Frequently Asked Questions
Why does I.E. encourage group size to generally be no larger than eight?
We believe that the ‘sweet spot’ for our work is somewhere between traditional professional development models and(often groups of twenty to thirty together – sometimes much more) and coaching (one-on-one or one-on-two). By keeping our groups small, we help create an environment of trust, where participants are ready to take chance, get the close feedback that will help them grow, and form a unique connection with others in their group. Thus, it is an ideal tool for team building.
Are the I.E. programs primarily designed to help the individual school leaders?
We tailor our work to individuals clients, and we always encourage to consider sending a group that they would like to see grow as a team. Yes, each individual will get something important out of their time with I.E. (some even say ‘transformative’), growing their own ‘leadership presence’. Additionally, the impact on the relationships between those involved is deeply enhanced, as well. The process of telling one’s story to others, and – in turn – listening carefully to the stories of colleagues often has a dramatic effect on the group, their commitment to each other and the larger shared mission of their organization.
What are some of the specific benefits of Inspiring Educators’ programs to growing the effective work of a team?
We have seen that the common challenges of communicating with each other during periods of complexity and occasional stress, conducting a range of conversations – sometimes difficult ones – with their constituencies, including staff, parents, and community, readiness to support each other and their shared objectives are all strengthened as a result of a team's participation in I.E. programs. In essence, while each individual’s skill and capacity grows, so does the shared experience help these leaders know each other better. This can particularly helpful in situations in which new members are joining and / or leading a team, as well as the introduction of new strategic plans, or school- and system- wide objectives.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing to have leaders work intensively during a period of change and transition?
Our experience has been consistent; growing the leadership presence of every person in the room, having fun, telling one’s own story and listening carefully to others while being thoughtfully coached by an outstanding professional facilitator is an excellent formula for individual and team growth. We do not furnish a day of learning about theories of organizational development (i.e., talking about teams); we offer one-or two-day programs that are largely experiential, with strong content aimed at helping each leader be more effective. We have seen this is the formula to help individuals and teams grow, and to be better prepared and more confident about managing change.
In sum, participation of teams – whether pre-existing or developing – enhances their effectiveness and builds the relationships between its members. IE is an ideal way to support the work of leadership, helping them to become stronger, better able to deliver the key messages and mission of the organizations and communities they serve.