Trust enlarges the scope of action on any playing field (O’ Brien, 2001:1). The trusted leader is a great asset in forging and maintaining relationships, and lending support to other team players, which can be on-going with little effort. According to Covey (1989: 188), an emotional bank account is the amount of trust that has been built up in a relationship. It’s the feeling of safety you have with other human beings. If one makes deposits into an emotional bank account through courtesy, kindness honestly and keeping commitments, the trust increases. The researcher conducted a research project on the influence that relationships among, and skill levels of, school governors on the performance of school governing bodies; the rationale being as a result of various problems she encountered and experienced as an SGB and SMT member. The literature review indicates that ignorance and inability to perform functions turn SGBs into crisis committees, and that most of the SGBs are not fulfilling their role but relying on the principal who plays the dominant role. Four SGBs were identified, two with good performance and positive relationships, and two with poor performance and negative relationships. In both categories a primary and a secondary school were selected. A qualitative research design was used for the study. Data collection strategies used were semi-structured, open-ended interviews and structured observations. The analysis of the data showed the differences in the feelings about the relationships. Non-functioning SGBs with poor relationships experience anger, fear, anxiety, disrespect, and mistrust. The respondents indicated coldness, neglect, isolation and disjointedness, in contrast to functioning SGBs who demonstrated mutual trust, respect love, happiness, cooperation, collaboration, shared decision-making and inclusion. These attributes are confirmed by the literature review on the link between trust relationships and performance. The research study indicated that productive workers are happy. The model of school effectiveness confirmed that functional SGBs are effective, and non-functional ones are ineffective. Happiness is derived from being productive, thus yielding positive contributions and the realisation of aims and objectives. Where there is no productivity, there is a negative influence on the relationships. Members concentrate on their fights and forget about their functions as SGB members. It has emerged that the poor performance and poor relationships are probably the results of attitude and behaviour, and not illiteracy as indicated in the literature review. The data collected indicated that all the SGB members are literate, and can read, write and interpret policies; except one non-teaching staff member who contributes positively by creating a clean environment conducive for teaching and learning.
Dissertation (Magister Educationis (Educational Leadership))--University of Pretoria, 2006.