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Jennifer Abrams        

International Educational & Communications Consultant, Author and Voice Coach

Formerly a high school English teacher and new teacher coach, Jennifer Abrams is currently a communications consultant who works with educators on building collaboration skills, having hard conversations and creating healthy, professional school cultures.

Abrams’s publications include "Having Hard Conversations," "The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicate, Collaborate & Create Community" and "Hard Conversations Unpacked - the Whos, Whens and What Ifs," "Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives" and "Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work."

Jennifer writes a featured column for Learning Forward's The Learning Professional on growth and change and is a contributor to The International Educator focusing on adult development and collaboration.

Jennifer has been invited to keynote, facilitate and coach worldwide from the USA to Africa, from Asia to Europe, from Australia to South America, and she is honored to have been named one of the “18 Women All K-12 Educators Should Know,” by Education Week’s ‘Finding Common Ground’’ blog.

Speech Topics

Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work

At this moment in time when things are ever shifting, it is critically important that we strive to develop ourselves, not just as educators, but as human beings. What can we do to be bigger and better versions of ourselves as collaborative team members and as leaders? This workshop, based on Jennifer’s new book, Stretching Your Learning Edges: Growing (Up) at Work, will introduce us to adult developmental theory and to five focused ways we can develop ourselves at work.

We will build our skills to:

  • know ourselves and our identities
  • better suspend our certainty and think with greater complexity and openness
  • take increased responsibility for our language and communications
  • engage with reciprocity and live ‘out loud’ our belief of mutual respect for all
  • build our resiliency and work on our emotional hygiene

Consider what it means, in practice, to grow (up) – to develop our skills and capacities as lead learners in our schools.

Swimming in the Deep End - What Does It Take?

No matter where what role we play in a school or district, we all want to make a difference. However, things move fast in education these days, and often in our communications we are left confused, overwhelmed and not as successful as we could be. We need to build up a skill set of effective decision making capabilities, ‘resistance management’ communication strategies and for the sake of our health, our ‘stress tolerance.’ This workshop will provide support, a laugh, and some cognitive, social and psychological resources to help you communicate more effectively, confidently and collaboratively, no matter your role.

Having Hard Conversations

As administrators, coaches or colleagues, we often come up against situations where difficult topics must be addressed. What do we know about the best strategies for those moments? What questions should we be asking ourselves before we speak, and what environments are best for when we do speak? Based on Jennifer’s book, Having Hard Conversations, and her work with conflict and interpersonal communication, this session will provide participants with action plans and scripting tools for having those necessary hard conversations.

Being Generationally Savvy: Working Effectively With All Generations

Have you noticed your newer employees feel and look and act differently than novice colleagues you remember? Are you hearing of communication challenges between colleagues of different ages? Are you becoming aware more employees want a life-work balance vs. a work-life balance? Generational factors might be coming into play. Who are these four generations in our workplaces? What are their strengths and needs? What structures and communication protocols should we design to work well with them all? And, what knowledge do we need to help every group thrive? Using Jennifer’s book, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicate, Collaborate and Create Community, this workshop will provide tools, resources on this increasingly intriguing topic.

Building Capacity in Aspiring Leaders

With Boomer administrators retiring in greater numbers over the next decade, supporting new leaders in our organizations is essential to successful succession planning. Experienced leaders need to articulate what legacy they wish to leave behind as well as well as learn and coach toward the skills and capacities aspiring leaders need to build and foster. Using work on generational savvy and leadership development, this session will provide rubrics and recommendations for supporting the growth of aspiring leaders.

Influence and Persuasion

Gone are the days when a leader’s positional power was sufficient to advance an agenda. Today’s successful leaders must gain commitment to ambitious goals not only from people who work for them, but also from peers and a diverse group of stakeholders who are beyond their command. See how the ability to influence and persuade others is now a critical differentiator of leaders who move people to support their goals from those who can’t.

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