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  • sharonbell0

Summertime reading!

Somehow another school year has just begun - working in education, before we know it, Christmas will be upon us! Working in August always has a slightly different rhythm to the working day - the to do list is still there, but a bit easier to cross some items off the list.It also seems like a good point to dust off my blog - which I never seemed to get to during 2022/23 ... I blinked and the year had gone.

As a child I was an avid reader - that seemed to disappear for many years, but in more recent years I am trying to make more time for it ... joining a book club (at my gym of all places!) helped get me back into fiction books. I think it's my natural curiosity that draws me in to reading books more connected with my professional world - and so, with that in mind, my two August reads, both of which I would highly recommend.

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

For several years I have been interested in coaching - both in a more formalised relationship between coach and coachee ... but also in applying coaching techniques informally in the workplace. In this book Michael highlights seven core questions which are a must for every leader of people to have in their 'toolbox'. Of course there are many other powerful questions that can unlock learning - but these are a great set of questions to draw on. When he talks about 'taming the advice monster' as another ingredient to throw into the mix, I guarantee you will find yourself smiling - I imagine we will all recognise times when we fall into that trap.

Of course a good question is only a good one if we listen - really listen to the answer - and I suspect that it is where these questions become really powerful. Of course they need to become second nature and only drawn on when appropriate. As well as the book there is alot of connected material on the web to take a look at.

Leading the Millennial Way by Simon Barrington and Rachel Luetchford

Looking back over the past ten, twenty years we can see that approaches to leadership have changed dramatically - and Covid-19 had a further impact. Technology, hybrid and virtual meetings have become a part of the norm - and whilst in 2019, early 2020 we may have envisaged them in the future - the pandemic meant they were here to stay sooner rather than later.

That said, arguably pandemic or not, there would still have been a shift. The values of different generations evolve, and this book is based on a research study conducted with almost 500 millennials already in leadership positions (defined as those born between 1984 and 2000). The book provides a fascinating insight into the marks of a millennial leader based on the reearch - and it has been good to reflect on the extent to which leadership in the organisation I lead, ( reflects those values (or whether there are areas we need to address). We have approximately 220 colleagues on the team - 40% of colleagues and 30% our leaders would be millenials. Definitely some further analysis to be done to see whether the numbers reflect differently in different teams. A recommended read - and a great reminder that one size doesn't fit all!


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