Among the many things I have learned after years of helping school leaders with their communications challenges and opportunities is that respect is often won during difficult situations.

School and district leaders are often tested during these times, especially if the situation is embarrassing to the school or the district, if it becomes overly political or personal, or if it is otherwise emotional in nature.

While it may not be clear at the time, many school and district leaders say that, years later, they realized that the way they handled a difficult situation helped them earn the respect of staff, parents, and other stakeholders.

This is another reminder that when it comes to school or district communication, being transparent, telling the truth, taking responsibility for missteps, passing along recognition when things go well, and generally taking the path toward integrity is not always easy in the short term, but it is always the right thing to do in the long term.

Communicating well during challenging situations will win you respect not only from your stakeholders but also, perhaps more importantly, from yourself.