How leaders communicate is vital. Do you tear down, or do you build up? Are you hyper-critical, or able to straddle the line of constructive feedback which pushes people to reach for more and encouraging affirmation?
There’s an art to communication. It takes effort, thought, practise. Use it wisely.
1. The ability to empathise
2. The ability to notice small details
3. The ability to be both reflective and reflexive
Not for a moment am I suggesting that these traits are inherent and possessed naturally. These abilities can be cultivated with diligent effort and application. In fact, some of the best teachers I have encountered have found these skills don’t come naturally but have had to work at them. In my own experience as a teacher I found number 2 particularly difficult. As someone who is more naturally a big picture person, noticing the small details in the classroom was hard for me: the two students chatting quietly at the back; the tiny ball of paper flicked across the room.
What else would you add to this list of essential non cognitive skills for teachers?