Self-reflection is a great way to evaluate and assess work duties and communication skills. As a leader in early childhood education and one who recruits, hires, and supervises staff, I must be efficient in communication skills to set the tone and attitude of my staff. Employees take on the personality of the leader; therefore, I must maintain professional attitudes and characteristics to create a positive work environment. Effective communication is a key aspect for positive school experiences and work environments and plays a crucial role in employment candidates with whom I interview and observe. I often add a working interview component to the hiring process in which I ask interview candidates to volunteer an hour of their time in classrooms so I can observe work habits and compatibility. Working interviews allow me to observe where candidates will be the best fit, and interviews allow current staff to have input regarding candidates as well. This collaborative method of hiring staff creates a teamwork approach and gives current staff a sense of ownership and adds value to their positions.
I searched the Internet for leadership assessment tools on effective communication and found two resources: Leadership & Management Shop (2014) and Speak Strong, Inc. (2014). Both tools are effective self-assessment tools to evaluate leader communication and offer explanations and improvement suggestions.
When I answered the questions for the Leadership & Management Shop (2014), I scored a 79 on a scale of 100, which stated that I am a pretty good leader with scope for improvement. My score of 79 was at the top spectrum of the second bracket of scores. There were five categories of answers to choose from never to always; however, I usually eliminate the lowest and highest choices because there is a lack of perfection and there is some performance. Therefore, in reality, I scored myself from seldom to often.
When I answered the questions for the Speak Strong, Inc. (2014) assessment tool, I scored under the Harmonizer label. A Harmonizer is people-oriented with a relaxed pace. As a Harmonizer, I am social, friendly, and interested in relationships. This label fits well with my position as school administrator because of my responsibility to connect teachers to students to student families. A large portion of my position is public relations and maintaining positive school environments to build enrollment; therefore, I must build positive relationships with school families and my teaching staff so they build strong relationships as well.
With every task, leaders must reflect and evaluate themselves to maintain high standards and professionalism. Employees look to leaders as examples of work ethics and effective communication. Leaders must exhibit strong and positive communication skills and set examples with staff so those skills trickle down through the organization.
Kehoe, D. (2014). Leadership & Management Shop. Western Australia. Retrieved from http://www.dkmanagementtools.com/free-leadership-self-assessment-tool
Runion, M. (2014). Speak Strong, Inc. Cascade, CO. Retrieved from http://www.speakstrong.com/