"Communication is essential to the effective operation of any school" ( Porod, 1993, 9). Can the importance of communication be stated more succinctly than that? Respondents of Project Success noted the importance of interactive communication and listening skills.
I consider my communication skills to be the single most important aspect of my success as a high school principal. Whether I am dealing with faculty, students, parents, school board members, or other administrators, I must be able to express my views in clear, appropriate language. Often, I must attempt to persuade others to my point of view. The ability to respond to others in a sensitive fashion is critical to the effectiveness of a principal.
I am very purposeful with all my communication. I am a good and attentive listener. ( Wendel, Hoke, and Joekel, 1993b, 54)
The word communication is derived from a Latin word that means "common." The purpose of communication is to establish a common bond, a common understanding, or commonness, among persons. The establishment of commonness is based upon trust, mutual respect, frequent exchanges of ideas, and opportunities to engage in discussion of important matters, as one successful administrator noted. "I try to establish an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect with my faculty. We have regularly scheduled times when teachers can comfortably express their concerns and ideas, and have input into school decisions" ( Joekel, Wendel, and Hoke, 1994, 35).
Two researchers found that communication skills were perceived as the most important set of skills among clarity of values and integrity, technical skills, creative