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“There are many books on coaching, but this one you must have. Aguilar has written a comprehensive book on coaching that provides enormously useful ideas, concepts, and strategies in an extremely accessible form. This is one of the best books on coaching I have read and a book that will make anyone a better and more reflective leader.”

Kent D. Peterson

Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of Shaping School Culture

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“Elena Aguilar’s book is an extremely practical guide to leading teams that doesn’t ignore the complexity of that important work. If you’re a coach who leads teams, this is a must read.”

Jim Knight

Author of Instructional Coaching: A Partnership to Improving Instruction

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“In The Art of Coaching Teams, Aguilar succeeds in translating her Transformational Coaching framework into a practical and heartening resource for all who coach and manage teams. She infuses 30+ years of research on emotional intelligence, team development, and leadership with her unique blend of empathy, clarity, and hope.”

Laurelin Andrade

Manager of Coaches

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“Elena’s book provides leaders with a framework to create, coach and manage effective teams – with both compassion and clarity. The powerful personal anecdotes humanize a daunting process, and the detailed scripts allow for ample opportunities to practice.”

Maia Heyck-Merlin

Author, The Together Teacher and The Together Leader

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“Drawing deeply on her lived experiences, Aguilar offers readers a path to leadership characterized by reflection, intention, and humility. In balancing the practical and profound, The Art of Coaching Teams lives up to its promise as a guide for leaders who seek to transform themselves and their teams.”

Brianna Crowley

High School Teacher and Instructional Coach, Hershey, PN

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“Anyone who believes that a school’s student culture is only as strong as a school’s adult culture would greatly benefit from reading this book. The guidelines that Aguilar provides elevate the technical “how to” and offers adaptive moves for building a transformative community in any environment.”

Yanira Canizalez

Founding Head of School, Lodestar-A Lighthouse Community Charter Public School, Oakland, CA

The Art of Coaching Teams

Explore your playbook for creating and leading thriving, resilient, learning teams that get stuff done.

Book Study Guide

The Art of Coaching Teams Book Study Guide (free)

The Art of Coaching Teams Upgraded Book Study Guide (for individuals)

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Chapter 1

Exhibit 1.1 – Dimensions of a Great Team – A Tool for Reflection

Exhibit 1.2 – Indicators of an Effective Team

Exhibit 1.3 – Do We Need a Team?

Chapter 3

Exhibit 3.1 – Team Temperature Check

Chapter 4

Exhibit 4.1 – Transformational Coach Team’s Mission and Vision

Exhibit 4.2 – Determining a Team’s Mission and Vision

Exhibit 4.3 – Transformational Coaching Team’s Core Values

Exhibit 4.4 – Team Member Roles and Responsibilities

Exhibit 4.5 – Example of a Team’s Communication Agreements

Exhibit 4.6 – Transformational Coach Team Goals, 2013-14

Chapter 5

Exhibit 5.1 – Examples of Norms

Exhibit 5.2 – Example Of Agenda For Norm Building

Exhibit 5.3 – What Do Our Norms Mean?

Exhibit 5.4 – Reflection Questions On Our Norms

Chapter 6

Exhibit 6.1 – Indicators of a Team’s Emotional Intelligence

Exhibit 6.2 – Forty-Four Ways to Build The Emotional Intelligence of a Team

Chapter 7

Exhibit 7.1 – Reflection Questions on Communication

Exhibit 7.2 – Patterns of Participation

Exhibit 7.4 – How Do I Listen?

Exhibit 7.5 – Behaviors that Foster and Undermine Effective Conversations

Chapter 8

Exhibit 8.1 – Example of an Agenda for Decision Making

Exhibit 8.2 – Decision-Making Grids

Exhibit 8.3 – Fist to Five Decision Making

Exhibit 8.4 – Consensus-Building Process Checking

Exhibit 8.5 – Decision-Making Norms

Exhibit 8.6 – Feedback on Decision-Making Process

Chapter 9

Exhibit 9.1 – Indicators of a Learning Organization

Chapter 10

Exhibit 10.1 – Example of a Team’s Meeting Schedule

Exhibit 10.2 – Outcomes for Team Meetings

Exhibit 10.3 – Meaning-Making Protocol

Exhibit 10.5 – Stages of Team Development

Chapter 11

Exhibit 11.1 – Check List for Facilitating Meetings and Professional Development

Chapter 12

Exhibit 12.1 – Reflecting on Conflict

Exhibit 12.3 – Sentence Stems for Healthy Conflict

Chapter 13

Exhibit 13.1 – School Teams’ Organizational Alignment – Example of RISE UP Middle

Exhibit 13.2 – Am I in a Toxic Culture?

Exhibit 13.3 – Indicators of Trust in Schools

Exhibit 13.4 – Organizational Conditions for Effective Teams


Appendix A – Facilitator Core Competencies

Appendix B – Team Effectiveness Self-Assessment

Appendix C – Community Building Activities And Random Grouping Strategies

Appendix D – Facilitation Planning Tool And Facilitation Observation Tool

Appendix E.1 – Activities For Meetings – Consultancy Protocol

Appendix E.2 – Activities For Meetings – Feedback Protocol

Appendix E.3 – Activities For Meetings – Chalk Talk

Appendix E.4 – Activities For Meetings – Dyads

Appendix G – Plan For Team Building


Podcast Starter Episodes

Episode 157: Coaching When You're The Boss

Episode 152: Transformational PD Part 3: Responding to Resistance