Monday, 14 August 2017

Lead Like a PIRATE - Rapport

Earning Trust as a Leader
"As a leader, every action you take (or don't take), every interaction you have, every decision you make or leave unmade, every expression on your face, the tone in your voice, or the body language you convey - everything about you - either earns or erodes trust". 
How do you earn that much needed trust from your staff and school community?

I chose to reflect on this prompt as it is one I believe that it is one of the hardest things we have to do as a principal, be on show 24/7, as everything we do either earns or erodes the trust we have built up with our community.
I have been reflecting on how important it is to build that trust and how it affects the whole 'tone' of the school.  If we get it right everything runs smoothly, if we don't and things aren't running as smoothly as they should, we still have to smile through it, sometimes with knives in our backs.
I try and build the trust in my school by always being available and ensuring I am an 'active listener'.  I follow up when I say I will do something and try and ensure that my expression, tone and body language is positive.  This is not always easy and this is why I believe it is one of the hardest parts of the job as there are some days when you have so much negativity around you that you don't feel upbeat and positive.  On those days I go for a walk around the school and see the children and look at the great work they are doing and I remind myself that I am here for the children and I need to stay positive for them, this always bring me back and refocuses me. 
I make sure that everyone knows that it is a team effort, I acknowledge the team via our newsletter, on Facebook, with notes and on the odd occasion I have shouted the team coffee to acknowledge the great work they do. 
Sometimes it is the small things we do that makes the difference and as they say a ‘smile it’s contagious’



  1. It can be difficult to always be bright and cheery Graeme! Especially when others are negative. I think the thing is that as principals, when was the last time anybody said to you "you did a brilliant job of handling that Graeme - well done!. Even our boards aren' t really OTT with the positive feedback as they just deem it to be our job to do a good job. Walking around to talk to the kids brings it all back into perspective I totally agree!

  2. Thanks for sharing your reflection Graeme. I know how hard is to keep smiling even when things aren't going so well. It seems that people can so easily feel snubbed, (parent community) and sometimes you can feel that you are plastering on your smile before you go outside. Fortunately this doesn't happen very often. A previous principal used to refer to our professional face as 'putting on your mask'.


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