• Fran Prolman

Leadership Lessons from Dr. Fran Prolman - February 2021

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ― Christopher K. Germer

If/Then Questions to Ask Yourself

We all need time for reflection, healing, and giving ourselves a break. I invite you to think about these “If/Then” questions and start to practice a little self-compassion. You deserve it. We all do.

Celebrate small wins.

What would happen if I said goodbye to work and stepped away from my computer? There is entirely too much for any administrator or teacher to complete in any given day. Too much to ever get done. What if I said to myself, “Yay me! I am modeling for my ever-learning self (and those around me) what setting and keeping boundaries looks like.

There is no “Pandemic Training School” to go to.

What if I was OK with not knowing with any certainty what I am doing? What I reframed every decision as an experiment and a data collecting opportunity, a prototype in the bigger design of a “school as kaleidoscope”, changing at every turn? What if I gave myself a break?

Missteps are steps.

If we all know logically that no one is perfect, what would it look like if I actually celebrated my missteps? How would the script read and what voice would I hear?

Negative self-talk is toxic.

If I have the power to reframe the inner chatter that goes on in my mind, then what would I do with the extra bandwidth I would have? What would I replace the limiting, toxic, negative inner dialogue I have with myself with?

Calm your inner critic.

Self-compassion is the act of responding in the same supportive, understanding way you would to a friend who is facing a difficult time. What if I practiced self-compassion? What sentences would I say to myself to be kind, as opposed to being cruel? What if I didn’t judge myself so harshly when I made a mistake?

Everyone has setbacks.

Moving forward, what if I gave myself a break about one thing – just one thing - every day? What would the implications be in my personal and professional world?

Now it is your turn. What do you think? I would love to hear your If/Then questions about giving yourself a break. Feel free to Feel free to email me your thoughts.

5 of My Favorite Podcasts

It is always a good time to learn and to think about something new. Below, are 5 of my current favorite “teachers”. Note that I am limiting myself to today's top five. This list will change, for sure.

1. Revisionist History (Malcolm Gladwell)

After writing five NY Times bestsellers, Malcolm Gladwell has added podcasts to his claim to fame. If you're into inquiry and thinking, this podcast is for you. He begins every episode with a question or inquiry about a person, idea or event, then he dives deep into exploring possible answers.

2. Hidden Brain (Shankar Vedentam)

We know that unconscious patterns drive our behavior. The pandemic is a great time to figure out how those patterns are serving you and your behaviors and choices. After listening to this podcast, you'll walk away with the science behind the pattern and a story to explore. From the collective of every podcast around the world, this one ranks an impressive 16th.It's #2 in my book.

3. How I Built This (NPR)

One of the many things I love about this podcast is it welcomes me into the world of millennial thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They are paving the mindset path with stories of their journeys to success.

4. Yo, Is This Racist? (Andrew Ti and Tawny Newsome).

If you have to ask, it probably is. Each episode explores questions posed by listeners and the conversation always leads to blunt (or refreshingly honest) conversations. Expand your perspective and reflect with every listening experience.

5. Code Switch (Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji)

This podcast explores how race touches everything (i.e., culture, politics, public health) during very frank conversations with guests. Their personal experiences expand your perspective and cultural proficiency.




February 16, 2021, 5pm – 6:15pm (CET)

Communication in Difficult Situations

The International School of Luxembourg Virtual Learning Loft

Cost: FREE

Register here

March 3, 2021, 5pm – 6:15pm (CET)

Navigating Emotional Agility & Resistance

The International School of Luxembourg Virtual Learning Loft

Cost: FREE

Register here

February 1

AACPS - Building Your Instructional Leadership planning

February 2

IICS Istanbul - Building the Professional Growth System

February 3

AAIE - Emotional Agility. A Conversation with School Heads Worldwide

February 4

EARCOS - Women in Leadership Kick Off (Session one)

February 5

BESD Arizona Principals - Self-Compassion and Self-Care

February 8

AS Warsaw - Building Your Instructional Leadership

February 10

Vienna International School - Building Your Instructional Leadership

February 16

- Cultural Proficiency Facilitation with Alexa Schmidt and AISA

- AAIE Board of Trustees Meeting

- ISLUX Having Difficult Conversations

February 18

Newport News Aspiring Principals - Building Your Instructional Leadership

February 20-22

AS Khartoum - Transforming Schools Institute

February 21

UNIS Hanoi - Senior Leadership Team Training

February 23

Virginia Beach Aspiring Principals - Level Three Building Your Instructional Leadership

February 24

Virginia Beach Teaching and Learning - Addressing Implicit Bias

February 25

EARCOS - Women in Leadership Session Two

February 26-27

Women in Leadership United States Cohort

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