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.
- Train yourself not to react poorly to bad news.
- Be conscious of your demeanor as you interact with the staff and students.
- A smile says things are going well
What do your demeanor and expressions indicate about how you feel things are going on your campus or how people should be treated?
Connect with me on Twitter to share your responses