s story mindfully, reflectively, and without judgment we reinforce that we are coaching the whole person and supporting their learning, growth, and change. 
Empathize Authentic empathy is a respectful, no-fault understanding, and appreciation of the school leader’s experience. As a coach, we validate their feelings and help them identify the underlying needs that are provoking those feelings. Empathy, mutuality, and connection make people more trusting of the coaching relationship and more open to change.
Appreciate Once leaders have told their stories and have received empathy for their feelings and needs, the flow of evocative coaching turns to appreciative inquiry. Research shows that by looking at strengths, opportunities, and aspirations rather than weaknesses and deficits we can produce better and more lasting change. Using positive inquiries and asking open-ended, strength-based questions helps leaders notice possibility and potential. The more people know about their values, strengths, and abilities, the stronger their motivation and the more effective their changes will be.
Design Coaching is not complete unless it leads to designing a learning experiment. We don’t just want feel-good conversations, but also want conversations to inspire and generate behavior change. Design thinking is about discovery, brainstorming possibilities, choosing the right prototype, field testing and gathering feedback. What works for one person, in one place, at one time, may not work for another. As co-creators, coaches and school leaders should design experiences that leaders find interesting, doable, and relevant to the challenges they face.