Educational Leadership in a Changing World Grand Canyon University: EDA 575 Communication/ Human Relations Essay February 20, 2013 Rodney Milliner Ginnette Hamilton Shannon Rochon Communication/ Human Relations Essay How should we as leaders communicate and uphold positive relations with others in a professional environment? “A principal evolves from viewing teachers as “instruments” to valuing teachers as leaders. ” In our school, the principal is the head of our organization and since she does not have an Assistant Principal, is the head all alone. She has been principal for 10+ years at the same establishment and loves every day.
She stresses to her staff the importance of student safety, student achievement, parental communication, and cleanliness daily. With her being alone and the head, some may wonder how the relationship is between the principal and the staff. Some may wonder if she dictates and we just fall in line or if she actually has the time or takes the time out to listen to the concerns of her staff. The answer is that she interacts with her staff as much as possible, even amongst everything she has going on with her specific duties sent down to her. She lets her staff know about her “open door” policy.The policy is that if her door is open, we are welcome to come in and speak to her about whatever the problem or concern may be. She will listen and then let you know what route you should take, whether it be talk to your team lead or direct you to who you should consult with if she may not know the answer. She communicates with us through internet, letters placed in boxes, and face-to- face meetings.
We are lucky to have all three of these components to be able to communicate with her as well. In reading over some of the forums, some of my classmates aren’t as privileged to have such a variety of ways to communicate with their principal. s very proactive when it comes to the communication with students and parents. She tells us that this is the basis to student achievement and makes sure that this communication happens through logs kept by the teacher. A leader is defined as a person who is “chief” or head of an organization. A leader is also guided through demonstrating, consulting, and listening.
Through forums and discussions, one can see that there are different types of leaders, some good and others that aren’t as good in leading their organization. However, a leader will always know and believe that there is room for improvement.A leader does not act on impulse, but makes decisions based off of the facts and evidence presented. A leader keeps a mental plan at hand to better their organization. In reading the journal article entitled, “Real Principals Listen,” written by Eric Glover (2007), the author stated that if the principals begin to listen and involve teachers more often, teachers can then take the role of being leaders (within in reason) instead of feeling as though they are put on the back burner and just there to follow instructions and complete the tasks.Having this relationship and positive communication between the principal can make for a more positive school atmosphere for the principal, staff, students, and parents.
Glover (2007) also stated the three methods of communication produced by William Isaacs (1999) which are debate, dialogue, and open discussion. “Debate (which Isaacs also called “unproductive defensiveness”) often limits teacher empowerment. Unfortunately, principals often unknowingly use this style of interaction.
The other two practices, dialogue and open discussion, are much more likely to generate the teacher leadership that is essential for creating changes in schools (Glover 2007). ” I have only been at my school for two years and can definitely see where my principal uses more of the dialogue and discussion more than the debate. During staff meetings and grade level meetings, there is little to no debate at all. I have noticed that our staff meetings are often quiet while she presents the information and if there are any questions, they can be asked and will be answered and clarified.I have noticed that the staff respects our principal no matter what she asks.
There might be murmurs among the staff, but the job gets done just as she has asked. During grade level meetings, the same applies. The principal states the objective of the meeting and then allows for any discussion. She is direct in how she answers but everyone leaves with a general understanding of what the expected outcome is to be. I believe that debate often leads to a “dead end” in most cases because one person already has their outlook on the situation and so does the opponent.The discussion leads to a long, drawn out meeting in which there is no reasonable solution. “If participants choose to suspend individual opinions and remain open to hearing what other speakers think, they engage in reflective dialogue, which allows new thinking and ideas to emerge (Issacs 2009).
” In reading this article, this particular quote stood out because listening will from both the principal and the teacher will definitely be beneficial to both parties and most times than none, a consensus will be met.How do we as training leaders transform our thinking from directive to dialogue and more open discussion? Issacs (1999) states that implementing four components could definitely teach us better communication skills. They are “deep listening, respecting others, suspending assumptions, and voicing personal truths (Isaacs 1999). ” When it comes to deep listening, a leader must know and understand that this is more than just hearing what a person(s) are saying. A leader must listen, interpret, and then use their leadership skills to reply and/ or come up with a logistic answer.Respecting what one has to say plays a big role as well.
If you are listening adamantly to what one has to say, the person(s) knows that you are hearing and listening to what they have to say. This creates for a more positive work environment. When a leader listens, it shows respect and eliminates false assumptions. One is not confused on what the problem is about what is being asked of his/ her staff. A leader gives genuine thought whether or not the answer is or is not to go along with what is being asked or brought out.Voicing personal truths may fall into the lines of experience. A principal, also the leader, should have the experiences of a teacher and a principal. This means that the voices of the teachers, being in the classroom, and the concerns should be understood.
Therefore, the principal should take these concerns as personal truths and deeply listen, suspend assumptions, and come to a consensus that will in turn generate a more positive and effective atmosphere for the school or any organization.Communication is a very important to the organization of the school. There are many different ways in that you can communicate with your staff, teachers, students, parents, and community. In the book of enhancing Leadership Effectiveness it states that “communication has deep significance for organizations since individuals make contributions to the achievement of organizational goals through personal and organizational communication systems. ” (Fairman andMcLean) When looking at communication in organizations you have to measure the degree of adequacy to which there is open, honest, two-way communications between principals and faculty members as well as good horizontal communications between and among faculty teams. One of the communication theories used in previous years in administration have been the mechanistic theory approach. This system is just a system that broadcast information from one group, who is the sender, to the second group who it receives it. In this theory there is no dialogue or chance for the receiver of the news to reply or make any suggestions.
This theory is mostly used in upper management such as directions coming from the curriculum department or administration such as the board of education for the school. This theory can be very misleading as it comes down to communicating effectively. As a administrator you want to be able to communicate effectively by being clear and precise on what message you are trying to deliver to your staff. The critical theory is a theory that has some likeness with the mechanistic theory in that it does not give you the opportunity to collaborate with the staff.
In the wikepedia critical theory is define as a school of thought that stresses the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture, by applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities. Theorist Max Horkheimer described the theory as critical in so far as it seeks “to liberate human beings from circumstances that enslave them. ” In a school where you have professional learning communities and a lot of collaboration is needed on all levels as far as grade levels and common core areas this theory would not work.
When administrators demonstrate the use of this theory they are only trying to abuse their power because of the position. The only thing that is happening with an administrator using this concept is that they are merely trying to intimidate their employees. As an administrator this does not help you create a healthy work environment by threatening or intimidating your employees. You must create a nurturing environment for all stakeholders involved this include the students, community, parents, as well as your teachers and staff members.The impact of the human relations theory in education has numerous themes, notions, and ideas that are brought into belief about education administration. The human relation movement started between the 1920’s -1955. In this movement, theories were applied to the workplace and later on to public schools. The basis of human relations relied on that organizations should see workers as human beings and not machines.
This means increasing the efforts to becoming more democratic as an organization which will develop autonomy within the staff members.With and increase in autonomy it should help your campus climate and culture in that the morale should increase because the staff members take more ownership in what is going on campus. School leaders and officials have to understand that contributing to the effectiveness of different instructional programs and systems will allow for the creativity in others to produce academically and socially. As an administrator utilizing the strengths of others and developing new leaders as it pertains to the tiers of leadership, will better assists you in the daily systematic operations of the campus.Teachers having the same common planning periods in order to discuss student achievement will create an opportunity for student success and growth academically.
Having weekly meetings and not just informal e-mails to remind the staff on what they are supposed to do will increase the effectiveness of the communication process. As an administrator I will meet with each individual staff members to make sure they understand our mission statement and goals at the beginning of the year and continually monitor the campus improvement plan design for the campus.In reference to article “The Schools We Mean to Be”, it suggests schools can do specific and concrete things to create the conditions that make strong relationships and communications relevant. As administrators we have to be mindful of our interactions with teachers and school events. We must express a set of moral commitments that is thru communication and excellence in order work with the different diverse populations of the school. Every contribution from each stakeholder involved will help create a learning and working environment that is conducive to all.Efforts contributing to this will definitely come from communication and human relations within the organization, school, and community.
References http://ehis. ebscohost. com. library. gcu.
edu:2048/ehost/detail? sid=4f0c34f8-dbb2-4a55-94b6-4a9f8ac8c7d9%40sessionmgr110&vid=1&hid=102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=ofs&AN=507997243 Steele, J. L. , & Boudett, K. (2008). The Collaborative Advantage.