Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Educational Leadership and Communication

Educational Leaders need to ask themselves, “How transparent and how broadly shared are the communication systems in our organization”? If the answer is, “communication systems stop at some point within the organization, then there is a lack of trust because of stasis developing within the organization.
As leaders, the language that we use is our most powerful tool in the organization. We as leaders need to understand the language that we use, and that what I say and how I say it can influence those in the organization. By using our influence and not our power, we can increase the value in the people around us and validate their contributions to the organization.
Transparent communication validates everyone in the organization, and does not undermine the power of those higher up the organizational chain of command. In direct contrast; as those around are fully informed, they come to understand the knowledge and credibility of those individuals that they work with. It is at this point that the educational leader’s tacit knowledge becomes increasingly apparent and the members of the organization see the big picture.

Friday, January 16, 2009


As a graduate student of Education Leadership in a cohort based doctoral program, matriculation to graduation is always a concern. The impact of the cohort structure to facilitate students through the coursework, research, and ultimately graduation is based on building and maintaining a cohesive cohort group.
Bruce Tuckman in 1965 proposed a model of group development; that the group decision making process entails four stages of forming, storming, norming, and performing. These four steps can be defined as:
Forming: getting to know each other, team building, and learning about the opportunities and challenges that the group will face.
Storming: the group breaks down barriers and focusing on the task at hand; the members work independently and together they will grow as a team.
Norming: the group will focus on work now; and the tasks at hand as shared.
Performing: the group works to a common goal as a unit.
As a member of a highly efficient doctoral cohort, the processes and ultimately the tasks that I must master to achieve my goal of matriculation is fostered by my cohort. This process is a reality because as we formed, stormed, and normed, we now continue to work independently and together to perform with a common goal of academic success.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Validation and Educational Leadership - Revisited

Posted 10/13/08: The effective leader is one that displays consistent behavior and that is respectful through personal validation of others. Validation is to focus on someone's feelings, accepting someone's feelings, understanding them, and followed by nurturing them. By validating someone, we provide a safe environment for them to share their feelings and thoughts with respect. This process allows people to feel that their ideas were heard, acknowledged, understood and accepted. As educational leaders validate the people we work with, we enhance those around us, and add value to them in a learning environment without dictating to them.
Posted 1/10/09: Validation: people are emotional beings in a social setting that need to be validated or things DO NOT work. In an organization every person needs to be both formally and informally validated to empower and motivate individuals. The effective educational leader utilizes communication that displays respect of other’s opinions and communicates acknowledgement that they are heard and respected. Regardless of whether or not the leader actually agrees with the opinions of others; not dismissing or marginalizing people’s feelings with a genuine respect as a legitimate expression of their feeling will validate others and this DOES WORK.