My daughter starts kindergarden on Tuesday. Last night I attended the ubiquitous parent orientation. Mostly a repeat from my son’s session four years ago, with one singular exception. The class lists are still unset.

That’s right, just two days before the students are to show up for a meet and greet with their teacher, the teachers don’t even know who will be in their classes. It was a clear embarrassment for the three kindergarden teachers. They emphasized that they “really are organized,” and that “the principal will provide the lists.”

What I heard was that the teachers had not only not been properly involved in the process, they also had not been properly prepared to talk about the matter with parents. Their own uncertainty and confusion led to the same in many of the parents in attendance. Had they been prepared with talking points and drilled on potential questions, they would have presented a more confident message.

Instead, they blamed the principal, and offered up a less than capable impression. Not what you want to communicate to the nearly 50 new families represented in the room. 

It’s a terrific example of why we need to better prepare leaders to communicate key messages. In this case, the teachers are the leaders, the stakeholders the parents, and the principal the CEO. What’s clearly missing is the communication professional who can deliver great counsel, messaging and tools.