Saturday, May 11, 2013

Special Education Saturday - Having Hard Conversations

I've been talking to lots of people lately about having hard conversations. Many difficult dialogs take place between families and school personnel.

Here are a few tips to keep challenging chats from becoming hostile or impossible:

  • Be polite.
  • Don't blame current staff members for mistakes made on other campuses. 
  • Try not to act hostile--we are not your enemies.
  • Don't make assumptions, expain your position calmly.
  • Pick your battles. Every phone call is not a time for a laundry list of complaints.
  • Be sure the person you contact is in a position to help you--contact teachers about grades, etc.
  • Give them 24-48 hours to respond.
  • Don't expect information over weekends and school breaks.
  • Please understand that there are certain things that can't be done (ignoring crimes on campus, changing grades, etc.)
  • If you have a serious problem, talk to an administrator. 
How do you make hard conversations easier?