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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 - Facilitating

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


March 05, 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).

Facilitating. “To facilitate means “to make easier.” A facilitator conducts a meeting in which the purpose is dialogue, shared decision-making, planning or problem solving. The facilitator directs the processes used in the meeting, choreographs the energy within the group, and maintains a focus on one content and one process at a time. Ideally, the facilitator is not the person with the role or knowledge authority” (p. 34).

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

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

Even in very small groups, how might you perform the function of a “citizen facilitator” and still be a valued and engaged group member?

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