The topic of leadership has been receiving much attention in both management and education. The contemporary literature of leadership reveals that there is a substantial overlap between the contemporary theories of effective leadership and the theories of effective counselling (particularly those of Carl Rogers). This paper aims at exploring effective educational leadership through examining the management and leadership styles of a group of primary and secondary school principals in Australia. A modified Q-sort and in-depth interviews were used in this study, the principals being asked to share their perceptions of their leadership role with particular reference to the importance of interpersonal skills. The main emphasis of this paper is on the interview responses rather than the results of the Q-sort. Findings from this qualitative research analysis indicated that although the majority of the principals understood the importance of interpersonal (counselling-related) skills in school administration, they did not regard empathy as being as important as communication, authenticity and respect, and they generally regarded strategic management skills as being more important than one of the interpersonal skills. Implications for the role of principals as counselor in schools and effective leadership are discussed.
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2000|