What's The Tone Of Your School?

Written by Maren Schmidt on October 03, 2017
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Victoria held back tears.

"I see now that my over-reacting to difficult and unexpected situations created this negativity at my school," Victoria said.

"When things don't go my version of perfect I get upset.  And it shows. A parent complains, a staff member forgets to do something, a child throws a tantrum, what comes out of my mouth first is, That's not the way it's supposed be."

"Now, nobody gives me any bad news."

What Victoria described is "The Underground".  No one wants to deal with the leader's reaction, so important information is hidden.

As school leaders, we set the tone.  If we handle difficult situations with cool and aplomb we are less likely to have situations go underground, situations that may eventually blow up in our faces.  In a positive climate, we'll hear the bad news before it goes subterranean.

How do we set a positive tone for our school community?

First, take some advice from this Zen saying:

There is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way.

Happiness is a choice.  Choose to have fun and enjoy your work.  Choose happiness and it'll be easier to avoid the five dangerous behaviors of complaining, criticizing, comparing, competing,  and contending.

Second, celebrate the successes of your school community members.  What we feeds grows, so focus on the positive.

Third, know that there will always be difficult situations.  It is part of the territory. Learn to make lemonade out of lemons.  And have fun as you do it.

Choose happiness. Celebrate success. When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

With these three tips you're more than likely to avoid "the underground". 

Download your worksheet here.

Read more on the For School Leaders Blog.

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Tags: leadership, school leadership tips