As an avid reader of the School Growth blog for many years, I thought that having Scott Barron speak at our annual board retreat would be an excellent way to inspire and challenge our board. We had no idea how fortuitous that training would be, especially what we learned about the Laws of the Grapevine, with the devastating events that unfolded over the next couple of days.
As the Chairman of the Board of a private school, I spent a lot of time contemplating and praying about what I could do to help improve our school, from a better functioning board on down in the organization.
The board retreat could not have been better. Scott spoke to us about proper board functioning, how to evaluate ourselves as board members, how to plan for a successful school year, how to make longer-term school plans, and best communication practices within our school community.
We learned more from that six-hour presentation on a Saturday than we could have learned on our own from many months of research and reading on school board governance topics.
As much as I thought I had learned leaving the board retreat that day, I could have never imagined how quickly that knowledge would have to take root.
Less than two days after our retreat, we received news of a crisis that had the potential to rock the school, its administration, its faculty, its students, and all of its constituency. It was truly the worst day in my nine-year term on the school’s board.
In the past, the school’s administration and board might have convened special meetings, debated how to react to and communicate the news, and lost precious time in the interim. Instead, having just sat through Scott’s presentation on the Laws of the Grapevine, our administration sprung into action. The administration expeditiously and confidently executed a communication plan guided by these relationship building principles.
The response was amazing!
All of our constituents, at each level of our school’s organization, responded in a very loving and supportive way toward the school and its administration. Far from rocking the foundations of the school, this crisis brought the school’s supporters closer as everyone “circled the wagons.”
I am confident that our training in the Laws of the Grapevine on how and when to communicate bad news, combined with Scott's subsequent coaching, produced this positive outcome from a terrible situation. We could not be more grateful.
Attorney at Law
This testimonial letter is powerful proof that your culture is reflected in your pattern of communication. Trust is built through behavior.
Communication is the crucial discipline to achieve a healthy school culture. Predictable, clear, and honest communication that flows internally and externally to build trust and to demonstrate the value of people and their contribution to the whole community.
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