Successful leadership during a time of crisis can feel like a moving target, especially when each leadership context differs depending on characteristics of the community or organization. To learn what those needs are, strong leaders should ask questions about what is needed or wanted. By asking questions, leaders cultivate compassion to effectively care for those around them.
At Possip, we believe in the power of questions. We don’t believe questions are a simple query and response. They are a potent tool to unlock success, improvements, and build trust with others. Questions are embedded into education and are the key to learning. Especially during this uncertain time, having knowledge is power. Here are five types of questions administrators can ask their staff during the pandemic to be effective leaders.
Check in on Staff Needs
Are there any basic needs your staff require? Always remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: They can’t begin to meet students’ needs if their needs aren’t met first.
- Are we meeting your needs right now?
- What needs do you currently have that we can help you with?
- How can we support you?
Check in on Personal or Staff Successes
This is a difficult time for a lot of people, teachers definitely included. Take time to find small ways to spread positivity and have your staff share celebratory or exciting news!
- What’s going well in your role?
- Have you had any wins this week?
- Do you have any shout-outs for fellow staff members?
Check in on Staff Feedback
Teachers have a lot of information about what is and isn’t working with remote learning because they’re experiencing it daily. They also may be parents and have that perspective, too. Ask for general feedback! Make sure to close the feedback loop with staff and let them know what you heard from their feedback.
- What questions would you, our staff, like us to routinely ask to get a pulse on your experience?
- What general feedback do you have for the leadership team?
- How can we improve and grow as leaders?
- What are areas of growth for our current distance learning plan?
Check in on School Communication
Especially during remote learning, communication is crucial to success. We miss those hallway conversations, morning huddle announcements, and casual lunch duty chats. Remember to send intentional reminders, updates, and communication to staff. Ask them what is working and what isn’t working with your communication methods.
- Are you satisfied with the communication around potentially returning to school in-person this fall?
- How effective has our communication been during school closures?
- In what ways would you like to see our communication improve?
- In what ways has our communication been effective?
Check in on Level of Trust
Trust is key. Teachers need to trust that the leadership cares for their safety and is being transparent about any updates that relate to their health. Make sure to check in on their levels of trust and take steps to build trust intentionally.
- On a scale of 1–10, how much do you trust our decisions around potentially returning to school in-person this fall? Why? (1 being little-to-no trust in decision-making and 10 being complete trust)
If you want to talk more about how Possip can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org!