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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 - Consulting

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


March 26, 2018

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).

Consulting. To consult is to have your expertise be used by others. A consultant can be an information specialist or an advocate for content or process. As an information specialist, the consultant delivers technical knowledge to a group. As a content advocate, the consultant encourages group members to use a certain instructional strategy, adopt a particular curriculum or program, or purchase a specific brand of computer (equipment or materials). As a process advocate, the consultant influences the group’s method¬ology… To effectively consult, one must have trust, commonly defined goals, and the group’s desired outcomes clearly in mind (Block, 1981; Garmston and Wellman, p. 34).

No matter your position in your school, how might you serve as a consultant to share information or to advocate for a content or process?

What might be some technical knowledge that you possess that would enrich your organization by your sharing?

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 be some of the opportunities that you might capitalize on to take on the leadership role of a consultant?

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