A superintendent’s to-do list is never complete. There’s always a new idea to consider. It’s no different for us at Nichols Strategies. This year, we are debuting a new website designed to help school leaders understand our services. Perhaps as a school leader, you’re thinking about ensuring your families and employees understand the brand promise your words make.
As an executive-level communication coaching firm, we would point you to look closely at your board’s goals for either yourself or the district. Further, your community expects this of your district in light of recent years of increased family engagement following the pandemic. A review of multiple districts yielded core beliefs or goals full of callbacks to the desire for strong collaboration or communication:
- Collaboration—We are stronger when we collaborate, dialogue and listen to each other in a civil, productive way, to improve outcomes for our students. Jefferson Union High School District Vision Statement
- City Schools will effectively engage all stakeholders, which include parents, families, and caregivers in their child’s education and community partners who can contribute to the student’s Success. Baltimore City Public Schools Strategic Priorities
- All students, parents, employees and community partners communicate and work together for excellence and success. LA Unified School District Core Beliefs
- Maintain clear, effective, and transparent communication with all stakeholders Buncombe County Schools Strategic Plan
- We will communicate honestly, clearly, and openly. North Kansas City Mission & Strategic Plan
Whether in your vision, mission, core beliefs, strategic plan, or something else, there’s no doubt your district has something similar. No time like the present to acknowledge the work laid forth by your board and to make those words matter.
Here are five key questions every superintendent should ask to ensure promises made are promises kept:
- What did we intend when these were developed?
- What are we doing specifically to accomplish this communication goal?
- How will our stakeholders know we are delivering on our promise?
- How do we know if we are meeting the mark by our communication actions?
- How can we improve our communication efforts?
The answer to these questions should guide your actions. Moreover, these are questions that should be asked annually of those handling your communication efforts. Your board likely held multiple meetings to ensure the wording was just right. Now is the time to demonstrate that your actions speak louder than words.