top of page
Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

The Four Hats of Shared Leadership - Coaching

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


March 12, 2019

Garmston and Wellman (2016) explain the Four Hats of Shared Leadership in this way:

In adaptive schools, all the players learn to “wear all four hats,” or play four roles. By all players we mean administrators, teachers, support staff, students, and, when appropriate, parents. In such schools, all the players must have the knowledge and skills to manage themselves and influence and lead others. Leadership is a function, not a role and is a shared function in meetings, staff development activities, action research, and classrooms. Recognizing the “hats” and knowing when and how to change them is shared knowledge within the organization” (p. 33).

Coaching. “To coach is to help a group take action toward its goals while simultaneously helping it to develop expertise in planning, reflecting, problem- resolving, and decision-making. The coach takes a nonjudgmental stance and uses open-ended questions, pausing, paraphrasing, and probing for specificity. The skillful coach focuses on group members’ perceptions, thinking, and decision-making processes to mediate resources for self-directedness” (Costa and Garmston, 2015; Garmston and Wellman, p. 34).

No matter your position in your school, how might you serve as a coach during planning, reflecting, decision-making, or problem solving?

What are some of the skills, tools, and structures you have learned in Cognitive Coachingsm or Adaptive Schools that would support you in this function?

What might it look like, sound like, and feel like when you step into this function/role even if it is not a formal coaching conversation?

bottom of page