As we’ve said before, being a good digital leader is no longer an option, but truly essential when working in education. This is especially true in light of COVID-19 and the pressure everybody in education feels during this time.
Our team here at Class Intercom recently sat down and talked about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to digital citizenship and digital leadership. Here is our quick list of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to practicing digital leadership, which should be followed even if we didn’t find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic.
Are you being responsive or reactive? I think there’s an important difference here. We can’t control the information that we see online or maybe a complaint or flippant remark made by a co-worker or parent, but we can control our reaction. This is especially true for online and digital communications. If you panic and immediately react instead of taking the time to respond in a calm matter, it could lead to additional chaos and more panic down the road.
Be cautious when calling other people out.
This is especially difficult when the person or account you want to put in their place completely deserves it. Who hasn’t experienced this? However, if you identify yourself online as a staff member or the PR representative of a school, it is important to lead by example especially if you preach about digital citizenship. For example, we often see people who might call out a particular brand or account and later that experience empowers them to take things a step further. You truly never know who is watching, so lead by example and stay positive.
Don’t share information that isn’t true.
This should be obvious when it comes to digital leadership, but we see so many educational influencers who share information that simply isn’t true. Be mindful of what you’re sharing, read the entire article/blog, check the source or author’s credentials and make sure that the information is vetted before sharing with the public. Learning to view things through a more critical lens will only help bring more balance to the conversation.
Do ask how you can provide value to the conversation.
You might not be an expert when it comes to COVID-19, but you do have expertise in one area or another. Create content that relates to your area of expertise. Perhaps you have content that helps your followers understand the psychology behind education or you can simplify some steps for learning at home or you have content that will make people laugh. We all need your talents and expertise, simply asking “how can I add value?” may guide your content.
Do take time to care for yourself and others.
Our motto when it comes to self-care is that taking care of business starts by taking care of yourself. At Class Intercom, we prioritize self-care because we know that it allows us to care for our customers more effectively. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, this often will bleed through to your personal life and professional work. We see digital leaders struggle to practice what they preach when they’re pushed too hard without taking time for a break. So, make sure to take a moment and ask yourself what self-care looks like for you in this moment and how self-care can make you a better person and digital leader.
Do encourage others by sharing encouraging stories and helpful resources.
Does this content encourage others? It is so easy to share content that simply incites. The headlines we see often cause us to click almost mindlessly. But focusing on being an encouragement to your audience will provide encouragement during a time when we need it. If you want to check out how other schools are communicating about COVID-19, you can download the free report here.
Who do you think is modeling digital leadership during this time?
How are you practicing self-care right now?
What are some ways that you can add value to the conversation?
How can you encourage other people through this time?