If you are a highly effective principal your staff will respect you, if you’re lucky most of them will even like you. There are a couple of ways beyond the obvious of being nice that will positively influence your staff’s disposition towards you. In saying that there is something important that you should remember, some staff might not have an active dislike towards you but they may not completely trust you. According to an article at bloomberg.com entitled: Americans Can't Stand Their Bosses, and Bosses Admit They're Phoning it in half of the American workforce has quit their job to get away from a bad boss. Most likely, if you’re reading this you’re not a bad boss, however, the following three steps are easy everyday ways to build personal connections and lower that percentage. In doing so you can avoid and limit staff turnover and cultural instability in your school.
Coca Cola had it right
People inherently like the sound of their own name. It’s important that you use it when addressing staff who may not be on the same page as you. Calling them by name in staff meetings and providing them opportunities to express opinions in areas of alignment is a good way to soften overall tensions. Just like Coca Cola added personal names to their soda bottles and saw an increase in sales and positive brand recognition, you’ll find an increase in positivity interactions with your staff.
Work life integration
The life of an educator is often overwhelming and time consuming. Treating them as if education is their life and expecting them to treat it as such is a recipe for resistance. Learn something about their life outside of the four walls of the classroom. Once you do so bring that up in conversation or send them an email with a link that they may find interesting. If you’re able, and you have the resources and multiple staff members interested in similar areas provide team building opportunities that support those interests. Addressing all parts of the person is a great way to build credibility and rapport.
Knowing is half the battle
At this point in the school year you probably know a whole bunch about your staff. More than likely you actually have some things in common. Maybe you’re fans of Netflix’s Original Sense8, or ABC’s Elementary. One of the ways people connect is by belonging to the same “tribe”. Being fans of the same team or interested in the same television show gives you something to bond over. It will also increase your likeability as people with similar backgrounds tend to get along.
Your staff respects your knowledge about systems and protocols. They admire the way you handle parent interactions and student misbehavior. If you're lucky they like you too. However, there is always going to be a small percentage of staff members that don’t. Shrinking this percentage by addressing these staff members by name, treating them like they have a life and bonding over similarities are three strategies that will help build positive relationships.
Share your ideas for improving staff relationships in the comment section below.
If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more
For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out the other blogs and/or pre order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me at email@example.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......