• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“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.

Being Assertive
Being assertive

So far we have emphasized the need for the school leader to consistently be supportive, open, and authentic in fulfilling his duties. Without diminishing the importance of acting in these ways, there are times when the school leader must make a stand and assert his beliefs and ideas. There are also individuals with whom the school leader must interact who are difficult, demanding, sometimes aggressive, and simply disagreeable to work with. Those difficult individuals, too, may require an assertive approach. In this chapter we will focus on situations in which the school leader needs to assert his position. We will also consider the skills and approaches that will assist the school leader in working with especially difficult individuals.

First, let's consider this scenario:

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