Best Practice

Getting tasks done vs building staff relationships: As a school leader, is it either/or?

As a school leader, do you prioritise the relationships you have with your colleagues or does getting the job done trump everything? Robbie Burns looks at combining task-orientated and people-orientated leadership
Image: Adobe Stock

Balancing the demands of moving a school forward with developing deep, trusting, safe professional relationships is complex. How should school leaders manage this?

In this article, I want to explore a case study, drawing on two helpful models that will hopefully aid school leaders in exploring their own processes for thinking through their work with their colleagues.


Scales of concern: Relationships and tasks

Much has been written on project management blogs, websites and articles about “relationship-centred” or “task-centred” leadership – and about which is preferable.

I don’t think it’s a choice. I think both are important. Tasks are important because schools cannot move forward unless work is done. But work cannot be done without people who are engaged and motivated to perform the tasks well.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here