Regular effective communication requires adaptability and flexibility. Here are some tips for effective communication with education staff:
- active listening: be attentive, listen carefully, make eye contact, be aware of body language, facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice to get an idea of how they are feeling and avoid misunderstandings
- ask questions and summarise what the speaker has said to check that you have accurately understood the information
- use non-blaming and ‘I’ statements to help clarify your point of view. For example, ‘I feel worried when I see that Jenny is starting to get angry’
- describe clearly and honestly what you would like to talk about. Try to use specific examples if you can to help teachers understand your child’s context
- be aware of how differences in upbringing, family values, culture, strengths, interests and experiences can mean that people have different points of view
- be flexible in communicating through different channels, for example, face-to-face, email, telephone
- consider whether the communication needs further follow-up and try to arrange a time to do so.
Source: KidsMatter enewsletter August 2017 edition.