Tag Archives: Leadership

Communication & Leadership-Revisited

LeadershipRecently I’ve noticed that one of my posts is receiving many views. The post is about communication and leadership which I wrote after attending the Leadership for Community Engagement program. One of the program leaders was Dr Elizabeth Mellor and I wrote a summary of her ideas in a previous post which I have reposted below.

You, as a leader, will be different to a manager, you will be finding solutions, you will use your courage and confidence to influence others, you will speak a common language and find that common language so you can move forward. You will empower others and be an enabler so you can shift barriers. You will encourage others to ‘think big’ and work towards delivering transformational change. You will coach others on how to measure change, be respectful and a listener so you understand and collaborate.

You will not shy from anything and you will get in and learn. You will empower others to solve problems because you can’t fix it all. You will take risks and from taking risks you will gain experience to put into other aspects of your role. You will give others a voice and act on what they want and work side by side with them to achieve your common goals. You will be capable of ‘unlearning’ and not be judgmental. You will build a ‘treasury’ of good practice to help you evaluate actions and capture what has been learnt so you can measure the impact of changes and improvements.

And finally, you will deliver to every child and family. Your flexibility will be key to you being a leader, as without flexibility you will impede innovation. You, as a leader, must leave the profession in a better state and by building the capacity of others you should do yourself out of a job!

Cheers Nina

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The Leadership for Community Engagement Program funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Southern Metropolitan Region – My project reflection!

Reading my own reflections…

Nina Davis -Teaching & Learning in the Australian primary classroom

This year I’ve been part of the Southern Metropolitan Region Community Engagement Project. As a participant of this project I have been looking at different ways of engaging our school community. I’ve outlined the project I developed for my school below. It’s been a ‘new way’ of engaging our parents in how theirchildren learn and our curriculum. My project is outlined below.

I would love to know if other schools are providing interactive workshops for their school community. Please let me know what you’ve been doing in your school to engage your community.

Letter to school community:

You are invited to be a part of the:

Community Engagement Project:  Assisting in the Classroom Program

We are offering three interactive, fun and engaging sessions targeting helping in the classroom. These sessions will highlight the ways you as a parent can contribute and gain from adding to the learning experiences of all children you assist…

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Leadership: Creating a Self Portrait…

Leadership

Last week I attended  a PD focused on applying and interviewing for leadership positions in Victoria, Australia. The presenter, Helen Rix is an education consultant and facilitator. I’d like to thank Helen for an excellent day. Helen challenged my thinking, ensured I reflected and recognised my past, a school’s past, my present, my future and a school’s future. If you’re not sure what this means please leave a comment.

The following questions were asked. How would you answer?

Creating a self portrait

What are my strongest attributes as a teacher?

What contribution will I make as a leader?

What will my leadership look like?

What have you done, thought and planned that points to your capacity for leadership?

Why are you teaching?

Why are you applying for a leadership position?

What are the beliefs you hold about your profession that sustain you when you are under pressure?

(Helen Rix)

Cheers Nina

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Communication and Leadership – Can they ever be separated? Anthony Semann: Director of Semann and Slattery- Research and Consultancy Service.

A number of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet, and listen to Anthony Semann when he presented at the Leadership for Community Engagement Program funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Southern Metropolitan Region, Victoria, Australia, jointly with Noah’s Ark Inc, of which I am a participant.

Anthony’s presentation focused on communication, and referred to a number of theorists, however, it was his personal experiences, and anecdotes which ‘grabbed’ my attention. There were so many ideas presented, and I’m sharing the ideas which made me reflect.

Rather than write this formally, I’ve decided to record the points I found significant for me. Others present may have taken away different thoughts, as we all take on new learning at our ‘point of need’ and construct our knowledge differently.

Anthony’s Ideas, Quotes and Anecdotes:

  • Leadership has to be contextual; it has to relate to your communication. Timing your communication is crucial. All good intentions put aside, we need to think about timing. ‘Windows of time offer us a gift’, and we need to look for these ‘windows of opportunity’.
  • Anthony also spoke about a mirror, and what we  see in a mirror. How do we look to others? Is the leadership driven by ego? Thinking of ‘a mirror’ reminds people of what other’s see, as you need to care about what people think about you – to be heard!
  • When communicating, you can control what you say, but not what is heard … you can question to clarify.
  • Positioning yourself to be heard – passion can take over. How can you communicate with integrity? Integrity is vital to high level communication. ‘No knowledge is neutral’.
  • In our meeting structures, we don’t always ‘create a space’ for communication. A lot of the communication is a ‘dump’ of administration etc. ‘ Cull agendas! Talk about pedagogy and good practice…’ Everyone can talk, otherwise ‘it can be discrimitive’.
  • Question yourselves: Does my communication and body language serve me well?
  • How should leadership look like in your sector? What do we want from our leaders? How will we know the impact or effectiveness of our sector’s leadership? Anthony brought up the notion that there is a ‘dark side’ to leadership, and that we can all slip into this. Don’t!

How would you answer these Identity Questions?

  • I am a leader who desires….
  • I am a leader who finds strength in…
  • I am a leader who is fearful of…
  • Understand the ‘intentionality of leadership’. Truly develop an understanding of the effect your communication has on you, and the impact you have on others. Think of the ‘human spirit’. Understand Emotional Intelligence. ‘It’s not what is said, it’s what’s not said’. This is something we all need to reflect on…

A leader serves by making / giving:

  • Freedom
  • Agency
  • Power

Anthony used the words of Heifetz & Linsky 2009,

Both your survival and your success depend on your skill at reaching a true understanding of the varying perspectives among the factions. Learn from their stakes and fears. As social workers say, ‘Start where people are at.’. . . After hearing their stories, you need to take the provocative step of making an interpretation that gets below the surface. You have to listen to the song beneath the words.”  

  • He also introduced a pie graph to us made up of 1/3 the Head, 1/3 the Heart and 1/3 the Hand. Think, Feel, and Behave! He reminded us of ‘talk to me, not about me, make people accountable for their actions, voice and ask yourself as many questions as you ask others. Leaders need to put ‘feathers in other’s backs, not take away. Put a feather in someone’s back each day, so they can fly’.

And finally, ‘Trust, and be life-giving, not life depleting and when you’re having success share it!

Anthony knows that I’m sharing his presentation here, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for giving those who attended such a valuable insight into communication and leadership.

To answer Anthony’s initial question: Leadership and Communication – Can they ever be separated? The answer is clearly ‘no’!

My finishing comment is: Anthony’s messages relate to all communication in life, not just that of leaders! 

Sorry this took so long to post, Anthony! Thanks again!

Cheers Nina

Addition: Have been reading Mark Walker’s Blog – excellent article on Leadership. Link: http://mwalker.com.au/?p=1653  Worth spending some time in his space.

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