Skills

Many of my colleagues and clients have encouraged me to share some of the concepts and tips that I’ve learned through the years working in the field so I’ve decided to write this monthly column. Please check back every month to see the latest skill.

The Art of the Question

A successful questioner comes armed with a well-stocked “tool kit” of useful questions. That’s because good questions are hugely important, and crafting them is definitely more art than science. We have all been in that conversation where we didn’t have a clue of what the person was talking about, sometimes leaving the conversation more confused than when we entered. Here’s... 

Saying a Lot…Without Saying a Thing

Non-verbal communication is a vital technique in active listening. When done well, it can be the key to a thoroughly positive conversation or meeting. However, when done poorly, non-verbal communication can blow up everything, resulting in nonproductivity, mistrust and, yes (for those of you who in special education), possibly even a due process filing! Ever been in a meeting where someone... 

Celebrate and Take a Break

Whether you are a parent and/or work in education, now is the time to celebrate and take a break. This may be going outside of our usual ADR topics but considering that we have officially reached the summer, it seems perfectly relevant and is most likely an important reminder. So, this month we really have two “Skills.” 1) Celebrate. District... 

“I” Messages Really Do Work

There I was in Palm Beach, Florida, conducting professional development training for non-profit administrators, and it was going great. Everyone was actively participating and had been open to learning new communication techniques. Then I came to the topic of “I” Messages and they immediately shut down, one of them proclaiming, “Oh Marc, that stuff is a bunch of California woo-woo....