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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's podcast I speak to Viv Grant who is Executive Coach and Director of Integrity Coaching. She was a keynote speaker at the 2020 annual conference of the Irish Primary Principals' Network. Among the topics we discuss are the following:

  • Identifying your stories as a school leader: why are you in the profession? What motivates you? What inspires you? What brings you joy?
  • Her story and how she began to articulate it for herself
  • The importance for principals of recognising and articulating their inner, subconscious narrative
  • How underlying thoughts and experiences can affect a principal’s ability to have difficult conversations
  • Becoming aware of when the old narratives no longer serve us
  • Getting our back stage narratives aligned with our front stage performance
  • The role of the Centre for School Leadership
  • What coaching for principals involves
  • Just like social workers and psychologists get “supervision” in their work as a matter of course, so should school principals because as well as being leaders of curriculum and instruction, many of them are practising aspects of psychology and social work.
  • Why school development and human growth and development go hand in hand and why offering coaching to principals is a way of appreciating their taking on this important role.
  • Is coaching something that is needed on an ongoing or on a needs-only basis?
  • How coaching for a principal works
  • Qualities a coach needs to have in order to work with principals
  • How coaching differs from mentoring
  • Why supporting coaching for principals is a good investment for a school
  • Why coaching is the norm in several other sectors
  • How she turned around “failing” primary school
  • How to bring about change at school level
  • The source of a school’s vision
  • Her book called Staying a head: The stress management secrets of successful school leaders
  • The challenge of creating time to develop the inner work of school leadership
  • Pauline Lysaght Jones and Mary Fuller
  • David Whyte’s poetry
  • John O’Donohue




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