Teach & Serve II, No. 31 – Leadering: Honing Communication Skills
March 8, 2017
It is difficult to overestimate how important communication skills are for a leader. A leader who is an effective communicator has such an advantage over a leader who is an ineffective one.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Teach & Serve will be discussing “leadering” activities. In essence, these are the critical steps, as I see them, that individuals take as they become leaders. These are the universal gates through which they pass. These are their shared signposts they come across. These are the things leaders do as they go about “leadering.”
- Knowing Oneself
- Identifying Weaknesses before Celebrating Strengths
- HONING COMMUNICATION SKILLS
- Exercising Authority Appropriately
- Achieving Balance and Blend
- Humbling Oneself
- Letting Go
It is difficult to overestimate how important communication skills are for a leader. A leader who is an effective communicator has such an advantage over a leader who is an ineffective one. Those leaders who write and speak with purpose and clarity are much more likely to inspire their students and staffs than those who cannot. Deciding whether one is a good or bad communicator should be one of the primary goals of any team interview candidates for leadership positions. Hiring leaders and teachers who are not solid communicators is a recipe for trouble. It is not that these people cannot lead, it is that they will not lead as effectively as those who can communicate well.
Honing communication skills is very much leadering. Those who wish to be leaders can seek out and embrace opportunities to develop this ability. Certainly, there are those who have talent for writing and a predilection for public speaking. There are those who are in their wheelhouse when they are in front of a computer, pecking away at their phone, addressing a crowd. However, everyone who aspires to lead – to administrate or teach – can and should engage in leadering around honing their communication skills.
Seek out opportunities to address large groups of people. Look to take over the department or school twitter account for a period of time. Develop a professional blog. Develop a personal one for that matter. Apply to be a presenter at a professional development conference. Write and publish articles.
The more one speaks in public, the easier the task becomes and clearer communication follows. The more one writes for precision and purpose, the better the result.
Leaders must be able to effectively and clearly communicate. Teachers, likewise, must be able to convey what they mean in what they write and what they say.
Take advantage of leadering opportunities that will allow you to become an excellent communicator. You will need them when you are in leadership positions.