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Schools Of Excellence Podcast

Feb 28, 2022

This is a re-air of one of our most downloaded episodes in the Schools of Excellence Podcast. As one of the first episodes I ever released, I wanted to bring this back for those who are newer listeners. I hope you enjoy and get value out of this episode.


Like it or not, schools are home to a number of difficult conversations. Discussing topics such as...

  1. Pay and benefits
  2. Inappropriate behavior
  3. Underperformance

These can be uncomfortable. But having successful one-on-one conversations is what separates great school leaders from ineffective ones. Difficult conversations may not be fun, but school leaders who navigate them successfully can build stronger relationships with their staff and provide needed guidance and correction on workplace performance or behavior - which fosters staff engagement.

Today’s episode is on one of the four shields of difficult conversations: Blame. As a leader, it is your responsibility to take note of when your team is using these shields and take the necessary steps towards having those difficult conversations. It is only by doing this that your team will feel heard, supported, and held accountable. 


In this episode, I talk about...

  • The concept of self-protection and how it shows up in our day-to-day life.
  • The 3 strategies for removing blame from your school’s culture.
  • The questions to ask yourself when your staff start blaming each other
  • Identifying the 4 shields that school leaders and teachers bring up in conversations when difficult conversations come up


When there is blame, there is no learning. You can create a friendly school environment for your staff to thrive where finger-pointing won’t become the name of the game. 


To listen to the other episodes in the Difficult Conversations series listen to episodes 15, 18 & 20.


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

The Four Shields of Difficult Conversations - BLAME:

School Leadership Toolkit:

More about the show:

If you are an Early Childhood director or owner, prepare to transform your school and life with the Schools of Excellence podcast. Tune in each week to learn from Chanie Wilschanski, the founder and host of the Schools of Excellence Podcast and a mom of 4 little kids. Each episode will be packed with tools and strategies – equipping you to build schools with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, collaborative culture, and a beautiful quality of life. 


Every week, Chanie shares the truth about the journey to excellence, the strategies that are working TODAY, and the mindset about the critical decisions and choices that you make every day which impact yourself, your teachers, parents, family, and children who you serve every day.