The skills of an instructional leader vary from individual to individual. Some are great at motivation, while others excel in the area of identifying and setting goals, and yet others simply have a knack for finding and providing great learning opportunities for their students.
To be truly effective as an instructional leader however, there are some basic skills you must have. The good news is that if you don’t have them, they can be learned.
Provided below are five of the basic skills an Instructional Leader must bring to the table.
- You must be a good listener. It is impossible to Instructional Leader people if you do not know what their goals or needs are. In order to have an accurate idea of what they are, you need to listen carefully to what people are telling you. A good listener focuses on what the other person is saying instead of focusing on what they are going to say next. Their body language is inviting and not repelling. And they usually maintain eye contact with the person who is speaking. Being a good listener is one of the essential skills of a Instructional Leader.
- You must focus on the potential of your clients. It is certainly important for you to understand the history of your client in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses. However, it is more important to understand the future of your client in order to see where they want to go and how you can help them get there. By focusing on the potential of your clients you can instill in them the confidence they need to help themselves meet their goals.
- You must help your clients set goals. One of the best ways to help your clients make visible progress is to assist them in setting goals. The SMART system of goal setting has been used for years because it often results in success. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely—the five attributes of an effective goal. Specific goals are narrow and well-defined. Measurable goals aim for a target, so that progress toward that target can be assessed. Attainable goals prevent goal-setters from becoming easily discouraged. Realistic goals recognize the current limitations of goal-setter’s skills and aptitudes. Timely goals establish a reasonable time limit for completion—one that is not so short that it is impossible to meet, nor so long that it fails to inspire a sense of urgency to complete the task.
- You must provide opportunities for growth. When helping your clients set goals, keep in mind the strengths of your clients. Set some goals in areas that will stretch their abilities and help them grow as individuals. In addition, set some goals that you know will be easy for them to attain. This can help increase performance and potential.
- You must offer praise and encouragement. This can help your clients realize that they are making progress. When they realize they are making progress, they start believing that what you are teaching them may actually have the possibility of working. This can create excitement, which helps maintain direction.
Being an instructional leader helps you sharpen the skills of the person you are training. However, it is important to sharpen your skills, too. Do you have all the skills of an instructional leader you need in order to be the best you can be?