Workshop Information

Middle Leaders Development Program

Facilitators: Michael Iannini

Date: Please see below for the dates for each Module, which begin June 1, 2019

Venue: Cyberport, Hong Kong

Target Group:                         Teacher Leaders, Coordinators and Heads of Department

Teacher leaders, Coordinators, Department Heads, Vice-Principals and non-academic team leaders are the heart of the school. They are the true change agents and will be the most effective tool in ensuring transformative and sustained change. This program will instruct participants how to foster greater interdependency among team members and develop a sustainable collaborative team culture. Teacher lead teams that communicate effectively, stayed focused on a shared purposed and work interdependently improve student learning!

Participants in this program will:

  • Learn to foster interdependent relationships focused on school improvement and student learning;
  • Understand their role to ensure staff satisfaction and engagement;
  • Demonstrate effective communication with different stakeholders (Parents, Peers and Leadership); and
  • Learn how to provide performance feedback to their team.

The Middle Leaders Development Program supports leaders to adapt their leadership skills and strengths to the unique obstacles they’ll face throughout the school year. This is an exciting opportunity to have staff at all levels of experience work together to improve their teams’ performance.

"Firstly I wanted to reiterate my thanks for facilitating a course that has had probably the most significant impact on my professional development of any PD I have ever taken part. in. When we revisited the overall vision/strategy/outputs and discussed how we were essentially developing transformational leadership skills to enable us to to work with any team, going through a process of alignment, developing buy in and facilitating a sense of purpose it all clicked." ~ Alex Hughes, program participant.

Program Outline

Survey plays an important role in this program to ensure program content and engagement can be differentiated to meet the needs of each participant. The survey and assessment process includes:

  • Participants will be surveyed to understand their experience, ambitions and anticipated challenges;
  • Senior Leadership are invited to provide feedback on their expectations and goals (This also serves to build awareness of the program and ensure support);
  • Participants take the DiSC Everything Workplace Profile to develop a greater awareness of self and others, especially when tasked with delegating work and navigating difficult conversations;
  • Participants will provide feedback throughout the program to ensure content and assignments are context specific and appropriate to their level of mastery; and
  • Participants will receive regular feedback from the facilitator and peers.


Michael Iannini

Michael’s journey in education began 20 years ago as a research assistant at the Arizona State University Child Development Laboratory, where he studied mixed age playgroups and conducted studies of how children retain and recall information.  Before moving to Asia in 1999, Michael consulted with the Children’s Action Alliance and the Arizona State Government on how to best serve children with special learning requirements.  During these years Michael developed an appreciation for and honed essential skills to ensure the best interests of students were being met.  Collaboration, consensus building and navigating complicated organizational hierarchies were the skills Michael developed during this period and the experience that he reflects on when consulting with schools that want to improve collaboration across the school and focus all staff, academic and non-academic, on serving the best interests of their students.

Since moving to China in 1999, Michael was first a teacher and then left the education field to start up, grow and sell two successful information technology businesses, which provided services to schools but predominantly serviced Fortune 1000 Companies.   One of Michael’s startups was in India, which helped him to learn to reflect on his successes in China and adapt them in India.  During these years Michael learned how to satisfy the needs of a diverse group of stakeholders, develop cross-cultural leadership and communication skills, as well as continue his studies in Building Effective Teams and Strategic Planning.

Michael returned to the education field in 2008 and began to work with a number of Not-for-Profit Organizations, International and Chinese Bilingual schools to develop curriculum, train teachers, devise parent engagement strategies and consult leadership on staff capacity building strategies, which has included a long and mutually beneficial relationship with ACAMIS and its network of schools.  This period of Michael’s life allowed him to gain greater insight into Adult Learning Pedagogies and he began consulting schools on Board Governance.

Michael’s facilitation experience is a result of his evaluating and training the teams in each organization he has served as well as his passion for education and continual learning.   He currently resides in Hong Kong with his wife, an international school teacher, and their daughter and son, all of whom continue to challenge and stretch his understanding of leadership and communication.   Michael is an Affiliated CIS Consultant and is contracted by ACAMIS to coordinate and facilitate Professional Development opportunities for its members.


In order to motivate and influence our teams, we need to understand ourselves and how our priorities affect others. Influence is not about being pushy. Influence is about looking at the problem from the other person’s perspective and then explaining your own views in order to influence their decisions.

If you want to be influential you need to be able to understand yourself and your reactions as well as understand other people’s perceptions. The DISC model groups four common behavioral patterns found universally in all people on earth. This simple four quadrant model is used to articulate the common ways that all human beings tend to act and communicate.

DiSC Outcomes:

  • DiSC provides a common language to help teams understand one another and work better together
  • Develop awareness of self and other to improve communication
  • Identify and hone key presentation skills
  • Improve confidence and influencing skills
  • Develop and hone Co-presentation skills
  • Reduce conflict and avoid misunderstandings
  • Demonstrate capacity to devise and deliver a compelling value proposition


This program is divided into four (4) workshops. The first workshop is a full day and will introduce Middle Leaders to everything they must achieve within the first 30-days of the school year. This includes:

  • Developing awareness of individual values and beliefs about Student Learning and synthesizing them into the work of the team;
  • Defining and communicating the role of the leader to all stakeholders;
  • Understanding how teams evolve in stages and stage appropriate activities;
  • Establishing group norms;
  • Managing effective meetings; and
  • Establishing a purpose for the team that will be at the center of all the work the team does.


The next 3 half-day workshops focus on Collaborative Communication, Goal Setting, Mitigating Conflict and Communicating Team Performance. The learning objectives for these workshops are:

  • Develop an awareness of self and other and understand how the disparity impacts communication;
  • Set goals that align with the individual, team and school;
  • Learn to manage difficult behaviors and ensure meetings are purposeful; and
  • Learn to use Performance Feedback to address team complacency and reduce conflict.


Modules 1-4*:                                           6000 HKD / participant

DISC Assessment:                                    700 HKD / participant

* A 10% discount will be given for 3 or more registrations from the same school and a 20% discount will be given for 6 or more registrations from the same school.

Program Dates and Milestones

If a participant is unable to attend a workshop or meet a milestone deadline, the facilitator will schedule a 1-hour coaching session with the participant to ensure they are able activate the learning from the missed workshop and that they can be active contributors in the next workshop.

The first workshop is a full day on a Saturday and the remaining 3 half-day workshops will be facilitated on Tuesdays, start at 1pm and finish at 5pm.

May 2019                                  Participants are surveyed to understand their familiarity with the content and given readings and an assignment to prepare them for the first workshop.

June 1, 2019                             Module 1 – Defining Leadership and Team Formation

August 2019                             Participants take the DiSC Everything Workplace Profile Survey

September 10, 2019             Module 2 – Collaborative Communication (DiSC) and Setting Goals

October 22, 2019                   Module 3 – Managing Difficult Behaviors

November 26, 2019              Module 4 – Performance Feedback

Module 1

Team Formation

June 1, 2019

Group norms are formed in the first meeting, whether you intend them to be or not, and once formed can be incredibly difficult to address in later stages of team development. This workshop will help you define your role as a leader, facilitate effective team meetings and provide you the tools necessary to ensure your team is clear about its purpose and buys into the processes that will govern the team.

Essential Question: What do I need to know and be able to do to lead a collaborative team?

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will explore the why, what, and how of collaboration
  • Participants will learn how teams develop in stages and activities appropriate for each stage
  • Participants will learn how to manage effective meetings, ensure equity and foster interdependence.
  • Participants will use tools and strategies to establish group norms.
  • Participants will learn how to build consensus on the team purpose.

Module 2

Collaborative Communication (DiSC) and Goal Setting

September 10, 2019

To be influential and capable of motivating disparate team members, team leaders must understand how to adapt their leadership style to accommodate the beliefs and behavioral patterns of team members. Participants will use their DiSC results to learn to adapt communication for different team members and use communication strategies to mitigate barriers to communication. Participants will next learn how to establish effective goals, in the form of an inquiry, that addresses the needs of the team members, the team and the school.

Essential Questions: How can I adapt my communication and leadership style to improve my influence and effectiveness as a team leader? How do I align individual, team and school objectives?

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will explore and understand how to accommodate different beliefs about leadership.
  • Participants will gain an understanding and appreciation of different work styles.
  • Participants will practice effective communication skills.
  • Participants will learn to facilitate effective goal setting processes that is inquiry based.

Module 3

Managing Difficult Behaviors and Meeting Management

October 22, 2019

2-3 months into the school year group norms begin to get tested and members will begin to question their role on the team. The team leaders role at this stage should be more focused on reinforcing the purpose of the team, the role that each member plays and how to foster greater interdependency between each team member. Effective meeting management at this stage of the team’s development is crucial.

Essential Question: How can I mitigate conflict in meetings, and amongst team members, to ensure we are focused on our team purpose and goals?

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn how to manage 5 difficult team member behaviors.
  • Participants will demonstrate assertive communication skills.
  • Participants will demonstrate effective questioning skills to understand the needs of others, as well as help others to see things from a different perspective.
  • Participants will assess their meeting management practices and identify strategies to improve them.

Module 4

Performance Feedback

November 26, 2019

Transformational change is empowering and sets the stage for continuous improvement across the school, but sustaining the systems that enable change requires consolidating successes, understanding set backs, continuous feedback and continued investments in process and people.

Essential Question: How do I effectively communicate about team performance and ensure a safe environment to communicate with team members?

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will demonstrate consultative communication skills;
  • Participants will experience how to facilitate performance feedback with and between team members; and
  • Participants will understand how to coach their team through various stages of development.