Thursday, February 24, 2011

Communication is key

To communicate or not to communicate, that is the question.

Anthony Robbins, motivational guru once commented:
"To effectively communicate, we must all realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and the way we perceive and use this understanding in how we communicate with others."

Anyone aspiring to become a school leader of the future, should learn that the key to success and acceptance by a community is to communicate. This is something I learned working as a superintendent in the most real experiences of my career.

Barack Obama popularized the idea of "transparency" as a concept that I tried to emulate. Building trust between the community and the district meant that they have a right to see all of the nitty gritty of the district, such as employment contracts, budget detail, and anything else, with the exception of personnel issues.

Another great communication tool is to get out ahead of things by using the world wide web. Get your school district to have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, or use a school notifier network that employs emails, texting and other contact media to get information to parent. Advertise and advocate through social media to build the trust of the world wide community, and transparency and trust will thrive.

I have been blessed working with two outstanding communications specialists, affiliated with the Capital Region BOCES of upstate New York. Their names were Jessica and Matt, both talented and unabashedly the best sounding boards I could have worked with in my central office position. Not only did they meet with me to discuss my programs and directions about the district, they also framed all of these ideas in how they would be received by the community.

Communication is key to being a successful school leader. It goes beyond sending a letter home when things go awry. School leaders communicate the excitement and pulse of the school.

Find ways to share the real enthusiasm of a school district.