I recently had the opportunity to present for the Florida Sterling Council’s 15th Annual Sterling Conference: Maximize Your Return, in Orlando. The Florida Sterling Council, which is located in the Executive Office of the Governor, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes and recognizes the use of a proven management system to drive and sustain best-in-class results.
My session, Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching, was attended by participants from education, business, government, and health care industries.
I was amazed at the similarities of issues across the sectors as we explored quality and coaching:
- Everyone saw the connections between the Glasser quality statement and the need for staff to find appreciation, usefulness, hard work, and to feel good at work if we expect the clients they serve to find the same. Glasser said “While quality is difficult to define precisely, it almost always includes caring for each other, is always useful, has always involved hard work on someone’s part and when we are involved with it as either a provider or a receiver, it always feels so good. Because it feels so good, I believe all of us carry in our heads a clear idea of what quality is for ourselves.”1
- Everyone saw the need to WOW! staff from time to time if we wanted staff to WOW! our customers and clients. One powerful example shared by a participant was a surprise Hat Day at work. One staff member battling cancer with chemo treatments had lost her hair and wore a hat. So on Hat Day, everyone on staff surprised her by showing up wearing a hat. While the gesture wowed the ailing staff member, it also united the staff as a team and communicated a “caring culture” for each other. The participant shared that the ripple effects of the day were present for weeks!
- Everyone saw the need for more coaching to create feedback for staff members. Supervisors in all sectors lacked the time to provide sufficient feedback to their staff, and therefore, finding ways for peer coaching – staff coaching staff – was critical. Designing work groups, teams or professional learning communities is a necessity.
In summary, the interaction with this varied group of participants, who had a common focus on quality, reinforced that educator’s efforts to model quality processes in how they work, and to teach quality processes to their students, will have great payoffs for students and for the future corporate and public organizations where our students will work.
1 “Quality, Trust, and Redefining Education” William Glasser, M.D., Education Week, May 13, 1992