Leading With Appreciation

Summer learning is something I look forward to every year. It’s a point in the year where I have time and energy to learn how I can better myself as a person and as an educator. This past week, Lute and I attended the Learning Forward Texas conference in Irving. We walked away with a handful of helpful tips, insights, and motivations to do our jobs better. One of my favorite sessions that I attended was Leading With Appreciation by Amber Teamann

Appreciate Your People

As an administrator, it is imperative that you learn to lead by appreciating your staff. Yes, this includes the snacks and drinks, but it is also so much more than that. To appreciate your people is to know your people. It’s the tale as old as time: build relationships. As a new school leader and as a veteran leader, it is so important that you work diligently to get to know your staff. As Amber explained in her session, this is much more than just knowing about their family, their favorite things, and where they went to school. To know your people is to know their strengths, weaknesses, and how they thrive in work environments.

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Tools You Can Use

A couple of ways that you can get to know your staff is using the Gallup Clifton Strengths test, Enneagram, or the 16 personalities test.  These personality tests provide helpful information on how and why your staff members do the things that they do. It helps you to lead them by caring personally about them. It is one of the most meaningful ways you can show you appreciate your people.

Empower Your People

Further, use these strengths to the school’s advantage. Show your staff that you recognize their strengths and then utilize that strength to build capacity in that person. The best work environments are those that are empowered, productive, contributive, and happy. Utilizing your people’s skills and strengths is empowering and will help to create a culture of commitment rather than compliance.


Take ample time to get to know your people. Don’t rush the process. Once you know them, empower them. YOU are the owner of your school’s story.

If you are interested in tips and strategies to help you take the next step in your leadership journey, you can subscribe to the New School Leader Newsletter right here:

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