Effective Education Leaders are Affable
To be an effective educational leader, you have to build relationships with students, parents, teachers, other leaders, etc. Relationships don’t just happen, it takes hard work to build a genuine bond with someone. Sometimes the process happens fairly quickly, and sometimes, it takes months or years. The key is to be patient and let relationships form naturally. Nothing makes people not want to be your friend than an awkward or forceful eagerness. Trust me, I have seen plenty of people make this mistake and end up coming across as weirdos.
It is true that people want to work with and be around people they like and distance themselves from people they do not. You don’t have to be something that you are not, but you do have to be friendly.
What if I am an introvert?
Being affable is not hard, all it takes is the ability to treat people with respect and to acknowledge their worth. Even if you an introvert like me, saying hello to people and inquiring about their well being are easy to accomplish. It only takes a second, and it will instantly make you a more friendly person.
What if I am a grumpy person?
Not to worry. You were not born grumpy, so it probably took some time for your demeanor and outlook to become sour. Because of this, it will take some work to turn you into an affable person. All hope is not lost; you can change your demeanor. All you have to do is work hard on your leadership character, and your grumpiness will subside and be replaced with compassion, selflessness, and accountability.
Why can’t I just fake it?
A person can’t have two opposing personalities, as sooner or later, their true character will be revealed. I spent a lot of years working for leaders who were abusive curmudgeons behind the scenes, but their public face was affable and friendly. We all knew the truth, and so did most of the city in which our school district resided. Don’t be something that you are not, as sooner or later, the truth will be revealed, and your peers and subordinates will expose the real you.