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Top tips for new leaders - empathy

I recently saw this quote on LinkedIn which resonated with me: ‘If you don’t care about your people, they won’t care about your mission,’ and, this is so true for any leader.

Teachers need to feel that empathy from school leadership. Leaders need to ensure that their staff feel appreciated and valued. They need to show teachers that they understand how tough it is to be in the classroom and to manage their time, respond to parents demands, deliver good results, cater for every child, produce data etc etc. the list is endless.

My advice to my senior leaders when I was in post as a head teacher was ‘walk the talk’ eg. do not ask of others what you would not be prepared to do yourself – don’t forget what it’s like to be in the classroom and if you say you’re going to do something then do it.

Good leaders:

· Give advice and mentor others

· Value the contributions of others and express appreciation

· Provide opportunities for others to shine

· Are responsive to concerns

· Give credit where credit is due

· Challenge and coach their team to become better

· Support their team (always) and have their back

· Treat all with respect

· Show compassion and care

Think about:

· What kind of leader do I want to be?

· Have I any empathy ‘blind spots’?

· How empathetic are my senior leaders?

· How can we ensure that we are truly empathetic and build this into the culture of the school?

Empathy helps us to understand how others are feeling so we can respond appropriately.

Seeing situations from others’ perspective can head of conflicts and resolve issues.

Being empathetic can reduce stress in others (and ourselves) and it can help to build trust within a team and create good relationships.

How do you show empathy as a leader?

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