For many administrators, the morning’s first few minutes after arriving to their school are likely the most peaceful.
Usually, they are first to enter the office, the phones are still set to the night answering machine, the computer has yet to start-up and there is a stillness to the moment. Alone, if only for a short-time, administrators can collect themselves for the flood that will soon ensue. With increasing intensity, the school community comes alive with interactions amongst staff, students and parents. In a buzz of activity that was absent an hour prior, the administrator is left to navigate the varied agendas of their school community as their day truly begins.
After attending The Learning Partnership’s Leadership as Influence program, I can now qualify the “buzz” of a school for what it actually is: negotiations in action.
Through the excellent tutelage of Ivey Business professor, Ann Frost, the group attending this Executive Leadership program was given a practical and nuanced introduction to the everyday phenomenon of how we utilize negotiation strategies to overcome challenges and to maximize our outcomes.
In theory, this may sound complex but, after learning the method and value of Principled Negotiations, the course was facilitated through a number of case-studies and debriefing sessions. I found this type of structured learning to be a fantastic way to give the theoretical work context, network with other education leaders and have many laughs along the way.
Overall, the program was enjoyable and invigorating and I feel that my skills as a negotiator have been improved in only a short time. I look forward to the opportunity to attend another program by The Learning Partnership in the future and I would recommend others to consider attending—especially if it helps them negotiate through the “buzz” of their school communities!
Patrick Brophy OCT, M.A., M.Ed. is the Vice Principal of St. Gabriel’s School and is part of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board. Get in touch with Patrick through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @P_Brophy.