Oftentimes, misguided individuals believe that knowledge and the willingness to share this knowledge with others is the key to successful leadership. However, what is often overlooked is the value of possessing effective communication skills to build relationships among one’s peers and leaders. For without the possession of effective communication skills one may find it difficult to not only succeed but also advance in the work place. Specifically in the field of education, where leaders are faced daily with challenging tasks, commitments, and deadlines, having effective communication skills is detrimental in creating a positive school climate in which teachers and staff members optimize student academic achievement.
There is a direct correlation between leadership and communication. Based on a comprehensive study involving six schools and 208 participants, Halawah (2005) reports a school’s climate is positively associated with the principal’s ability to effectively communicate. These principals are respected for their ability to lead by example, to communicate clearly, to demonstrate caring for all, and to follow through with reprimands and punishments for faculty, staff, and students. In all six schools, the principal’s actions and words were aligned with the schools’ mission and vision in an effort to increase student achievement. Lastly, this reports points out that all principals have open communication with staff and faculty members for the purpose of building relationships to assign leadership opportunities and delegate tasks.
Due to a leader’s inability to single-handedly complete every task, honor every commitment, and meet every deadline, building relationships are critical to a school’s success. A model created in 2010 by Hensley and Burmeister proposes that there are six inter-related relationship connectors that help build positive relationships which include (1) communication, (2) support, (3) safety, (4) competence, (5) continuous renewal, and (6) trust. The model purposefully begins the list with the communication connector and ends with the trust connector due to both being the crux of building a strong relationship with others.
A school’s climate is affected by the way the individuals in that particular climate communicate. The way something is communicated can determine if individuals will embrace an idea and help it flourish or detest an idea and hinder its purpose. When expectations are clearly communicated, ethical, and obtainable, it will most likely render positive results. Effective leaders are aware that communication consists of a gambit of things beyond how clearly a message is relayed. Communication includes what someone says, does, wears, and drives, and lives (Hensley & Burmeister, 2010). Understanding that all of these factors contribute to how one communicates is key to a leader sending a clear message to other individuals.
In order for a leader to...