Question Detail

If you know you are going to have a difficult conversation, do you start your meeting with that or do you try to start with something else (positive comment or such) to get the meeting going and then work in to the difficult conversation?

Nov 11, 2014 2:22pm

Difficult Conversations

  • Math
  • 8
  • Coaching


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    • Nov 14, 2014 2:04pm

      One thing I learned from my coach from CEL (Center for Educational Leadership) was to listen to what the teacher says and then consider what the teacher is REALLY saying. For example: If the teacher says, "My students can't do that." What the teacher is really saying is "I don't know how to help my students do that YET." When I respond to what I think the teacher is really saying, not what s/he said, I have more productive, enlightening conversations.

      Usually a difficult conversation becomes difficult because my button is pushed by what has been said and I haven't stopped to consider what was really said.....

      • Nov 11, 2014 10:41pm

        To set the tone of the meeting, I think starting with something positive is always helpful, even if it is something small. This allows both you to gauge the comfort level/feeling of the other person and also (hopefully) puts them in a learning mindset that is open to additional feedback.

        • Nov 16, 2014 5:02pm

          I often begin with the teacher's reflection about how things went overall. We have raw transcripts or observational evidence in front of us and can refer to it during the talk. Sometimes the teacher will point to the concern him or herself, which makes it easier to collaborate around a coaching solution.