Effective Education Leaders Solicit Feedback

Great education leaders can teach, but they also love learning. This involves being open to constructive criticism and having the capacity to have an optimistic and grateful attitude about the feedback and use it make changes that will benefit everyone involved. To solicit feedback, first, make sure that you are strong enough to handle it.

If you are the type of person that is thinned skinned, I would work on this before I solicit feedback from my employees. Educators are a pensive and pedantic bunch, and so they notice every little detail. They will give you honest feedback, but you might not be ready for the deep level of honesty and preciseness that is given.

I don’t feel comfortable providing you with feedback

I once had a principal who had the reputation of being the Judge Judy type. Sure she was fair but in a painful, mean, and uncompromising way. She had high standards and expected everyone to fall in line. She didn’t show empathy and sympathy too often, so compassion was not her strong suit. She had a habit of asking us for feedback about her performance in staff meetings and seemed upset when she didn’t receive any. This was a bit perplexing for us. Given your reputation, who on earth would give you feedback in an open forum?

Although she was an intelligent woman, for some reason, she could not see the lunacy in this. Who on earth would risk being her vendetta? Finally, she told her one of her mentors about her problem, and they explained the practical reasons why she was not receiving any feedback from us. During the next meeting, she apologized and sent us an anonymous survey that we could use to send her constructive criticism. To her credit, she genuinely acted on most of it, and it made her a better education leader. She became of my mentors once we got to know each other better.

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