Increasing Confidence in the Days Ahead

Becky Morehouse

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While colleges and universities face many uncertainties in today’s higher ed landscape, there are concrete steps you can take to increase campus-wide confidence that you and your team are moving in the right direction.  

1. Identify the mission—critical decisions that must be made and when. 

While colleges have hundreds of decisions they can make, the ones that are truly mission critical are much fewer in number.

Savvy institutions identify and prioritize those critical decisions and focus their time and resources on the smaller subset. They avoid the distraction of the urgent as they focus on the important. Further, they announce to the campus that critical decisions that will be made in the days (not weeks or months) ahead.  

2. Use research adroitly. 

One of the best ways to move ahead with confidence is to use data to inform decisions rather than opinions, wishes, and intuition. 

Right now, solid information into what students are thinking and planning to do this fall is critical and knowing this will provide essential guidance in your decision-making.  

3. Explain your decision.

When people understand how you arrived at your decision, they are much more likely to support it and follow your lead. Even if they disagree, the fact that you were transparent will increase cooperation.  

4. Communicate well and often.

When leaders don’t communicate, other people with less knowledge and perhaps different goals, will. It turns out that nature really does abhor a vacuum. 

5. Celebrate success.

Your faculty, staff, and students are aching for good news. Make sure you are both collecting and disseminating stories about the progress that you are making.

Show how your students are returning, how you are continuing to meet the needs of students, how your graduates are getting hired, how donors are supporting you, and how faculty are still teaching. We all need some good news. 

This is something I mentioned in an earlier blog on how to be an effective leader

6. Admit your miscues. 

I know this seems kind of contrary, but admitting that you made a mistake will actually increase confidence. Candor and honesty are critical. Transparency is a welcome relief to the opaqueness found on many campuses. 

Want to learn more? Schedule a free consultation today.

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