You are here

The Principal as Leader of Challenging Conversations
Share

The Principal as Leader of Challenging Conversations



February 2011 | 160 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with Ontario Principals' Council

"The last thing a principal needs is more stress! This book helps build skills that will ensure that challenging conversations go the way they should—toward resolution and peace."
—Beth Madison, Principal
George Middle School, Portland, Oregon

Direct difficult discussions toward successful outcomes every time!

For every principal who has ever wished for a quick reference guide to keeping challenging conversations on course, the ideal tool is here! Inside are all the skills you need for navigating high-stakes interactions with staff, parents, students, and district leaders, and steering them toward win-win solutions. Case studies throughout the book identify the risk areas and provide the steps to mastering techniques for

  • Active listening
  • Assertive communication
  • Providing effective feedback
  • Staying calm
  • Problem solving
  • Mediation

Also included are scripts, sample dialogues, style inventories, checklists, and resources for practicing skills learned from the case studies. Like having a communications coach in your back pocket, this guide gives tips for building a collaborative culture focused on what matters most—working together to achieve student success.


 
Acknowledgments
 
Preface
The Goal- Meeting the Challenge  
Organization of the Book and Special Features  
Who Will Benefit?  
 
1. Introduction – Dimensions of Challenging Conversations
What is a Challenging Conversation?  
Chat, Challenge and Crisis  
Challenging Conversations - Sources of Challenge  
Factors That Determine a Challenging Conversation  
Crisis or Challenge  
You, Your Community and Challenging Conversations  
Challenging Conversations - Core Concepts  
Power and Influence  
Why Have Challenging Conversations – Some Good Reasons to Talk  
Why We Avoid Challenging Conversations  
Challenging Conversations and a Collaborative School Culture  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice – The Principal and the Bully  
Your Personal Case Study  
 
2. Engaging in Challenging Conversations
A Framework for Conversations That Matter  
Engaging in Challenging Conversations – Principles  
Engaging in Challenging Conversations - The Critical Path  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice – Cleaning Up  
Your Personal Case Study – First Reflection  
 
3. Listening for Meaning
Why Should We Listen? The Case for Active Listening  
Active Listening  
Non-Verbal Communication  
Reframing  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice  
Your Personal Case Study – Second Reflection  
 
4. Providing Effective Feedback
Elements of Effective Feedback  
Barriers to Providing Effective Feedback  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice  
Your Personal Case Study – Third Reflection  
 
5. Being Assertive
“Be hard on the problem, soft on the people”  
Being Assertive- Techniques  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice  
Your Personal Case Study – Fourth Reflection  
 
6. Managing Anger: Yours and Theirs
What Bugs Me? - Different Things Bother Different People Differently at Different Times  
Some Approaches to Anger  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice  
Your Personal Case Study – Fifth Reflection  
 
7. How Do You Respond to Challenging Conversations?
Your Conversational/Conflict Style – Who are You?  
Conversational Strategies – Choices that We Can Make  
Factors that Affect Strategy Choice  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice  
Your Personal Case Study – Final Reflection  
 
8. The School Leader as Mediator - Facilitating the Conversations of Others
Why Get Involved?  
The Mediation Process – Facilitating Conversations  
Pre-Mediation  
The Opening Phase  
Resolution Phase  
Closing Phase  
The Promise of Mediation  
Summary  
Book Study Questions  
Case Study Practice  
 
Afterword
 
Summary – Key Concepts to Remember
 
References and Suggested Readings
 
Resources
 
Index

"The last thing a principal needs is more stress! The contents of this book will help build skills that will ensure that challenging conversations go the way they should—toward resolution and peace."

Beth Madison, Principal
George Middle School, Portland, Oregon

"This work will contribute to future administrators' success as they learn effective communication strategies for handling daily challenges and difficult situations."

Catherine Alaimo Stickney, Curriculum Coordinator
Ashland Public Schools, MA
Key features
  • Case studies throughout the book illustrate specific concepts and skills while end of chapter case studies give readers the opportunity for the reader to analyze individually or with colleagues. In the Resources section of the book suggested approaches for these case studies will be provided. As the reader compares his response to the case study to the suggested approach, it will feel like being coached through a challenging conversation. A running personal case study beginning in chapter one provides further opportunity for reflection and practice.
  • Organized around skills that make a difference, the book shows how to use active listening, assertive communication, providing effective feedback, and managing anger in order to effectively engage in challenging conversations.
  • Scripts/sample dialogues, style inventories, and skills checklists included throughout the book and in a practical resources section at the back of the book provide tools for understanding and implementing skills in practice.

Sample Materials & Chapters

OPC_ChallengingConversations_Preface

OPC_ChallengingConversations_Ch1


Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412981156
$30.95

For instructors

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.