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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Hear and be heard: Achieving high-quality advocacy and inquiry at work

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Do you ever feel like you can’t quite get your point across at work? Or maybe, you want to understand more about a decision that has been made? It’s frustrating to feel like you aren’t being heard, or that you don’t understand the motivation behind particular decisions that are being made. We sat down with Paul Larkin, Senior Facilitator and Executive Coach at NESLI to find out how we can hear and be heard at work using high quality advocacy and inquiry techniques.

High-quality advocacy occurs when one states their point of view, explains their thinking and reasoning behind it, and invites and listens to another person’s point of view. High-quality inquiry is when one asks a question, shares what is behind their question and truly listens to the other’s response.

Most conversations typically involve each person putting forward their point of view.  If you listen in to others conversations sometimes, you will likely notice very few questions asked, and those are often posed in a way that invites confirmation of one’s own point of view; very little real listening is undertaken. These is how low-quality advocacy and inquiry occur.

What’s the difference between low-quality and high-quality advocacy and inquiry?

According to Paul, the key difference between high-quality and low-quality advocacy and inquiry is your preparedness to reveal what is behind what you are saying and asking, and your openness to being genuinely interested in others’ views.

“Low-quality advocacy, or everyday advocacy, could involve you making a simple statement. For example, ‘I think we should have paid parental leave in our company.’ Now, while that is a very valid belief, that statement doesn’t reveal anything about why you think that, or how you came to that conclusion.  It also doesn’t invite the other person to share their views,” Paul explains.

Similarly, low-quality inquiry occurs where you ask a question, without providing context, or meaningfully engaging with the person with whom you are speaking.

What does high-quality advocacy look like?

There is a simple formula for high-quality advocacy.

  1. State your belief, opinion or idea
  2. Reveal the thinking or reasoning behind your point
  3. Invite the listener to share their ideas about the topic
  4. Actively listen

 

With low-quality advocacy, you will find yourself stopping at the first step. There’s no real problem with this, but it’s also not very useful – you aren’t having an engaged, two-way conversation. Other barriers to achieving high-quality advocacy lie in feeling certain that you are right, or an unwillingness to consider other points of view.

According to Paul, the best way to encourage your team to use high-quality advocacy is to practise it yourself.

“The best way to influence others is by being a model of the behaviour you are trying to achieve.  People may be so amazed at the conversational outcomes you get that they will want to know how you do it.”

What does high-quality inquiry look like?

As with advocacy, there are four steps to achieving high-quality inquiry.

  1. Ask your question
  2. Explain why you are asking the question
  3. Actively listen to their response
  4. Seek to understand their point of view

 

With low-quality inquiry, you will once again find yourself stopping at the first step, instead of going further to provide context, and to meaningfully listen and engage with the other person’s ideas. Barriers to achieving high-quality inquiry include the desire to be right, and a desire to be the person whose ideas are listened to and ultimately taken on board, leading to a disregard for the ideas and opinions of others on your team.

Paul gives this advice for achieving high-quality inquiry: “Be constantly curious; suspend judgement; offer more questions than statements.”

He adds, “whilst high-quality advocacy and inquiry may, on the surface, seem to take longer, the radical increase in understanding that arises leads to faster, more meaningful conversations and outcomes.”

Once you and your team have practised high-quality advocacy and inquiry, you can have more meaningful conversations, more fully understand each other and have more open, robust, and fruitful conversations.

How will you encourage your team to use high-quality advocacy and inquiry? Share with us in the comments below.