In BBC’s “Gareth Malone’s Extraordinary School for Boys”, episode 3 Gareth handles conflict controversially (see 28m 48 secs in).
Did he use the right technique with the awkward child? The boy in question is openly defiant, but no punishment was given, instead Gareth asked him to take “time out”.
I’ve heard articulate, but opposing views on this. See the comments at the foot of the link.
So who is right?
At the risk of over-simplifying things, there appear to be four dimensions to this, of which “technique” is but one. The four areas I look at here are:
- The state of the person doing the leading (teaching)
- The extent and quality of the relationship built up between leader and follower;
- Particular methods (techniques) used e.g. “carrot and stick”;
- The state of the person being led (taught etc)
In my experience of the business world, often a variety of techniques will work, but not in isolation of course.
By way of illustration, my favourite teacher at school barely seemed to use any “techniques” (3.)at all. How did he do it?
Somehow he had built such trust with us, and inspired sufficient interest in his subject, that we dutifully obeyed and worked hard. Well almost!
He was strong on the relationship he had with us (2.) and seemed confident and relaxed (1.).
Looking back, I doubt he analysed what he did. He seemed a natural! Is this true of Gareth Malone too? Certainly the results seemed to speak for themselves.
As for me I’ve had to learn the hard way, by making mistakes. I have found that it is possible to make improvements in the way I relate (1.), and in the extent and quality of my engagement with my team (2.).
The challenge comes when then the person being coached is having difficulties (4.). Working on techniques (3.) alone tends to be ineffective.
See also Is Gareth Malone a good teacher?
About Dr Steve Lewis