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  • MaryJo McGrath

3 Steps to More Effective and Authentic Communication

If you often hesitate, wondering how to deliver feedback, you’re not alone! Giving challenging feedback is one of the most uncomfortable things a manager has to do. Sandwiching correctional input between warm fuzzy phrases is not an effective communication method. People and managers deserve to understand their performance and where they need to improve in order to grow. The alternative to growth is decay - for the individual and the workplace culture.

Ineffective communication only perpetuates ineffective employees and managers.


Many school leaders have never been given the opportunity to master the communication, supervision and evaluation components required for them to succeed in their roles and lead others to excellence. As a result, their schools struggle with retaining and fully engaging their most talented teachers. In some instances, ineffective communication can even put the district at risk of litigation for negligent hiring and firing.


For more than thirty years, McGrath Training Solutions has worked with K-12 and University administrators and supervisors to create a new paradigm of authentic communication. Our SUCCEED with True-Speak© program gives leaders the practical tools and skills they need to confidently lead others from their heart, while using their heads with logic and sound reasoning.


Here are 3 steps you can take to more effectively communicate with your employees:

  1. Document challenges AND successes: Don’t just document the bad “in writing.” Documenting for success will produce the appropriate result: commendation, acknowledgment, remediation, or fair and just termination. Don’t wait for a bi-annual evaluation to manage “in writing” - it will feel like an attack.

  2. Don’t put it off - Take prompt action: Don’t wait months (or years) to see if an employee’s performance will get better. In the current paradigm, the once enthusiastic administrator/supervisor loses credibility, loses a sense of personal power, and ultimately loses the heart to strive to make a difference when things stagnate. Instead, train supervisors to have a regular practice of communicating simply and clearly in writing – the good and the bad. That will result in timely interaction and correction or praise. Prompt, effective action nips issues in the bud so they don’t compound and become problems that affect the students, parents and community and demoralize the supervisors.

  3. Be clear: Don’t sandwich your feedback with arbitrary positive statements. The message becomes vague and the request seems arbitrary and inauthentic.


Creating effective communication helps make your school a safer and more effective learning and working environment. To learn more about our leadership development program, click here.


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