3 Skills to Manage Difficult Conversations with Parents

Next time you find yourself face-to-face with an emotional or angry parent, use these 3 skills to ensure the best result for yourself, the parent, and the student..

1. Start with Heart: The first thing people look for in a crucial conversation is whether the other person is a friend or a foe. If people mistrust your motives, it doesn’t matter what you say—they simply won’t hear it. So, before you engage, get your heart right—check your motives.

2. Fix Misunderstandings: We enter every conversation with assumptions—a story we tell ourselves about the situation. These assumptions are often negative. Parents usually come into the conversation with limited information from a child who wants to paint him or herself in the best light. And when information is missing, we tend to imagine the worst. As a result, parents usually see the educator as a villain in this story.

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