ETL504. Module 4. Communication

Communication is key to building relationships and collaborative partnerships within the school. There are barriers to effective communication that need to be considered prior to developing new programs or working with teachers and students.

 Negotiation: In many cases, conflict in a workplace just seems to be a fact of life. Most people have seen situations where different people with different goals and needs have come into conflict. The fact that conflict exists, however, is not necessarily a bad thing: As long as it is resolved effectively, it can lead to personal and professional growth. However, if conflict is not handled effectively, the results can be damaging.

A mindset of negotiation means that both parties will “win” whereas a mindset of conflict resolution suggests that one party is more likely to come out on top.

Negotiation requires you to think about the needs of the other party and find a resolution that will be satisfactory for all.

The 5 Most Common Techniques for Conflict Resolution.

1)     Competitive. Operating from a position of power, drawn from things like position, rank, expertise, or persuasive ability.

2)     Collaborative. People who can be highly assertive but unlike the competitor, they cooperate effectively and acknowledge that everyone is important.

3)     Compromising. Everyone is expected to give up something, and the compromise him/herself also expects to relinquish something.

4)     Accommodating.  The accommodator often knows when to give into others, but can be persuaded to surrender a position even when it is not warranted.

5)     Avoiding. This style is typified by delegating controversial decisions, accepting default decisions, and not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings.

The 5 Most Common Challenges.

1)     A conflict is possibly more than a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (Whether or not the threat is real).

2)     Conflicts may continue to fester when ignored, because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival; they stay with us until we face and resolve them.

3)     We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values and beliefs.

4)     Conflicts can trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully.

Conflicts are an opportunity for growth. When you are able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure, knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.

Think about how you have tried in the past to explain a topic to a student – what have been the problems in the explanation? View the video below and then consider how your explanation could have been improved.

How the Communication Process Works. – Video  Alanis Business Academy – YouTube

  • I usually demonstrate or model instructions/ information when teaching, but admit that body language is a significant factor when students are receiving messages from me. They all have different learning styles; some are visual learners, others require hands on examples, some need various methods of explaining, so I will usually have planned which students can follow verbal instructions and which students I will need to repeat or reinforce the instructions or messages again, and by what means, ie. Face-to-face, modelling or demonstrating, and written examples within a small group context.
  •  Background noise does have a significant effect on their concentration or ability to receive the whole message, and a quiet environment is usually conducive to the most effective learning.
  • Keeping the message simple and without too much detail and content. I find by walking around the class and visiting each table and adding more details on the task, results in the students listening more carefully and understanding all the instructions involved. Student’s asking clarifying questions also aids their understanding, and assists those students who were unwilling or afraid to ask for clarification.

Scenario

You have developed a new digital literacy program that you believe needs to be used across the school. How will you communicate this program to your staff?

  1. Use the communication process as your guide, and share your communication strategy on the forum.
  2. Critically comment on other forum posts about the process or strategies that others have suggested. How could they be improved?
  •  I would first speak to the Principal or Deputy Principal to demonstrate the new digital literacy program and explain why I consider it so important to be implemented throughout the school teaching and learning context.
  • After receiving the ‘go ahead’ from the Principal I would email all staff and introduce the program, setting out details and reasons why/how it could assist with teaching and learning contexts as an effective teaching aid or tool, and stressing its advantages.
  • In addition, that I would like to organise a staff PD on the program and the Principal has suggested three viable dates and times for consideration by the staff. I would ask them to choose two dates; one they can clearly attend and a second date as an alternative.
  • I would mention that at the next staff meeting I would appreciate their cooperation in organising a mutually convenient date/day for the demonstration and if they could all have some dates for consideration and collaboration.
  • I would request that staff email me with any feedback, questions, or organisational problems before the staff meeting, and that I would reply as soon as possible, and attempt to address any concerns or problems.
  • At the staff meeting make sure I had all documentation or answers to queries at hand, and an appropriate calendar to collate and organise a suitable date.
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