NEW CEO APPOINTED TO AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF APPLIED MANAGEMENT

The Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM), which sits alongside the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI), has announced the appointment of Karen Taylor as Chief Executive Officer.Ms Taylor is a highly skilled CEO with extensive experience in strategic planning, change management and business growth and development in the education sector. As former CEO of Government Skills Australia, Executive Director of GOTAFE, Executive Advisor to Bendigo Kangan Institute and Deputy CEO of the Australian Institute of Management, she brings to the role a deep understanding of the education and training landscape in Australia. Ms Taylor is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and has successfully led large teams in complex business environments, been accountable for strategic planning, financial strategy and sustainability, and consulted to CEOs and Boards across AustraliaImportantly, as a successful woman leader, Ms Taylor is acutely aware of the obstacles and challenges facing women leaders and is passionate about advancing gender equity.The appointment also sees Ms Taylor take up the CEO role for Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) and Women & Leadership New Zealand (WLNZ), which sit alongside ASAM.“I am delighted and honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead and work with the outstanding team at ASAM. ASAM is an exciting business that represents unique and diverse opportunities for learning and professional development in Australia.“ASAM as an organisation believes that visionary leadership, which is inclusive and embraces the power of diversity, is key to solving the complex challenges we face as a global community. I look forward to joining the organisation and continuing to drive leadership development for all Australians.”The Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM) is one of the country’s most highly regarded providers of leadership education. Working with approximately 8,000 learners each year, they provide innovative development solutions for individual leaders and leadership teams across all sectors and industries.About ASAMThe Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM) is one of the country’s most highly regarded providers of leadership education. Working with approximately 8,000 learners each year, we provide innovative development solutions for individual leaders and leadership teams across all sectors and industries.Focused on improving the way people work together, our world class learning solutions support organisations of all sizes to accelerate their leadership capability and achieve their unique goals. We also provide specialised leadership development and networking opportunities through Women & Leadership Australia (WLA), Women & Leadership New Zealand (WLNZ) and the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI).Part of Navitas, a leading global education provider, our vision is to be Australia’s best leadership education provider by supporting organisations and individuals in the continuous pursuit and application of leadership excellence. WE NEED MORE LEADERS LIKE YOUYou’re here because you know that great leadership enables better teaching and learning. We’re here to help you be a great leader within your school community. For more leadership news, plus event updates and expert tips, subscribe to our mailing list. SUBSCRIBE NOW

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How to replenish your surge capacity

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system, is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have ever faced. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.This series of ‘recharge’ blogs explores themes and models that school leaders, teachers and staff can come to in times of stress, or to replenish their leadership capacity. In this blog, we look at the phenomenon of ‘surge capacity’ and how the application of constant ‘surge’ conditions has impacted school leaders during the COVID pandemic, and caused an increase in vicarious trauma and carers load for leaders.What is surge capacity?Have you ever scaled up your efforts – whether increasing your work hours, donating more to charity, or squeezing more tasks into your day - in times of crisis? If you have, then you have used your surge capacity. Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive leadership qualities that leaders draw on in times of crisis, change or trauma to survive – whether figuratively, or literally. While these qualities can be used over a short period of time, they lead to burnout if we operate at that heightened level for too long.The most tangible example is the extra resources that people pour into natural disasters – firefighters work around the clock to put out fires, SES volunteers go days without a break to rescue people from flood waters, and governments, private organisations and individuals donate large amounts of funds and goods to support the survival of the people affected. All these things have one common theme – they are unsustainable over time.As a leader, you activate your surge capacity to protect your school community in times of crisis or rapid, unpredictable change. The usual timeline of these situations would see you have an immediate surge response, and then soon after turn to rest, reset and rebuild, using more normal energy and resource levels.Why has my surge capacity disappeared?The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significantly drawn out timeline of a ‘disaster’ meaning that leaders’ surge capacity has been on heightened alert for the better part of two years. Without the usual timeline that allows for rest soon after the disaster, you are left feeling burnt out, depleted and wholly uninspired or motivated to lead your school community. This contributes to poor wellbeing for you, your teachers and the broader school community.How to support yourself:Luckily, there are some things you can do to support yourself in times of crisis, to better cope with your heightened leadership responsibilities. These include:Going easy on yourself. Giving yourself some extra time and space to get things done, leaving things that aren’t urgent and having more rest time aren’t selfish, they’re important for your health and wellbeing.Acknowledging that things are different. There is a lot of commentary at the moment about things going ‘back to normal’, but the reality is that things really are different now. While it’s okay to miss things that are different now, there are a lot of positives to think about, too.Recognising that you may be experiencing grief-like symptoms. As mentioned above, you will miss some ‘pre-covid’ things, and that is okay. Taking the time to grieve for those things is an important step to letting go and moving forward.  Focussing on maintaining and strengthening important relationships. COVID was a big ‘reset’ for a lot of personal and professional relationships. Take the time to identify the relationships that might need to be reset or renewed, and focus energy into these.Finding new activities and hobbies that offer some relaxation and reprieve. Now that things are opening up, there are new opportunities to try new things, or to continue hobbies that we picked up during lockdowns. It is important to take time away from the ‘crisis’ and do something that is enjoyable and good for you.   Dealing with elongated periods of distress and change is challenging for everyone. Understanding what surge capacity is, and taking steps to replenish your surge capacity, will help you lead productively and positively for your school community.    WE NEED MORE LEADERS LIKE YOUYou’re here because you know that great leadership enables better teaching and learning. We’re here to help you be a great leader within your school community. For more leadership news, plus event updates and expert tips, subscribe to our mailing list. SUBSCRIBE NOW

Books

How to overcome complex decision fatigue

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system – is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have faced in our time. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.

Books

How to be a trauma informed leader

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system, is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have ever faced. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.

Books

Leading through disruption and into the future

The coronavirus pandemic – and the response that has been required by the education system, is truly one of the most pressing challenges schools have ever faced. Many school leaders are experiencing serious ‘carers’ load’ and ‘vicarious trauma’ as a result of their staff and students’ challenges.

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Creating a culture of clarity: expert tips for effective conversations

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Do you ever leave a conversation with a colleague and feel like you aren’t quite sure what you were discussing? You might feel like you don’t have the full picture of what they were trying to convey. This is quite common - but nonetheless it can make it hard to gain clarity and communicate clearly and effectively in the workplace.

As a leader, there are things you can do to recognise and address these confusing conversations, creating clarity for yourself and your team. We spoke with Paul Larkin, Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach at NESLI, about what to look out for when conversations become clouded.

Generalisations occur when someone makes a sweeping, all-encompassing, everything or nothing statement. For example, ‘everyone’s unhappy about that decision.’ While this is a concerning statement that needs to be addressed, it is unlikely that every single person is totally unhappy about a decision.

Distortions occur when we take information and add meaning to it that may not be there. For example, a team member may look at their phone while someone is giving a presentation. The person presenting might take that gesture to mean that this individual does not care about the work they have done, or does not find it interesting. This may be the case – or there could be a family emergency, or an urgent alert. However, the person presenting has applied their own meaning to the action, and this is when a distortion occurs.

Deletions occur when a crucial piece of information is left out. For example, ‘this is important.’ Who is it important to? Why is it important? Another example is ‘there’s no time.’ No time for what? Why is there no time? Most of the time, this will be clear. However, in situations where it is not immediately clear, or where further information is useful, it is important ask follow-up questions to truly understand what is going on.

Blinking words are words that have multiple meanings, or that may lend themselves to different interpretations. Paul explains that often, there is ambiguity in a statement that needs to be addressed. But by identifying blinking words, you can ask further questions to figure out precisely what someone is saying to you.

“For example, someone says, ‘The culture of this place is not healthy.’ Many people would either simply agree or disagree, aligned with their existing point of view,” explains Paul.

“But by using generalisations, distortions and deletions, and by looking for blinking words, we can recognise that there is a lot in the statement that demands clarification, for example: where precisely is ‘this place’? Is it the company, department, team, city, country? What precisely is meant by ‘culture’? What precisely is meant by ‘healthy’? By recognising that there is a lot of ambiguous information in the statement, we can become curious and invite the person who said it to share some of their thinking more deeply.”

In the above example, the words ‘culture’ ‘place’ and ‘healthy’ are all blinking words. To fully understand your colleague’s meaning, you need more clarity around what all these words mean to them.

What happens next?

Using high quality advocacy and inquiry techniques will allow you to clarify the issues and prompt your colleagues to communicate more clearly. Questions like:

  • Who doesn’t agree with this decision?
  • What is it about the culture here that is unhealthy?
  • What does a positive culture look like to you?
  • Who is this important to?
  • Could it mean something else? Are you sure?

 

By understanding generalisations, distortions, deletions and blinking words, and asking the right questions, you can help both yourself and your team to communicate effectively and with clarity.

How will you use this information to communicate more clearly? Share with us in the comments below!