The third, and final, brief in the Fostering Strong Relationships series focuses on ways school leaders can cultivate trusting relationships with and among their school staff. In this brief, we discuss the research on the importance of strong relationships between school leaders and staff, the insights and perspectives of leaders from the schools we visited, and evidence-based best practices for building positive staff relationships through administrator actions.
When administrators prioritize cultivating trusting and caring relationships with school staff, it can help create a culture in which all members of the school community can thrive. Research suggests that positive leader and staff relationships can enable the conditions for teachers to further develop their teaching skills and help mitigate factors that lead to teacher burnout. Further, establishing a culture in which relationships between leaders and school staff are prioritized can ensure that the adults in the school are modeling for students what strong and positive relationships look like.
In this brief, we offer strategies from school leaders and based on research that administrators can build into their current school systems and structures, in order to develop and sustain trusting relationships with and among school staff.