Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In the dangling conversation, and the superficial sighs, the borders of our lives (Paul Simon)


confrontation
ˌkɒnfrʌnˈteɪʃn/
noun
  1. a hostile or argumentative situation or meeting between opposing parties. 
    synonyms:conflict, clash, head-to-head, face-off.


Many people hate confrontation, many don't mind, some actively seek it (see Lauren in the YouTube clip for an example).

In my experience, most teachers don't like those moments of confrontation in the classroom or in the staffroom. Conflicts and clashes often lead to difficult conversations. And teachers hate those with a passion.

I'm a bit weird (newsflash!), I aim to avoid confrontations because I don't like them, but I don't mind difficult conversations.

From (at times, bitter) experience, these are Purdzilla's words of wisdom for your next difficult conversation with a staff member or a student:

  • As soon as the emotional heat has waned, treat it like a band aid and rip it straight off (get to it as soon as poss. Don't let it fester. Molehills become mountains).
  • Listen. There are AWAYS two sides to the story. ALWAYS!
  • Turn it around and see things from the other point of view. Empathy and perspective have their places. 
  • You can always agree to disagree. Don't think of it as a win-lose situation.
  • Avoid solving the problem, or making suggestions (micro managers and control freaks can't help themselves). 
  • Silence can be a great ally (so shut up!).
  • Stay neutral (Being WYSIWYG, I struggle with this one - my default setting is to smile and that has sometimes gone down badly!).
  • Confront incompetence (it's not going to do you, the students, or the teacher involved any good to pretend it's something that it's not)
  • Finally, Smile (yeah I know - WYSIWYG - but as well as getting me into trouble it's also defused many a bomb) 

1 comment:

ange rathbone said...

Words of wisdom from the elder guide!
Especially listen and looking through another lense not always your own :)