Robert J. Garmston

Robert J. Garmston ( is an emeritus professor of education administration at California State University, Sacramento, and co-developer of Cognitive Coaching and Adaptive Schools.

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As crises mount, respond with compassionate leadership

By | October 1, 2021

Compassionate leaders influence others through inspiring, encouraging, empowering, and embodying.

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What We’ve Learned

By | February 1, 2018

Educators, more than in most professions, have an opportunity – actually, a responsibility – to practice and model constructive ways of disagreeing. We wish to frame the context for this obligation and suggest ways we can all get better at respectful disagreement. To disagree well, one first must listen. Listening conveys respect of the person […]

Please Do Disturb: 3 Ways To Stir Up Groups And Increase Their Effectiveness

By | January 9, 2009

Collaborative teams, much like weather systems and national economies, are composed of independent but interrelated elements making up a whole. They are organized by nonlinear feedback mechanisms that are continuously responding to other elements in the system.

Use ‘both/and’ thinking to find the best of two sides of a conflict

By | October 1, 2008

Careful word choices help groups address both sides of a conflict.

Members skilled in questioning technique can keep the group work on track

By | June 1, 2008

Professional communication lies at the heart of getting work done in schools. Educators communicate informally within and across disciplines, grade levels, departments, and schools. They talk in pairs and trios, in discussions that are spontaneous or planned. Through communication, teachers work to improve instructional practice and performance. They communicate to clarify policies, identify and address […]

Raise the level of conversation by using paraphrasing as a listening skill

By | April 1, 2008

I’ve just left Rome, and though I spoke through a translator, I am very clear that emotion was being expressed in the room. Just as E.E. Cummings knew that feeling is integral to relationships, we know that the expression and recognition of feelings is a major factor in conversational competence. This column explores the importance of expressing feeling and thinking.

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