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Q:We will be hiring a new principal. What are the most important SKILLS and QUALITIES this person should have?

When previously hiring a new principal for one of their schools, Oklahoma’s Norman Public Schools did what many districts do: they sent district staff to the school to meet with teachers and ask what qualities were important in their new leader.

“In those kinds of settings, the most vocal person gets their input in and then maybe not everyone agrees with them—but those people don’t speak up,” explains Dr. Shirley Simmons, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at Norman.

Dr. Simmons and the Norman team saw an opportunity to make their principal searches more inclusive and effective by using ThoughtExchange to give all staff a chance to share what mattered most in their new leader.

“We were able to get thoughts from all of the teachers, even the ones that wouldn’t speak up in a live setting where the whole group was being asked questions,” Dr. Simmons says.

“ThoughtExchange helped us find the right fit for the school because we were able to get input from all teachers,” she says. “The results aligned with some of the thoughts we had of what the staff’s perception of leadership was, and what the staff needed. We used that intel when we were in the interviewing process for principals.”

After several successful new principal hires, using ThoughtExchange to collect input from staff has become standard practice at Norman. And the district is now also using this question when filling other positions such as athletic team coaches.

ThoughtExchange helped us find the right fit for
the school because we were able to get input
from all teachers.Dr. Shirley Simmons,
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

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ThoughtExchange provides software solutions that bring people together, build trust and make progress on important topics. Whether it’s employees, customers or whole communities, our solutions effortlessly connect you to your stakeholders. People can confidentially and independently share their thoughts, appreciate other points of view and understand how their perspectives are connected to decisions. Our patent-pending data analysis gives you the insights to make informed decisions and take action.