When we approach school leadership as a list of to-dos to check off until the next day, we lose the opportunity to focus on relationships.

In school leadership, it’s not what we do–it’s how we do it

When we run our schools as a list of to-dos that we check off until the next day, we lose the opportunity to focus on relationships

To further complicate the issue, many leaders themselves indicated that they felt they didn’t have the right capabilities or skillsets to adequately support their school staff.

What gets in the way of you supporting your school staff in the way you would like?

  • Time constraints
  • Lack of capabilities or skillset                                                   

So, what areas need the most attention for teachers and leaders? In order off greatest concern:

  • Difficult conversations                                                                                                                           
  • Building capability of my team                                                                                                            
  • Engaging others and getting buy in                                                                                                    
  • Giving feedback                                                                                                                                       
  • Giving direction and creating shared purpose                                                                                 
  • Listening                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Slowing down                                                                                                                                          
  • Wellbeing                                                                                                                                                  
  • Prioritizing and time management                                                                                                     
  • Leading in uncertainty                                                                                                                           
  • Empowering, delegating and letting go                                                                                            
  • Setting personal boundaries and learning to say no                                                                     
  • Resilience and wellbeing                                                                                                                       

Many of these can be grouped, or at least aligned.

  • Slowing down; prioritizing time; and wellbeing.
  • Having difficult conversations; listening; and empowering others.
  • Building capacity of my team; engaging others and getting buy in, and empowering, delegating and letting go.           

These all relate to how we act and how we interact with others. Do we calm situations down or do we raise the heat of a situation? They also highlight our own self efficacy. Do we seek others out to share the load or do we carry everything on our own shoulders?

These findings match research that shows that most of the leadership coaching that educators and leaders request revolves around Relate (how we interact with others) and Be (how we think about ourselves). More than half of our coaching revolves around ‘Relate’ topics and a third focuses on ‘Be’ topics.

These areas are the human side of leadership, and they frequently align. It is unlikely if your self-confidence is lacking that you will then actively seek others to help. It is more likely that those who seek to engage and empower others have already grown their own level of confidence and resilience first.

Professional learning could advance teaching, equitable learning

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