Empathic Leadership Skills for Educators and Administrators
Learn How to Calm Angry Parents and Students Without Losing Your Cool
Empathic leadership development is essential for teachers, educators, administrators, and school board members. Without the ability to connect with students and parents quickly and effectively, conflict escalates.
Empathic leadership is a skill comprised of three elements:
- The ability to ignore the words, focus on emotions, and reflect those emotions back
- The ability to problem-solve specific issues once calm is restored
- The ability to create a learning environment that is emotionally safe
This skills must be learned, practiced and honed to be mastered.
Research shows that learning empathic leadership skills will not come from a one-off workshop. In fact, professional development workshops have an abysmal record at changing professional practices and improving student achievement.
Doug Noll offers a curriculum of empathic leadership development that includes three four hour lessons in the principles and practice of empathic leadership in education, followed by weekly small group or individual coaching sessions. Over a 10 week period, participants begin to master the skills and change the way they see their educational environment.
Topics in the Empathic Leadership course include:
- The somatic, cognitive, and neurophysiologic components of emotion
- The concept of emotional categorization and its opposite, alexithymia
- Understanding the six needs of victims
- The four levels of reflect listening and why three types of reflection will always make things worse
- The skill of affect labeling to de-escalate strong emotions
- The skill of core messaging
- The skill of results-based listening
- The skill of making accountable agreements
- Conducting peace circles in the class room
- Teaching the skills forward
Each Empathic Leadership course is tailored for the needs of a school site or district in consultation with district administrators.
In comparison with all of the trainings FUSD provided to all teachers over my past 25 years in the district, I found the extended sessions of this training to be the most valuable and relevant for all stakeholders, hands down. Ironically, we get paid to participate in it!
The training is so relevant and meaningful for all employees (and for all relationships in general), that I would like to recommend that it become a prominent part of our staff development meetings. In addition, it would perhaps be even more awesome to schedule it for all students as a campus wide rally, and in smaller groups such as what the After School Program offers. Many of our student’s parents REALLY need it.
It is so good, I have signed up for the extended sessions, again. Making new ways to more effectively relate with people requires practice and support – even more reason for making the training a regular part of our weekly staff development schedule so that all will be able to participate in it as a unified team.
Paul G., Fresno Unified School District