During the coming days, you will receive calls and correspondence from parents and staff competing for your attention. Some will want to see you immediately. You will recognize anger, concern, and sometimes feelings of powerlessness.
Your first question is:
1. When you receive a telephone call from a parent or staff member who sounds upset, the most likely cause is that the caller:
a. Wants an immediate decision.
b. Desires an explanation.
c. Wants to talk to you because you have the authority to make the decision.
d. Needs a problem solved.
e. Wants someone to listen.
Answer: Answers “a,” “b,” “c,” or “d” might be what the parent or staff member say are the reasons for contacting you, but the most consistent best answer is “e.” No matter what someone asks of you, the act of genuinely listening to an upset person will go a long way toward helping you find common ground.
(Article taken from Galileo for Superintendents. To learn more about this publication, please visit: www.masterteacher.com/Publications/Publication-for-Superintendents)