Episode 45: The 4 “Soft Skills” That Can Ensure A Long Career As A Private School Leader

Episode 45 Show Notes


The 4 “Soft Skills” That Can Ensure A Long Career As A Private School Leader

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Social Awareness
  • Impulse Control


Emotional Intelligence

  • Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, reason with, understand and manage emotions, both within yourself and from other people
  • Active Listening
  • Building Trust
  • Supportive leadership: Encouraging and fostering a supportive environment that values emotional well-being and mental health.
  • Display Gratitude
  • Handle criticism maturely
  • Display integrity
  • Keep your promises
  • Building positive relationships
  • Build strong and respectful relationships
  • Cultivating an atmosphere of trust and open communication among all stakeholders in the school community.
  • Conflict resolution: Resolving conflicts in a constructive manner, considering the emotions and perspectives of all parties involved.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Being open to change and receptive to feedback to enhance the school's emotional climate.
  • Leading by example: Demonstrating emotional intelligence in your own interactions, modeling the behavior they wish to see in others.


  • Put on your “empathy goggles”
  • Being open to understanding their unique perspectives.
  • Actively listening to their students, teachers, and staff, acknowledging their feelings and concerns
  • Understanding others
  • Put yourselves in the shoes of students, staff, and parents, understanding their perspectives, needs, and concerns.
  • Create a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves and seeking help when needed. 
  • Showing genuine care and concern for the well-being of others, and being willing to offer assistance and support..

Social Awareness:

  • Sensitivity to diversity
  • Socially aware and recognize and appreciate the diversity within your school community. 
  • They promote inclusivity and ensure that all voices are heard and respected.
  • Ensure that students and staff from various backgrounds feel welcomed and respected.
  • Promote Social Justice Education: BE AN UPSTANDER. Implement social justice programs that educate students about societal issues, promoting empathy and understanding.
  • Collaboration with Other Schools: Collaborate with other schools and organizations to share best practices and address broader social issues collectively.
  • Mental Health Support: Prioritize mental health and well-being, providing resources and support for students' emotional needs.
  • Sustainability Initiatives: Integrate sustainability practices into the school's operations, teaching students the importance of environmental responsibility.
  • Ethical Decision-making: Model ethical behavior and decision-making, emphasizing the importance of integrity and fairness.

Impulse Control:

  • Self-awareness: Administrators with high emotional intelligence are aware of their emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. This self-awareness allows them to manage their reactions and make well-informed decisions.
  • Have a predictable mood. Worst game show: “Guess My Mood!”
  • Managing stress effectively: Demonstrating coping mechanisms and stress-reduction techniques to maintain a composed and collected demeanor. You may need to talk to someone
  • Thoughtful decision-making: Administrators with strong impulse control carefully consider their actions and decisions before acting. They avoid knee-jerk reactions that could have negative consequences.
  • Leading by example: Displaying self-control and measured responses in their own actions and decisions, showing how to manage emotions and impulses effectively. Behavior in meetings
  • Active listening: Taking the time to listen and understand different perspectives before making decisions, rather than acting on immediate reactions. Don’t interrupt. Listening with the intent to respond is not listening.
  • Seeking advice and feedback: Consulting with colleagues, staff, and experts to gather different viewpoints and ensure well-informed decisions.
  • Consistency: Maintaining consistent behavior and decision-making over time, avoiding knee-jerk reactions.
  • Conflict resolution: Handling conflicts calmly and professionally, avoiding impulsive reactions that may escalate the situation.
  • Acknowledging mistakes: Being open to acknowledging and learning from mistakes, showing that it's okay to course-correct rather than stubbornly sticking to impulsive choices.
  • Prioritizing long-term goals: Focusing on the school's vision and mission, and avoiding impulsive decisions that may deviate from the school's objectives.

Big Takeaways:


  • Long career as a private school leader?
  • Hard skills and soft skills


The 4 “Soft Skills” That Can Ensure A Long Career As A Private School Leader

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Social Awareness
  • Impulse Control


Call to Action


  • Pick one soft skill and pick one action that you can take to grow in this area


CLICK HERE for The Intentional Path to Headship by Judith L. Schechtman and Marc T. Frankel


CLICK HERE for Episode 13: How Gratitude Can Make You A Happier And More Effective Leader


CLICK HERE for Episode 5: How Servant Leadership Can Transform Your School's Culture


CLICK HERE for Episode 6: The Top 10 Things That Servant leaders Do


I’ve created a free resource for you called “The 6 Things That Every Private School Teacher Wants From Their Leader”. This guide is a 6 page pdf that will be a game changer for you. I guarantee you that if you do these 6 things, the teachers at your school will be happy to follow you. CLICK HERE to get the guide!


I want to give you a gift to say “thank you” for listening to the podcast. I have created a FREE guide for you called “5 Strategies To Help You Work With Difficult Parents”. We know that working with parents is part of the job and most of our parents are great, but some of them can be very demanding and emotional and difficult. This guide will give you the tools that you need to build better relationships and have better meetings with the difficult parents at your school. CLICK HERE to grab the guide. Thank you again for listening every week!


If you implement any of these strategies at your school, I would love to hear from you! Send me a quick note at [email protected] and tell me about it. I can answer your questions and I’m also good at giving pep talks when you get stuck!


If you have gotten value from listening to the podcast, I would love to work with you 1-on-1. I would love to take my experience and help you to feel less overwhelmed and frustrated or help you have success if you are a brand new leader. I also work with private school leaders who are aspiring Heads of School and want to accelerate their leadership growth or experienced leaders that are moving on to a new school and they want to get off to a great start. If I’m describing you, then CLICK HERE to learn more about working with me 1-on-1.


CLICK HERE for a bunch of free resources, including Plug & Play PD's (video webinars with guided notes) for you to use with your teachers, Top Lists of Leadership Books, Productivity Books, TED Talks and much more!


Please follow, rate and review this podcast. The rating helps this podcast to be heard by more leaders and your review gives me valuable feedback so that I can better serve you in future episodes. If you got value from this episode, please text the link to an aspiring leader at your school. Thanks!


Music by Twisterium from Pixabay