This is a #PrimerLivecast that reminds us why you have to start with why to access discretionary effort from your staff. You can’t rely on only on your positional authority if you truly want to be an influencer.
A point of emphasis of the Deloitte Courageous Principals program (and with their consulting efforts) is what do you do in the moments that matter with your employees. Recognizing these moments and creating exceptional experiences will deepen your critical relationships with your staff.
To learn more about Courageous Principals
We created a YouTube channel to make all of our #PrimerLive videos easily accessible.
Don’t label a skill deficit as willful resistance to leadership. Most people want to do things well but may not know how. Often staff are promoted to new positions without any preparation, they are just expected to perform a completely new set of abilities. The skills that made them successful in their former job may not apply to their current. When your staff or your students do not meet your expectations as a leader, is it a will issue or a skill issue?
Many leaders, in their haste to get things done, forget to involve people in decisions that impact them. People want to be involved in things that affect them. When you present an idea to your staff, you have been thinking about it a long time, but no one else has. Involve them in the development and implementation of ideas so they can experience the same discovery process that you experience. One of the best ways to improve employee morale is to begin asking them about things that directly affect their daily actions.
Your words are policy and your facial expression says it all. What are you unknowingly communicating to your staff?
Permission to dehumanize and make excuses
As the leader, the words you use and the intensity of your emotion give your staff cues on what the unwritten rules are at your campus. Do you really believe all kids can learn? Are some kids more special than others? Are parents really welcome? Is teacher input valued? A careless word from you and your staff will be given the ‘greenlight’ to treat students poorly, respond coldly to parents or latch on to excuses for poor student outcomes.
What the leader says, even in passing, becomes policy to those they lead
Communicate your love and concern for the students and the staff
Always speak positively of the students and other staff members. If you model it, the staff will follow your lead.
Reacting to Bad News
As a Principal you will receive a lot of bad news daily even on a well run campus. Schools are full of people and people often make poor decisions or they have bad things happen to them beyond their control. Either way it leads to stress and some reactive decision-making on your part. Even when things are going well you will tend to worry about what might happen next.
Your staff watches you for information on how things are functioning. Your posture, voice tone, proximity, eye contact, and facial expression are just a few of the nonverbal indicators that reveal your assessment of the current state of the school.
What do your demeanor and expressions indicate about how you feel things are going on your campus or how people should be treated?
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Renew your relationship with your Staff, your Purpose, and with Yourself before school starts.