Conversation: An essential aspect of leadership



How often do you engage in conversations or discussions in your school or district? If you are in a healthy organization, the answer would most likely be “all the time.” However, if you organization isn’t having conversations, or isn’t focused on the key elements, you may need to get people talking. Sometimes, as they say, good conversations are hard to find….


What is a conversation?

According to, a conversation is, “the informal exchange of ideas by spoken words.” Sounds pretty simple. In order to be engaged in a conversation, we simply need to talk. In today’s “connected” environment, we spend a great deal of time using technology-based tools to find others from around the world. Often these conversations online produce valuable ideas or resources that can take our organizations to the next level level. Yet, if you are unable to discuss the impact of these ideas or resources, you may become frustrated.

As a leader (no matter the level), it is important to provide the opportunity for conversations. Here are some ideas to ensure that your students, teachers, and community members will be able to talk this year:

  • Integrate conversation time into your meetings. Have a topic you want feedback on? Has someone brought up something that we need to discuss? Take 10 minutes and put your team into groups to talk about it. You can even use post-its to make sure that everyone gets a chance to share.
  • Open Door – Sometimes people want to chat one-to-one or as a small group. As a leader it is important to create time in your schedule to have a conversation.
  • Create a monthly conversation-based meeting times. If you can dedicated 30 to 45 minutes a month at a specific time (before or after school) to allow your staff to talk, it would go a long way.

How are you going to get the conversations flowing this year?