Effective Communication Strategies for School Leaders

Updated April 17, 2017

The school system is a completely dynamic entity that meshes the opinions and strengths of teachers, parents, students and school administrators. As the school leader, it is the administrator's role to make sure that everyone's voices are heard, including her own. By using effective communication strategies, school leaders can be make sure that the education environment stays positive and effective.

Encourage Back and Forth Communication

Effective leadership communication is not just talking to people. Instead, school administrators should implement communication plans such as conferences between parents and teachers, a weekly newsletter to be sent home with students or an anonymous suggestion box in the school where teachers and parents can express questions, comments or concerns. These plans should allow for open communication between teachers, parents and students. School administrators who show that they are open to communication will find that people are more open to the administrator's ideas and suggestions.

Open Body Language

Body language is an important part of communication. Make sure that you stand up straight to exude confidence in what you are saying. If you look as though you are confident in yourself and your leadership, others will be more likely to follow your communication. Make sure you have an open stance. Do not cross your arms as this makes you look closed off and can turn people off from your messages. Instead, keep your arms loosely at your sides or use your hands to help convey your message positively. Remember that direct eye contact is important.

Follow Your Own Advice

Effective communication requires that leaders not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Refrain from telling students, parents and teachers how they should behave in regard to the educational system if you are not prepared to follow your own guidelines. Communication is not just about how you say what you mean, but its also about the example that you set based on your information.

Be Articulate

Make sure that everyone can understand what you are trying to say. Try writing letters, e-mails or planning speeches instead of rushing in to communication. Run your letters, e-mails and speeches by a third party before communicating with teachers, parents and students to make sure that you are being articulate. If people cannot understand the messages that you are trying to convey, they will not be able to follow your leadership. Make sure that you do not overwhelm your audience with too many messages. Try to make one focused argument at a time and keep all other information closely related to the theme of your message. Remember, your theme should always be positive, even if it is criticism. Constructive criticism that includes positive remarks is much more supportive and helpful.

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About the Author

Kate Taylor is a professional writer based in Lafayette, Ind. She has served as an online copywriter in areas such as pet care, education and landscaping. Taylor is working toward her M.B.A. at Loyola University Chicago.