25 March 2016

Communication and Leadership

I am mindful of how well I am communicating daily as this is an area that is a continual focus for me.  There are areas of communication that I know I am improving in but there is much to be done here. 

I was asked to watch and respond to this video this week. The key questions were "what has gone wrong with regards to communication? How could it have been avoided. 

Personally, I think here that all parties communicating have failed to establish any form of relationship prior to communication. Assumptions have been made by both parties. I think the lighthouse needed to identify itself immediately and perhaps a common language could have been decided upon... it seems that there is a real sense of self importance by both parties. 

Mark Reding pointed out to me last year, that we talk in words but hear in pictures... By this he meant that all of our conversations are influenced by our past experiences and what we bring to the conversation... I have found this is something to be mindful of on a daily basis.
I think this article shared via Twitter last week, is quite timely for me and fits nicely with this discussion.
I also read Ramsay's article about the 20 biggest communication mistakes we can make as leaders. I think that my biggest take-away is that this article reinforces how important effective communication is. I have to confess here that in a former life, I was actually a bit of a jargon junkie. I have absolutely flown with terms such as "ubiquitous", "agency", "connected"' and "ILE". (The list is endless.) Fortunately, I have been challenged to drop the jargon. The reality was that with a team of teachers starting out fresh from a range of backgrounds and diverse schools, we didn't even totally understand what each other was saying!!! I am working really hard at the KISS approach. I do have to admit here... dropping the jargon has added to my communication woes. Ensuring that we are all talking about the same thing was so much easier with jargon... (or, so I thought).
No. 6 really got me thinking about the place of large group gatherings. Ramsay states that there is a difference between teaching and preaching. He also says that "kids tune out, pontificating". This quote supports my wonderings about the level of full attention achieved in such large groups.

So where to from here?

  1. Seek coaching and feedback from my peers
  2. Focus on bigger picture communication: how can I ensure that I am opening communication channels up to the staff and the community.
  3. Some of our families obviously need ongoing education re our vision and values: what might this look like?
  4. Drop the jargon... build it collectively with the community. (Shotoverise our dialogue
  5. Start challenging as appropriate the start and end of days...