This blog comes from Justin Robbins and Karen Dempster, co-authors of ‘How to Build Communication Success in Your School’ and workshop facilitators at our upcoming “Education for the Soul” Conference.
When trying to develop effective communication approaches that promote collaboration and drive positive outcomes, an important starting point to understand what makes your school stand out from the crowd is its vision.
The power of a vision in schools is well documented. It is stated that if you do not know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? A vision is a ‘north star’ against which all decisions are made.
But how about a personal vision? Should a leader have a personal vision that guides their day to day decisions and shapes their plans against which they measure their success? Well we think so. Here are three things to consider if you want to develop a meaningful personal vision that inspires those around you to deliver their best every day…
It is easy to limit your beliefs without realising. How often do you think “I can’t do that because…” rather than “I can achieve that if…”? As Steve Jobs once said “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do” And as Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
So approach your vision with a positive mindset. If your vision is to make a difference in a certain area, ask yourself what you need to enable you to do that, to overcome the barriers you will face? A positive vision has the potential to truly inspire those who you lead.
A vision should open up new possibilities rather than be confined to what you know. Thinking about the opportunity rather than the reality produces positive energy and excitement for you and those around you, who are more likely to be at their best when they feel that the door to their creativity is open because it is role modelled by you.
While it is a personal vision we’re thinking about, the most compelling and inspiring are rarely personally focused, but designed to serve. For example, Bill Gates’ vision of putting a computer in every home was one of enabling a nation, rather than serving a personal agenda.
If you are an inspirational communicator it is very likely that you will inspire others to follow your lead and buy into your vision. To become an inspirational communicator you need to become a great listener. As Dr Stephen R. Covey said in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ – Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.
Develop an understanding of what drives your communication preferences – whether you are people focused or task focused. This will affect how you prefer, under normal circumstances, to communicate with others, and how you like others to communicate with you. Through being a great listener, you will be able to recognise when those you lead do not see the world through the same eyes as yours, and therefore have a more meaningful communication.
Developing your own personal vision as your north star is not an activity to be done when you have a spare few minutes. It requires deep personal reflection and consideration of your deepest hopes and fears. However, being positive, thinking big and listening are three actions that will help you to develop and live your personal vision.
On the 18th October, Karen Dempster and Justin Robbins will be sharing more about developing a personal leadership vision and how this reflects your communication style during a upcoming workshop at our “Education for the Soul” conference.
This year’s conference will be around the theme of “Creating New Narratives for the School Leaders’ Journey” and will aim to extend the conversation around school leadership, well-being and standards in our schools and help leaders redefine what being a school leadership looks like for them and write exciting new chapters for themselves, their pupils and the communities they serve.
Like last year, we hope to create a safe and collegial space where you can meet with like-minded Heads and School Leaders, openly explore present challenges, discover new ways of leading and develop personal frameworks for thriving in the school leadership role.
Above all, we aim to provide school leaders with a unique opportunity where they can…
– Talk truthfully and honestly about the challenges of school leadership
– Experience the companionship of fellow school leaders in ways which are collegiate and supportive
– Probe and re-connect with their purpose, values and sense of vocation
– Explore how to make lighter the weight of school leadership
– Discover solutions and new ways of leading their schools
If you’d like to find out more about what the conference is all about, please visit our website using the link below…