C-Suite Advisory

5 Qualities Found in Effective Teachers

Robert Goetschkes

Working remotely has improved my work-life balance by taking out the extra time and stress of commuting to work. I am able to eat healthier and spend more time with my family instead of spending time eating fast food or sitting in a car stuck in traffic. I have been able to focus on my work and give my team/group more attention because there are no distractions from a noisy work environment or colleagues who want to stop and chat. I can also comply with overtime requirements more conveniently, allowing me to willingly devote the time as needed to report on Saturdays or extend my working hours through the week.

Exemplary leaders influence and motivate their employees and peers to achieve their full potential in order to pursue the good of the organization. This is no different from the tasks of elementary, high school or college teachers. Leaders have to be teachers in their own right if they are going to promote a well-functioning team with stellar performance. Whether you are a trainer for an organization, work in human resources for employee onboarding or you are a manager constantly overseeing employee performance, these five qualities will help you excel as a teacher.

  1. A Growth Mindset
    People tend to face life and the challenges it can bring from one of two perspectives. These are a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. When people go through life with a fixed mindset, there is a perception or belief that their abilities and personality are determined from birth and set in stone. This makes it harder to attack problems because there is a lack of self-confidence in their abilities to overcome the challenge. These individuals may feel that their intelligence or creativity is limited, inherently keeping them from being successful.

    With a growth mindset, individuals view important elements like personality, intelligence and creativity as abilities that can be developed and enhanced over time. Failure isn’t considered an option by default. Leaders who have a growth mindset will instill this same sense of confidence in their employees and help cultivate a growth mindset. Individuals pursue challenges as opportunities to learn and develop their skills.

  2. An Accommodating Approach
    There are different learning styles that successful teachers need to address and accommodate when working with a diverse group of individuals. Each individual comes to the environment with different skills, backgrounds, education and experiences, and it’s important to be able to accommodate these needs when working with people. Whether you are working one-on-one or have a group of people to teach, your ability to be effective depends on how you reach each level or individual represented. Flexibility is an important part of being accommodating. The priority is what works for the student and not the teacher.
  3. A Commitment to Lifelong Learning
    An effective teacher is one who is teachable and understands that learning is a lifelong process. While your position may indicate that you are the expert in the organization, a teachable spirit and a passion for learning motivate those around you to keep striving for personal or professional growth. Professional development activities will keep you informed on what’s going on in the industry, new tech or software to try or resources that will help your employees.

    By continuing to sharpen your own skills, you become a more effective and approachable teacher. It builds a stronger connection with your employees or students, as they realize there is no shame in failing or not knowing something. The attitude of discovery is often contagious, especially in the workforce.

  4. A Consistency of Behaviors
    It’s important for leaders to have the trust and respect of employees, especially when it comes to teaching and motivating. Strong relationships are built on communication and trust, and it takes consistency in behaviors to start establishing this connection. Good leaders demonstrate inclusivity, patience and compassion when dealing with learners. There are no jokes about failures or mishaps or comments that belittle and criticize. A good teacher understands the fragility of the relationship with the learner and recognizes how trust and respect need to be reciprocal.
  5. A Forward-Thinking Outlook
    A forward-thinking outlook doesn’t limit the learner to what is useful at the moment. Industries, technologies and trends are constantly evolving, and the leader who can embrace the potential of the future will teach and motivate their students to do the same. Simply passing along enough information to get by will cripple an individual and jeopardize the success of your organization. Teaching and leading with a future-forward outlook involves preparing for the changes to come and embracing the resources that are available.

    Don’t get stuck in a comfort zone and put your options in a box. Students need to see a world of possibilities and potential. They need to recognize how the small parts contribute to the greater picture or goals or of the organization. A forward-thinking mindset utilizes technology and data but encourages creativity to see what’s possible.

There are a number of qualities that help a teacher excel in developing students, and these same qualities can be used to help leaders within an organization help develop their employees. The student/learner relationship starts with building a connection of trust. However, the learning process is sustained when the teacher can excite, encourage and motivate the individual to embrace the future and their potential.


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Robert Goetschkes
Experienced educator Robert Goetschkes is an expert in classroom instruction, public school curriculum, and effective teaching methods, having enjoyed a 25-year teaching career. Goetschkes is an 11-year Veteran of the United States Coast Guard and has an M.A. in Elementary Education with a Field Endorsement in Secondary Social Sciences.


Robert Goetschkes is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.