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Posts from the ‘Leadership’ Category

Hard on Barriers

My friend and colleague Michael Eatman, coach and founder of Culture7, said on a panel exploring the emotions of racial inequity, “you have to be soft on people, and hard on barriers.” As we are all trying to engage with the current events and find ways to be helpful, this is an important message—we have to focus on fighting racism and inequity, while supporting people to wake up. 

These unprecedented times call for the SEL field to consider how the social and emotional skills that we hold dear can serve as a vehicle to listen, question our own biases and learned beliefs, and transform this reality with a clear sense of purpose. You can use SEL to fight racism, remove barriers for learning, and develop your own social and emotional capacity. At this time, it is also necessary to use SEL principles and practices to dismantle systemic inequities and stand up for justice.  Read more

Purpose Builds Resilience

A few years back, I agreed to help organize an “SEL Day” at a local school. The organizing team did not seem to have a clear objective for the event, but I agreed anyway thinking that I could be of help. As the team started making decisions about the event, I became increasingly frustrated—I thought there were better ways to present information, engage the participants or select speakers. Since I did not want to question the group’s decisions, I became disengaged and lost interest. Then, as we were getting closer to the day of the event, I realized that I had forgotten the very reason why I had agreed to support this initiative: I wanted to support this group in pursuing something that was important to them, and that aligned with my own values. Read more

Leading with EQ

I have been working with an amazing group of aspiring principals in New Orleans this past week. They are enrolled in a leadership program, the Summer Principals Academy at Columbia University, which incorporates emotional intelligence (EQ) training and a daily guided mindfulness practice. We have been learning how to use our emotions to know ourselves better, establish positive relationships and lead schools wholeheartedly. Witnessing their growth and “aha” moments is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Read more

Developing Principals’ Emotional Intelligence

When you think of the best principal you’ve had in your teaching career, what comes to mind? You might describe someone who is calm, even when faced with high levels of stress, and encouraging of your work. This person might have great relationships with staff and an open door policy, while keeping high expectations for their work. Or maybe this person is able to pause and consider all the facts and emotions involved, before making a decision. These are competencies of someone who has a good dose of emotional intelligence (EQ). Read more

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