VISIBILITY is important when leading a team. I have coached many school leaders and many of these, both new and more experienced leaders, have sked for support around developing greater leadership presence.
I know it sounds simple but my advice has always been to become more visible – both around the school and in communication. If others don’t see you, then they won’t know you or your values, your vision or your ethos.
So you just need to be there – where your team are – where your parents are – where the pupils are!
It is easy to become disengaged and remote from classroom practice once you’re in a leadership role and removed from the classroom. I remember how it is and how easy it is to become bogged down with paperwork and meetings and at times it can feel like you can never leave your office.
But making the time to talk with people, build connections and create rapport with others supports all relationships in school and builds trust with your team. They will trust you if they know you.
My other 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.
· How visible am I, to staff, parents and pupils? What’s working well already?
· How visible are my senior leaders?
· How could I improve my visibility (without compromising anything else)?
To be respected and trusted, people need to know you!