Concise, consistent communication builds trust.

As fall quickly approaches, we are seeing that school leaders are in various stages of planning and communicating to their communities. Some are still waiting for answers and guidelines from local agencies and organizations, while some have begun announcing plans for the 2020-2021 school year. In this episode, Dr. JoAnn Sternke, Studer Education Senior Director and Leader Coach, reminds us, it’s not just the message, but how the message is communicated that matters. We want to make sure we build trust through communication using empathy. Listen as JoAnn shares how you can use the Communication Template from our free Reentry Toolkit to help you achieve clear and simple communication.

This episode addresses questions, such as:

  • How can we artfully respond when we’re asked questions but don’t have the answers?
  • What can we do to build high confidence with our community that we’re on the right path?
  • When the inevitable happens – someone within the organization or school tests positive for COVID-19 – how can leaders respond?


If you would like to listen to more from JoAnn around the topic of effective leader communication, tune in to episode #72 Intentional Communication Starts with Why.

Related Resources

Leading a Successful Reentry

In "normal" times when things are relatively predictable, strong leadership is desired. When unpredictable times appear, strong leadership is essential. Even the strongest organizational structures bring tremendous challenges that impact results. Our old way of doing business simply will not work.

Cascading Communication

From our work with partners and a data base of employee engagement survey results, we know that effective communication means different things to different people. Despite best efforts, communication can, at times, be inconsistent across different departments in an organization. However, we do know that everyone wants to receive and deliver the right message in the right way at the right time.

Start with Why

Communicating change effectively is a skill all leaders need. How we frame communication around change to our teams is crucial because if people don’t understand why the change is needed, they’re less likely to embrace the change. For our organizations to reach our goals, stay productive, and do so with excellence, we need everyone working together.


An organization that values transparency knows it's more than just reporting financial information to investors. Transparency is the open, honest, flow of information from an organization to all its stakeholders, both employees and the external community. When transparency is done correctly, employee engagement increases and it's more likely customers will be loyal to your brand, and associate a higher value to your products. Leaders can't afford to be afraid of being real.



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