Communication in conflict is probably one of the most important times for communication, it can either escelate the argument or diffuse it.
This week we've been studying different techniques for communication in times of conflict, especially with families at our center or with co-workers. Reflecting back on some of those moments that have occurred, I think I would now do things a little differently.
The most common disagreement with co-workers has to do with scheduling, as I'm the one who makes the schedule. Either I've missed something they've requested or they're not happy with what we have them scheduled for. In the past, more often then not, in those moments I would start formulating my response before they've even finished talking. This past week I tried really hard to engage and listen to someone's complaint, but honestly when they were done talking I had nothing to respond back with. We've been studying the 3 R's: respectful, reciprocal, and responsive. I was trying so hard to be respectful and listen intently that I really lost the ideas of being reciprocal and responsive in return, I had no idea where to go with the conversation or conflict. Looking forward those are two areas that I need to really work on when it comes to conflicts in scheduling.
When I think through some of the parent conflicts that we've had, some of them have been minor, and some have been really major. The Nonviolent Communication Method may have been helpful for some of the more minor parent conflicts. NVC is NOT about getting people to do what we want. It is about creating a quality of connection that gets everyone’s needs met through compassionate giving. I think if on our end as a school, if we can continue to try to be compassionate and understanding through any conflict, it may help to come to a more positive solution.