3 Strategies for Positive Communication
by Amber Gunnels, on Mar 29, 2021 3:30:00 PM
Positive communication is an essential part of two-way conversation that is desired between parents and teachers, teachers and students, and parents and children. One difficult way for conversations to stay positive, at times, is when issues or problems need discussing-- which can lead to confrontation.
A considerable amount of people dislike confrontation due to dealing with uncontrollable reactions of the other person. To help deal with conversation discomfort, here are three tips for making confrontational conversations a little more enjoyable and less stressful:
1) Start with a Positive
Sometimes, the hardest part in starting a difficult conversation is to find the words to say in the beginning. A way to make an easy transition into a harder conversation is to start with a positive statement that will lead into the issue. This will indicate what you enjoy about the person or situation, before moving into the main problem. Here, a teacher might say, “Timmy is a very bright student in the classroom. He is normally very well behaved and loves interacting with other students. He also started with all A’s and B’s at the beginning of the year.”
2) Explain the Issue
The next part of the conversation should lead into addressing the problem. It’s important to go straight into talking about the issue; avoiding the problem may lead to a random conversation that never solves the matter that needed addressing. In order to continue the conversation about Timmy, the next step would be to explain the issue by saying, “Even though Timmy had A’s and B’s at the beginning of the year, I am starting to worry about his progress during the second semester. His grades seem to be slipping, and he constantly daydreams in class. When I try to get him to do his work, he either completely ignores or gets angry at me. I’m confused and unsure of what is going on with Timmy. I am hoping you can let me know some details.”
3) End with a Positive
In order to end the conversation positively, conclude with a positive statement. This may leave both parties feeling good about the conversation and end on good terms. To complete the conversation, the teacher could say, “I think Timmy has a chance to get back on track before the end of the year. Timmy has the potential to finish the year with passing grades and be successful. I believe with continuous encouragement for Timmy and communication between us, we can make sure he ends the year successfully.”
It is not always easy to talk about issues and concerns, especially when they deal with conflict or confrontation. By using these three tips for positive communication, it will make the process of discussing issues more enjoyable and stress free, which will not only inform but may also help individuals, too.