Meetings should help schools map their progress towards their goals
Given that schools can become insanely busy places with all the changes taking place, school principals should identify those bad habits or practices that slow down their performance and those that compromise their team talks.
One such habit is the absence of a comprehensive staff communication strategy. I want to talk about that dreaded team talk called The Meeting.
Schools tend to use one channel, the formal meeting, to conduct most of their communication with staff members. Hallo, there are other communication platforms that you can use to great effect. We are living in the 21st century!
Before the invention of digital technologies, including social media, meetings were probably the fastest medium to reach the whole team. Sending letters or making phone calls in the past would have been seen as expensive, impractical ways to share routine information or messages.
It is different today. You can send an e-mail or use one of the chat services to communicate this kind of information. You can also have a staff newsletter to share interesting information or reminders of important deliverables. By and large meetings should be scheduled for reflections, strategic planning and decision-making processes. Meetings are the ideal platform for collaborative problem-solving.
No wonder most people don't like meetings. The meetings have become the poor cousin to pander to all our communication needs at schools. The reality is that time is a scarce resource. You cannot call meetings just for the sake of having meetings.
Schools should rethink the purpose of the meetings they convene. Meeting time must be freed up to create space to talk about the real issues that hinder the school from making progress in terms of its main goals. Ideally a meeting agenda that has a combination of business operations and goal-directed deliverables, is good.
If school leaders have perpetuated this habit of convening meetings that do not focus specifically on activities directly linked to goals, then it is time to have a complete overhaul of their communication strategy.
Do you have a communication strategy at your school and what ideas can you share with us?
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