Marilyn Cole

Posts by Marilyn Cole for Latest News:

Think of a time when you were telling someone something that you really wanted them to ‘hear’. Perhaps you had summoned the courage to approach a leader and discuss a sensitive issue. Perhaps it was a family member or a trusted friend who you wanted to share a painful experience with, or perhaps it was the person next to you at work who had told you in depth about their holiday and you were about to tell them about your holiday. Whatever the situation, the common ground was that the other person did not listen. You just did not feel heard!

(This is the final part of an 8-part series reflecting on the book, Resilient Ministry: What pastors told us about surviving and thriving.)In a school setting the tasks of management...

'The heart of every leader must be humble, seeking the good of others and suspicious of one's own motives' James Plueddemann, Leading across cultures (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p77).

It is almost impossible to manage the expectations of others unless our relationship with the Lord is vital and growing. It is in our relationship with God that we find the strength to see clearly, to differentiate from the emotions of others, and to gain the wisdom and insight to address problems (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.184).

Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, was one of the earliest researchers to study the characteristics that underpin flourishing. His book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology, published in 2002, popularised his ideas about how to flourish. Before this, the focus of psychology had been to investigate disorder: why mental illness occurred and how to treat it. Because Dr Seligman believes that his research findings show that an individual can strengthen many of the aspects of behaviour and the virtues he showed to underpin resilience, he would answer YES to the question ‘do we have a choice?’

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is about four times more important than IQ in determining professional success (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.103). It affects the capacity for self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.103). It is a combination of EQ self, EQ others and Cultural Intelligence (CQ).

‘Self-care is never a selfish act … it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we listen to true self and give it the care it truly requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch’ (Palmer, P., Let Your Life Speak, quoted in Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.55).

Hardships are the most important element in leadership development (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.47).

The Oxford dictionary defines hardship as something that is difficult to endure and one of the causes of suffering.


Q: Consider the degree to which work is the source of your hope, joy, emotional energy, support and success.

Life and work in a school are consuming. As teachers and life-long learners there is always something new to try in our classroom – a better kind of formative assessment, a new type of questioning, a new interactive app to liven up our lessons.

What do teaching and pastoral ministry have in common?

Neither teaching or pastoral ministry are just a job. Both are a vocation or calling for the Christian. Both embrace a big picture that requires the person to have vision and expertise that can put that vision into practice, whether in the context of the church or the school.

1 2 3 4