The Best of Us S2/E12: Elena Aguilar on Transformational Coaching for Systemic Change

In this episode of The Best of Us, we discuss transformational coaching as a key lever for momentum with all-star coach Elena Aguilar. Elena coaches us through exploring beliefs and strategies, connecting with the purpose of the work, and considering perspectives of those across your school district or organization.

She also provides practical guidance on applying curiosity and listening skills to education teams, enhancing leaders’ ability to understand motivations and gather their feedback.

Looking for more resources on transformational coaching strategies for systemic change? Check out Elena's book "Arise: The Art of Transformational Coaching,” out in July.

Listen now:


Maintaining Momentum (00:02:42) Challenges of maintaining momentum and engagement after growth and change in the organization.

Personal Motivation (00:03:37) Jeremy's personal motivation and connection with partners and users to maintain momentum.

Connecting with Leadership Team (00:07:43) Transferring skills and strategies used with partners to connect with the leadership team.

Curiosity and Empowerment (00:20:45) Encouraging curiosity and seeking input from the leadership team to maintain momentum.

Exploring Beliefs (00:18:17) Exploring underlying beliefs and testing them to address challenges in maintaining momentum.

Beliefs and Ways of Being (00:19:35) Elena Aguilar discusses the impact of beliefs and ways of being on teacher-student interactions and the importance of exploring and shifting unhelpful beliefs.

Changing Mindsets (00:21:51) Elena explains the process of helping teachers recognize and change their underlying beliefs, emphasizing the need for autonomy and the impact of beliefs on behavior.

Building Trust and Relationship (00:23:20) Elena highlights the importance of building trust and relationship with teachers and discusses the role of coaches' beliefs in supporting teachers through transformational coaching.

Enabling Transformational Coaching (00:27:04) Elena addresses the challenges of implementing transformational coaching in schools, emphasizing the need to address limiting beliefs and develop the necessary skills for effective coaching.

Impact of Transformational Coaching (00:30:32) Elena discusses the impact of transformational coaching on teachers, students, and school culture, highlighting the reduction in absenteeism and greater teacher retention.

Leadership Mindsets (00:33:16) Elena outlines the mindsets that enable successful transformational coaching programs, emphasizing the importance of responsive, adaptive, and equity-focused leadership.

Challenges and Resonance (00:35:52) Elena addresses the challenges and resonance experienced by coaches in embracing the holistic approach of transformational coaching, highlighting the need to address emotional aspects and organizational culture.

The experience of a teacher (00:37:22) Teachers' experiences with transformational coaching, growth, and commitment to change in practice.

Transformation in mindset and classroom (00:38:09) The transformation of teachers' mindsets and power dynamics in the classroom through coaching.

Building relationships and creating joy (00:39:55) The shift in energy, joy, and autonomy in the classroom through building relationships and collaborative problem-solving.

Arise: The art of transformational coaching (00:41:54) Information about the book "Arise" and its focus on transformational coaching strategies for creating belonging, connection, and systems change.

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