In an increasingly challenging environment of reduced budgets and recruitment difficulties, prioritising the health and well-being of School Leaders is vital.
Higher levels of accountability and ensuring the wellbeing of staff and pupils can leave School Leaders feeling stressed and isolated.
Whether you’re taking on a new School Leader role, or maintaining current leadership under new challenges, this podcast looked at ways to minimise stress and maximise efficiency.
In this podcast, I explored:
- Strategies in achieving a work-life balance
- How to recognise the importance of looking after your own wellbeing, as well as your team
- Leading without sacrificing yourself
- The importance of the relationship with the governing body in offering support
Supporting yourself in the role
When you are working in a school, engaging day-to-day with children and their families, teachers, support staff, Governors and other adults, you know that in addition to expending great amounts of mental and physical energy, you expend equal (if not more) amounts of energy meeting the emotional needs of others.
If you don’t invest the time in meeting your needs, you can end up carrying a huge emotional debt and become increasingly emotionally overdrawn, with no readily identifiable means for bringing your emotional account back into credit.
This is particularly dangerous if you’re like most Heads in our school system, you’re incredibly under-supported. There’s no one you can talk to who really gets your job and all the stresses that come with it, leaving you stuck with coping mechanisms and busy-ness to get you through the day — not a great set up for good leadership.
As a result, you run the risk of emotional ‘burn out’. When this begins to happen, not only do we experience extreme levels of mental and emotional exhaustion that can be debilitating, but we also can begin to derive less satisfaction from our lives.
Having been a Head myself, I know all too well what this feels like and equally what must be done to prevent it!
It is for this reason, that I now offer free “Coaching for the Soul” support calls, for Heads who feel that they could benefit from a confidential space that will allow them to:
- Talk through the challenges they’re facing and find solutions
- Receive support and encouragement in their current situation
- Reflect on recent events and the impact they are having
- Gain clarity around their thoughts and plan a way forward