I recently participated in a TLN Webinar about Creating Positive Staff Relationships. It was fantastic and I feel like I learnt a lot. The next day, I raved about it in the Staff Room with a few colleagues. And that’s it… Now’s it’s on my To Do list as an area I want to further explore. Has this Professional Learning experience been somehow embedded in my practice? And as a leader, how can I use this Professional Learning experience to inspire and support my colleagues and others in the education sphere?
On Friday, I received a timely email from Daniel Cohen at TLN, which resonated with me. The email was a follow up to the Webinar and highlighted the importance of “reaping the full investment” of Professional Learning.
Here is an excerpt from the email:
Ongoing Professional Learning
Research indicates that improvements in teaching practice take some time to embed into daily classroom routines. I encourage you to take one or more of the following steps to make the most of your professional learning experience. I realise that workload is high and time is short for most people but having made the investment of time to attend the workshop, reaping full benefit from your ‘investment’ is important. Try one of these:
- Try one technique or idea in your classroom or school or early learning centre this week
- Write down three reflections about your experience at the workshop
- Share your experience at the workshop with a colleague
- Write a short report about the workshop for the school leadership team or present a brief report at a staff meeting
So here is a short report of my reflections which I hope to share with my school’s leadership team this week:
Communication is the single most important factor in successful workplace. Facilitating communication does not mean holding meetings or sending loads of emails. For our own wellbeing and those around us, we need to communicate effectively using our social and emotional competencies. Explicit communication is the key to positive staff relationships.
Self-awareness of our feelings is another important factor. We need to be able to recognise our own feelings as well as the feelings of others.
“The capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in others.” Daniel Goleman – Emotional Intelligence
In our workplace, we may have times of feeling frustration, anger or helplessness. It’s OK to have the feelings we have but it is important that we are able to manage our emotions via our behaviours. We need to put forward an appropriate and timely response to our feelings and those of others. For example: aggressive emotions does not mean that we are allowed to behave in an aggressive manner.
Perception is a key factor that may inhibit communication and relationships in the workplace. We may have different interpretations to the same experience, due to our perceptions, opinions and beliefs. Our perspectives become our reality. We need to remember that each person has a perspective.
We need to remember that each person has a perspective and it is valid. Each team member needs to feel valued and have an opportunity to share their feelings and emotions. We need to see each situation from the other person’s perspective, in order to find a solution.
How do you build positive relationships with staff or students?
What works well in your school/workplace?
What are some obstacles/challenges?