We’re very excited to launch our Professional Development program for 2018.
Congratulations, we’re glad you’re here and that you’ve thought of us to support you in your learning journey. We’ve created a range of learning programs designed to inform, inspire and ignite your thinking.
Farran Street Education delivers learning experiences which leave you inspired and full of ideas. Our customised learning solutions are practical, fun and driven by results. We provide fast-paced, easy-to follow learning experiences specifically designed for Children’s Services professionals.
At Farran Street Education, we find that despite being technically strong and having many years of experience in Early Childhood Education, managing, motivating and engaging other educators continues to be the most prominent roadblock to services achieving quality educational outcomes for children. Our programs are designed to support you in this area and help you and your team be the best they can be. Our programs are designed for Educators who are looking to step up into leadership roles or experienced Leaders looking to refine their practice. We’re here for managers who want to learn new techniques or those who are unsure about where to start. We are here to help you navigate the learning journey so you have the strongest possible team.
Whether you’re a room leader, director or operations manager you’ll find our learning experiences jampacked with the latest research, practical ideas and step-by-step solutions to help you lead and manage your team. We’re looking forward to helping you navigate the path forward and joining you on the journey.
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We run programs all over Australia and NZ. For booking and more information call 1300 366 896 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to overcome internal conflict (and be a better stress-buster)
Conflict. Typically, we think of this as an interaction between two people, or groups of people. But conflict can also occur within a person. Ever been in “two minds” over making a decision? “Should I do this, or should I do that?” Sound familiar?
We each have a unique composition of 24 Character Strengths. These strengths fight for our attention leaving us flip-flopping between options and unable to solve the problem. We sit in our conflict and we inevitably feel stressed too. This is when our strengths clash – within ourselves.
Here’s a problem I faced with my team.
Be fair or be kind?
Let’s talk about Fairness and Kindness. I often struggle when these two strengths come forward and split my mind over the next action I should take. I had a team member who was hardworking and loyal. A solid performer. She had started coming to work late, then sometimes not showing up and only contacting us mid-morning. Her mood had flattened, but then I also saw some unusual outbursts of laughter at very inappropriate times. She was simply not the team member I know and love and her contribution to the team was lowering every week. I had approached her a couple of times to offer an ear, to find out if there was anything going on that I could assist with. I was shut down every time. When I listened to my strength of Fairness, it was telling me to take action to put a stop to this behaviour, her mood was impacting the team. In a negative way. I wanted to protect our team culture – this was only fair to everyone else. But how could I do that when she wouldn’t open up to me?
When I tuned into my strength of Kindness, it was encouraging me to show more compassion, give her more time. Cut her some slack. But Fairness wanted to put a quick end to this negative behaviour that was impacting the team. I was torn over what to do next.
Wrestling with my own two points of view, I realised I was at an impasse because my strengths of Fairness and Kindness were clashing and I couldn’t make a decision.
Remembering that strength spotting overcomes strengths that clash, I did some strength spotting of my own. I tapped into one of my Top 5 Signature Strengths – Judgement. Using this strength, I could take a step back and consider the bigger picture to put this situation into perspective. This strength is where one considers all information before making a decision. For long-term and lasting gain, I had to offer assistance to help my team member through whatever she was experiencing. If she could overcome it, then it was likely I would get the value from her again. We talked and I made it clear that things needed to change, so we agreed upon external support through our employee assistance program.
Just as we do strength spotting in our teams, it’s also helpful to exercise strength spotting on ourselves when our strengths clash. If you are struggling to make a decision, take look at your strengths profile, and bring forward another strength to help overcome the hurdle. You can resolve those clashing strengths by letting go of the dilemma and drawing from another strength to help you through. Not only will you overcome your conflict, strength spotting also helps to Build Resilience. And confidence.
Be a better stress buster
Resilience and confidence help us to better cope with the natural stressors in our jobs and in our lives. We can build these traits by getting to know our strengths, and then using them at every opportunity. This might sound like hard work, but honestly, it’s not. Our strengths are the things we do with minimal effort and the bonus is they have the biggest impact to the environment we use them in.
Here’s the good news. The more you practice strength spotting, the more capable you become at solving problems and making decisions. Guess what that means?
You are better able to deal with stress.
Here’s a recap:
Identify which of your strengths are clashing
Do some strength spotting to find another strength and apply it
Reflect and be proud that you handled the issue
Smile because you solved it.
You’ve got this.
To learn about how Strengths Spotting can build a Trusted Team, click here to take a look at our team workshop.
About the author: Nicole is an organisational psychologist who believes that when people understand their strengths, capabilities and motivators, they can unleash all their brilliance to perform at the highest level and create high performing teams. Nicole is an integral part of the Farran Street Education facilitation team, and currently facilitates team workshops including Understanding Yourself and Others and The Trusted Team.
Check out this amazing talk by business leader Margaret Heffernan at TEDwoman. She suggests that it’s not intelligence but social cohesion and team members asking each another for help which creates a high performing team.
Did you love the video? Then you’ll love The Educator Leadership Academy. This 2-month program focuses on a fresh approach to leadership, motivation, feedback, delegation, and assertiveness. Kicks off on 18th October. Click here to reserve your place today.
What’s the quickest way to lose a friend? Become their boss.
Becoming a boss is an exciting time, but it’s also fraught with dangers. Managing people who used to be your peers can be a minefield just waiting to explode.
New managers need to take the time to establish their credibility and authority without seeming like they are now drunk with power.
Let’s look at five (5) quick tips which can help you navigate the minefield of going from peer to boss.
- Announce the transition
Your role has changed. Ideally, your current boss will announce the change to the team and parents. It’s really important that everyone understands your new role and responsibilities. You can also help to announce the transition by having 1:1 meetings with each of your team members. These can be awkward at first, but if you make them casual meetings and start by asking; “what are your expectations of me as your manager?” “How can I best support you?” You should also take this time to establish your authority as a leader. This doesn’t mean that you should start telling people what to do. Rather you should take the time to listen to their concerns, and assert your authority in a positive way….think extra annual leave, additional resources, learning and development etc.
- Be a butterfly
Fly around. Be pretty, say nice things, make no enemies for the first 3 months at least. You probably have lots of new ideas about how to lead the team, but you want to avoid making any big changes in the first 3 months. You can make a few small changes in the first few months, especially if they are seen as positive. However, delay any big decisions until after you’ve had time to chat with the team and seek input from them.
- Distance yourself from your former peers
When you become the boss, the dynamic between you and your former peers changes completely. People start to watch you like never before. You need to recalibrate your existing friendships. Unfortunately, you can’t continue to have the close relationships you had before. Failing to recalibrate those relationships will leave you open to the accusation of playing favorites. You want to avoid staff-room gossip sessions. You might need to be less available for social gatherings. You don’t want to become unapproachable. You just need to signal a slight change in the relationship. You’re no longer their peer. You are now the person who delegates work, gives feedback and manages complaints.
- Build your new network
You may need to distance yourself from your peers, but a whole new network of people has just opened up to you. You have a new boss to build a relationship with and new leaders who have now become your peers. Think about how you’re going to build your leadership network. You can see the development of your leadership network through 3 different lenses. Operational, personal and strategic networking. Operational networking is building relationships with people who are going to help you succeed at getting the tasks done. This could be suppliers, families and other managers. Personal networks are largely external to the service and are comprised of people who have similar interests or responsibilities. Finally, and most importantly is your strategic network. This is your network of influences, industry leaders, change agents, experts and people who may seem unconnected to your current role, but will provide invaluable information in keeping you ahead of the game.
- Demonstrate your leadership style
Now that you’ve been promoted you have a great opportunity to try out different leadership personas. We are not one, but many selves. Our leadership style will be defined by many things, who we hope to become or even who we fear becoming. When you become a leader, you have an opportunity to try out different selves, different leadership styles. Try new things, tell different stories, use trial and error with your leadership practice. Just like you have developed a style as an Educator, it’s now time to develop a leadership persona. How will you delegate? How will you celebrate? How will you communicate? You as a leader, what do you stand for and what do you believe in?
Going from peer to boss can be a minefield to navigate, but with the right support and guidance, you’ll become a leader that’s respected and admired.
Are you learning to lead? The Educator Leadership Academy is the place to start.