Smarter Facilitation: How to Strengthen Communication

Sep 27, 2023

In the world of education, effective communication with school staff is crucial for fostering collaboration, supporting students, and achieving educational goals. In this article, we’ll explore various strategies and insights shared during a recent session on this topic. The session emphasized the importance of connecting before diving into content, creating space for authenticity, and asking purpose-driven questions. Let’s dive in.


Connecting Before Content: The Key to Effective Communication

The session began by stressing the significance of connecting with others before delving into the actual content or agenda. The facilitator highlighted three essential elements for successful connection:

  1. Connecting People to Each Other: When individuals turn their attention toward one another, genuine connections can form. Encouraging interactions and conversations among school staff helps build rapport and trust.
  2. Connecting People to Purpose: Participants were urged to reflect on the purpose of their gathering. Why were they there? How does their presence contribute to a broader goal? This connection between individuals and their shared purpose can be a powerful motivator.
  3. Creating Space for Authenticity: Finally, the session emphasized the importance of allowing people to be themselves. When individuals feel they can express their thoughts and emotions honestly, it fosters more meaningful communication.

Strategies for Strengthening Communication with School Staff

During the session, participants shared their own strategies and experiences for enhancing communication with school staff:

  1. Consistency and Visibility: Attend staff events and meetings voluntarily, even if you’re not required to. Being present and visible helps remind staff that you are available and willing to communicate. Additionally, making an effort to develop relationships with support staff, like custodians and school cooks, can yield valuable insights and connections.
  2. Disrupting the Flow of Information: Don’t hesitate to share important information directly with teachers and staff when needed. Waiting for a higher authority to disseminate information can slow down communication. Remove mental barriers and take the initiative to keep information flowing.
  3. Specificity in Questions: When asking questions or engaging in conversations, be specific. General questions may not prompt meaningful discussions. By being specific, you invite more detailed and valuable responses from others.
  4. Meeting for Purpose, Not Time: Instead of holding meetings for the sake of time constraints, consider meeting for a specific purpose. This approach ensures that the time spent together is meaningful and directly contributes to the desired outcome.
  5. Developing Relationships with Support Staff: Build connections with all staff members, not just teachers. Support staff, such as custodians and cafeteria workers, often have unique insights into students’ lives and can provide valuable information and support.

The Importance of Asking Purpose-Driven Questions

To wrap up the session, the facilitator stressed the significance of asking purpose-driven questions. Such questions should connect individuals to their shared purpose, creating opportunities for authentic and productive communication.

In essence, effective communication with school staff requires fostering connections, understanding shared purposes, and providing space for authenticity. By implementing these strategies and insights, educational leaders and administrators can enhance collaboration and support within their schools, ultimately benefiting both staff and students.

As you reflect on this article, consider how you can apply these principles to your own educational context. Remember that strengthening communication is an ongoing process, and the effort you invest can lead to more productive and positive interactions with school staff.