Great leaders are, without exception, great communicators. They find effective ways to communicate in a language and manner that not only paint a crystal clear picture of their vision, but also give those they serve the information, feedback, and motivation they need.
Effective communication is ultimately about connecting people and bringing them together towards a common purpose. When making connections is the goal, leaders strategically build multiple ways to make this happen. While nothing will ever replace face-to-face conversations, digital tools have their place in an effective and efficient communication plan (19.20 TM Leaders Communication Plan) and the walkie-talkie app, Voxer, can help in several ways.
Glossing over the fact that it makes you feel like a super hero on a top-secret mission, as a team, we are constantly using Voxer in ways that support our communication. It helps us make connections in meaningful ways that would not otherwise be possible. The first three uses are understandably popular and common and are included here because they are legitimately ways we communicate daily. But #4? Check it out! It’s new and so much fun!
- Back Channel Communication – We have Voxer group chats for every sub-team imaginable including our administrative team, grade-level PLCs, task groups, and our teacher leader team. We can, with the ease of our thumb, ask questions both logistical and reflective, share resources, and send reminders.
- Shared Learning – Our summer book studies’ leaders (How to Summer Book Study Like a Genius) primarily choose Voxer as a means to connect over shared learning. Each summer, our team members lead not only school colleagues but also educators from around the world and, wait for it, actual authors! The ease of sending questions and graphics to lead a discussion around reading is powerful and impactful. Other ways to use Voxer to connect over learning? I have group chats with my Master Mind group so we can communicate between our weekly meetings and there are tons of other group chats out there around shared interests.
- Feedback – One of the advantages of Voxer is the ability to hear tone of voice that you don’t get through text communication. This is extremely important when giving and hearing feedback. Using Voxer for two-way feedback can look like sending a teacher a question you are curious to explore, starting a conversation around a visit you’ve just had in their classroom. Or, it could be a staff member sending you some feedback on your leadership. Recently a teacher sent me a Voxer message that started, “Hey Melody, I noticed this today. Have you thought about…?” And to be honest, I hadn’t. What great feedback I was gifted!
- Virtual Shout-Outs – As a leader, I’m always looking for ways to shine a light on the awesomeness of our team members. They are amazing, do incredible things and we all need to recognize this and lift each other up.Recently, I set up a Voxer group, added ALL of our staff members (teachers, instructional assistants, custodians, secretaries, etc.), and here was the first message:
Celebrate #TMGenius Times🎉🤩💙
Welcome to our Voxer chat dedicated to the sole purpose of celebrating each other’s genius & lifting each other up!
And then we began! Countless shout outs, celebrations, laughing, amazement and inspiration have since followed. Here’s a sneak a peek:
Teams who have meaningful conversations pave the way for the connections needed to do the difficult, important work. The main priority of a leader is communicating in a manner that creates a culture and team who is tightly woven and can focus efforts on moving forward on the path to greatness.
Do you have a creative way to connect and communicate? Any other ways you use Voxer? Together we are brilliant, so I’d love to connect! Tweet and tag me (@me1odystacy) or feel free to start a conversation by commenting below.