Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time / Edition 1

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There's a lot of conversation about how to make schools better. Unfortunately, the nature of those conversations often makes things worse. Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time maps out a way to change that. By taking a teacher-centered, no-fault, strengths-based approach to performance improvement, the Evocative Coaching model generates the motivation and movement that enables teachers and schools to achieve desired outcomes and enhance quality of life. Viewed as a dynamic dance, the model is choreographed in four steps—Story, Empathy, Inquiry, Design—which are each laid out in its own chapter with powerful illustrative materials and end-of-chapter discussion questions to prompt further reflection.

Bringing together the best research and wisdom in educational leadership and professional coaching, authors Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran have developed a simple yet profound way of facilitating new conversations in schools through Story Listening, Expressing Empathy, Appreciative Inquiry, and Design Thinking. It's an iterative process that moves beyond old ways of thinking, doing, and being. It's an inspirational process that reinvigorates the passion for making schools better, one conversation at a time.

This happens when coaches:

  • give teachers our full, undivided attention;
  • accept and meet teachers where they are right now, without making them wrong;
  • ask and trust teachers to take charge of their own learning and growth;
  • make sure teachers are talking more than we are;
  • enable teachers to appreciate the positive value of their own experiences;
  • harness the strengths teachers have to meet challenges and overcome obstacles;
  • reframe difficulties and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow;
  • invite teachers to discover possibilities and find answers for themselves;
  • dialogue with teachers regarding their higher purpose for teaching;
  • uncover teachers? natural impulse to engage with colleagues and students;
  • assist teachers to draw up a personal blueprint for professional mastery;
  • support teachers in brainstorming and trying new ways of doing things;
  • maintain an upbeat, energetic, and positive attitude at all times;
  • collaborate with teachers to design and conduct appropriate learning experiments;
  • enable teachers to build supportive environments and teams;
  • use humor to lighten the load; and
  • inspire and challenge teachers to go beyond what they would do alone.

Each chapter provides a research-based theory to support the strategies presented, and includes specific suggestions and anecdotes. The Evocative Coaching model makes coaching enjoyable by getting people to focus on what they do best, and it invites larger, more integral conversations so that people talk about their work in the context of other things they care about. Resting on strong, evidence-based practices, the Evocative Coaching model offers educators the help they need to meet the challenges of increased accountability and expectations. This model can also be used effectively by coaches and leaders in other organizational contexts.

Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: What Is Evocative Coaching?
  • Chapter 2: Coaching Presence
  • Loop I: The No-Fault Turn
  • Chapter 3: Story Listening
  • Chapter 4: Expressing Empathy
  • Loop II: The Strengths-Building Turn
  • Chapter 5: Appreciative Inquiry
  • Chapter 6: Design Thinking
  • Chapter 7: Aligning Environments
  • Chapter 8: Coaching Conversations
  • Chapter 9: The Reflective Coach

To learn more about Evocative Coaching and to sign up for the Evocative Coach Training Program, visit www.SchoolTransformation.com.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470547595
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 363,870
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Tschannen-Moran is president of LifeTrek Coaching International and founder of the Center for Evocative Coaching. He is the co-author of the Coaching Psychology Manual.

Megan Tschannen-Moran is a professor of Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership at the College of William and Mary's School of Education. She is the author of Trust Matters: Leadership for Successful Schools from Jossey-Bass.
To learn more about Evocative Coaching and to sign up for the Evocative Coach Training Program, visit www.EvocativeCoaching.com.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables




1 What Is Evocative Coaching? 3

The Promise and Practice of Coaching 3

Evocative Coaching Defined 7

Why Evocative Coaching Works 8

What Makes Coaching Evocative? 11

Concern for Consciousness

Concern for Connection

Concern for Competence

Concern for Contribution

Concern for Creativity

The Dynamic Dance of Evocative Coaching 18





Summary 26

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 26

2 Coaching Presence 27

A New Metaphor for Coaching 27

Evocative Coaching as a Way of Being 28

Lessons from a Horse Whisperer 30

Fostering Trust and Rapport 35






Holding the Coaching Space 43

Calm Assurance


Openness to Possibility

Conveying Coaching Presence 47

Coaching Presence in the Context of Hierarchy 48

Summary 51

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 52


Interlude Loop I The No-Fault Turn 55

3 Story Listening 59

The Power of Story 60

Evoking Coachable Stories 63

Mindful Listening 69

Listen Calmly

Listen Openly

Listen Attentively

Quiet Listening 74

Reflective Listening 76

Imaginative Listening 78

Imagine Vantage Points

Imagine Pivot Points

Imagine Lesson Points

Summary 83

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 84

4 Expressing Empathy 85

Understanding Empathy 85

Embodying Empathy 89

Access Points for Empathy 90

Presenting Energy

Story Elements

Classroom Observations

Resistance to Change

Distinctive Empathy Reflections 94

Distinguish Observations

Distinguish Feelings

Distinguish Needs

Distinguish Requests

Elevating Readiness to Change 112

Celebrating Effort and Progress 117

The Golden Sigh 118

Summary 119

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 120

Interlude Loop II The Strengths-Building Turn 121

5 Appreciative Inquiry 125

Appreciative Inquiry 126

The Positive Principle

The Constructionist Principle

The Simultaneity Principle

The Anticipatory Principle

The Poetic Principle

Initiating the Learning Conversation 131

Illuminating the Best of What Is 134

Discovering Strengths

Appreciative Interviews

Appreciative Assessments

Observing Vitalities

Appreciative Classroom Observation Tools

Imagining the Best of What Might Be 153

Framing Aspirations

Inviting Possibilities

Coaching with Strengths, Observations, Aspirations, and Possibilities 160

Reviewing Data from a Strengths-Based Perspective

Noticing and Elevating Teacher Energies

Positive Reframing

Moving Through Ambivalence

From Swot to Soap

Summary 168

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 169

6 Design Thinking 171

Calling Forth Motivation and Movement 174

Positive Relationships

Positive Energy and Emotions

Positive Images

Positive Actions

Coaching Tools for Design Thinking 189

Brainstorming Design Ideas

Exploring Inertia

Framing Innovations as Experiments

Making Experiments S-M-A-R-T

Mapping Out S-M-A-R-T Experiments

Awareness Experiments

Confirming Commitment

Around and Around the Mobius Strip: Back to Story 207

Summary 208

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 209


7 Aligning Environments 213

Understanding Environments 214

Flow 217

Navigating the River of Change 219

The Rapids

The Doldrums

Managing Clouds, Wind, and Thunder 223

Clouds of Climate

Winds of Collective Efficacy

Thunder of Conflict

Ripples in a Pond 226

Stories as Catalysts for Transformation 228

Summary 230

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 230

8 Coaching Conversations 233

The Great 8: Choreographing the Coaching Dance 234

Story Listening 236

1 Initiate

2 Elaborate

Expressing Empathy 243

3 Validate

Appreciative Inquiry 246

4 Appreciate

5 Extrapolate

Design Thinking 252

6 Innovate

7 Deliberate

8 Activate

Summary 258

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 259

9 The Reflective Coach 261

Coaching the Self 261

Hearing Our Own Stories 262

Self-Empathy 264

Inquiring into Our Own Professional Practice 265


Asking for Feedback

Design Action-Learning Experiments 276

Professional Coach Code of Ethics 277

Conclusion 279

Questions for Reflection and Discussion 281

Appendix A Evocative Coaching Principles, Questions, and Reflections 283

Appendix B Practice Exercises 297

Appendix C Content Review Questions 307

Appendix D The IAC Coaching Masteries® Overview 313

References 319

Recommended Readings and Resources 329

About the Authors 333

Index 335

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An Outstaning Book for anyone in a position of leadership or responsible for bringing about positive change in their work setting.

    Many books make claims to being able to bring about transormation in work settings, but this book really does offer guidelines for the way we listen, learn and make sense of our everyday environment. The book title relates to schools, but the messages and guides are really for any work setting. This book is more than a set of ideas, it is a set of practical skills that we can all implement to bring about positive change. It offers insights that few other books can or do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 29, 2010

    School Change, the right way!

    Most people look for ways to improve what they are doing; schools and teachers are no exception. This approach to helping teachers and schools grow in a beneficial way is right on target from a number of different angles. Combining what is known about education, adult learning, communication, coaching, and authentic listening, this book can help anyone who wants to grow, especially those in the world of education.

    As I close in on a master's degree for myself, I have read a great number of books for the classes I am taking and areas I am studying. I also am an active reader with lots of pen marks, notes, and highlights in books that I read and connect to. This book has as many or more marks than any other book I own! Thanks for this blessing, Bob and Megan!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Teacher Support Just Got Easier

    Have you ever wished you had a recipe book for how to cook up a better way of working with and inspiring teachers? Well, Bob and Megan Tschannen-Moran have done exactly that in this marvelous book. As a Wellness Coach who strives to meet the needs of educators, I have struggled to help teachers relieve stress related to classroom performance and (frequently unmet) needs for support from administrators. Both of those areas are addressed throughout the book, with a variety of right-brain, creative strategies for engaging and transforming schools. The authors break down this process into a uniquely supportive set of techniques and attitudes that give teachers an opportunity to trust themselves more and become re-inspired with their passion for teaching as well as their innate wisdom for best practices. As is often the case with processes that encourage authenticity and mindfulness, I found that I could benefit by applying the approaches outlined in this book to my personal life. If you teach or you want to help teachers, buy this book, share it with your colleagues, and keep it in a handy location.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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