Submitted by Annabe Tredoux, PCC

The Early Childhood Development principals/business owners in our town of Hermanus, South Africa were under pressure from various government departments to provide a safe space for the younger members of our communities. With the uncertainty of how to achieve that goal in addition to keeping their businesses alive, provide for staff, and take care of their own families, these principals felt lost, overwhelmed and fearful. A coaching client, who works in the field of education, asked Annabe Tredoux how she could assist these members of the community. She offered group coaching — pro bono.          

“The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly” initiative was created to provide support to a group of Early Childhood Development principals who are small business owners of their respective schools. The group consisted of seven principals who attended seven coaching sessions over a period of four months in 2020.

The sessions were a spontaneous exchange of experiences and approaches in each other’s separate environments. The group decided on the topics of discussion. The group brought the following topics for discussion: leadership and self-leadership, conflict management, working with strengths, self-care, celebrating and how to acknowledge successes, and exploring the visible effects of the pandemic on the children in their care. Every two months the sessions targeted a specific physical challenge and emotional challenge/experience.                                          

The group was able to:

  •   create clarity and certainty for their staff and parents
  •   learn how to celebrate all successes — they created a “celebration wall” visible at their respective schools
  •   develop the art of appreciation
  •   identify the importance of self-care
  •   explore strategies to address conflict with parents
  •   establish morning rituals and COVID-19 protocols
  •   overcome fear through strengths and talents
  •   tap into creativity and adaptability for leadership

Results of this initiative provided positive social impact as all the schools are still open and functioning; retained staff; and provided child-care while parents worked.