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Responding to Criticism, Part One

Vol. 13 No. 1

A new school year means new students, new teachers, and—yes—new problems for you, the School Head, to resolve. No matter your experience level, you’ll make a decision this year that will be unpopular with someone. You’ll receive private and public criticism for those decisions, however necessary or difficult they were to make, and be left questioning yourself. What is the most graceful way to respond to such censure?

Oddly enough, we can look to HBO’s new satirical news segment “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” for two great examples of how leaders and organizations should (and should not) respond to candid criticism. The first, commercial fruit juice company POM Wonderful, responded well; the second—which we’ll cover next month—responded poorly.

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Comprehensive Interviewing: Phone Interviews

Vol. 13 No. 1

While the “normal” hiring season has long since closed, School Heads are not strangers to the last-minute change of faculty or staff. Despite the urgency of these eleventh hour hiring decisions, you can’t afford to skip comprehensive interviews.

Phone interviews in particular can play a vital role in the interviewing process, as they allow you to determine early on who might do well and who is not suited to the role before you and your search committee invest time and personnel into the in-person interview. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some quick tips on phone interviews to help them proceed as smoothly as possible during this “off season” recruitment.

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