School administrators are responsible for maintaining an academic environment that is conducive to learning. There are certain leadership skills that every school administrator needs to have to make the institute successful. These skills are coaching, mentorship, career guidance, networking, communication, and understanding the needs of both teachers and students.
The leaders of educational institutes are accountable for promoting friendly cohabitation and collaboration between the students and teachers. There are also other administration-related duties that administrators have to perform, like managing finances, strategizing to increase student enrollment and retention, and day-to-day administrative tasks.
Let’s take a look at some of the leadership and administrative skills required of school administrators:
Leaders focus not only on their own development but the development of those around them as well. As a school administrator, you will encounter many issues that will require you to flex your thinking muscle. You will also need to develop strategies to tackle problems as they arise. Being a problem-solver will not only have a carryover effect in your life, but it will also benefit the community at large. Reflective thinking will make you look at the big picture and identify probable consequences, making you risk-tolerant and confident in your own decision making.
School administrators, who want to step up to the challenging leadership roles, are upskilling. They are pursuing academic degrees like MSE educational leadership online program to further enhance their leadership skills in educational settings. Learning online helps the administrators continue their leadership roles in schools and their studies.
Communication is key to organizational excellence. Therefore, it is one of the most basic leadership skills required of school administrators. Communication helps administrators convey their vision and, consequently, the community benefits from these positive changes.
Good communication inspires teachers, students, and parents to work together to realize goals. Hence, the value of being a confident communicator is essential for a school administrator.
School administrators need to delegate authority responsibly to teachers. That means that they should keep the teachers accountable for their performance. A good school administrator’s no-nonsense approach towards discipline and morality should be reflected in his/her conversations with students as well as teachers.
Being ethically moral and disciplined will lead them to be perceived as character models to emulate for both teachers and students. It is also equally important to keep your staff from feeling demoralized, and good communication is a great way to influence your colleagues to put extra effort into their tasks.
Ability to Bounce Back
School administrators need essential leadership skills because they are at the forefront of their educational institutes. Especially during exceptionally challenging times, like the COVID pandemic, school leaders have to develop the willpower and strength that can help them bounce back.
Leaders are not afraid to own up and correct their mistakes. Since risk-taking is one of the primary aspects of leadership, making mistakes is inevitable, but strong administrative leaders don’t beat themselves up about it. They learn from their mistakes, plan to correct them, and move on. Your ability to bounce back can make or break your school’s future when it’s faced with a crisis.
For instance, during COVID-19 lockdowns, schools had to be shut down, and learning had to move virtually as well. The strategies developed by the school administrators to ensure that the students keep learning virtually provides for an excellent example of how the school administrators succeeded in navigating students through an exceptionally challenging time.
Empathy is an essential leadership trait. It can be fostered through active listening. Active listening on part of the school administrators can help address the gaps in knowledge that most administrators have about the school’s problems. Whether it be listening to two students argue, the grievances of a teacher, or the complaints of disgruntled parents, these are good indicators of what the school should be doing.
As a school leader, the last thing you want to do is impose your authoritative decisions upon the school community. That will only lead to an increase in the number of rebellious voices, student dropouts, and teacher resignations.
Active listening will also help you establish successful relationships with students, staff, and parents. Actively listening to the students’ concerns is going to nurture your coaching spirit as well. You will come to know of the individual aspirations of the students, teachers, and other staff members, which will help you in managing them better.
In conclusion, school leaders need to develop valuable leadership skills to lead their organizations to become resilient and achieve success. Some of the most critical leadership skills are communication, networking, reflective thinking, resilience, empathy and active listening. These skills not only make good school administrators, but they also make great community leaders.