Educators and educational institutions should train and teach all educators nonviolent communication and the effectiveness of communicating using the 3 R’s. As diverse families and children continue to grow in every educational institution are the country, it is integral that positive communication is used to bridge together and promote inclusivity, equality, and compassion in our society.
My personal workplace challenges involve a particular seasoned teacher who has been working for my school for 8-10 years and has clearly rejected my promotion as a head teacher. This teacher has a selective perspective on the different requirements and responsibilities that teachers have at our school. for the most part Wendy (let’s call her) thinks that teachers at my school are given too much work and so Wendy may decide not to complete responsibilities in a timely manner or negate to do them at all. She often refers to the old way of doing things or referring to years earlier when fewer responsibilities were required for preschool or headstart teachers. Wendy only pays attention to “information that is consistent with her schema” (O’Hair, 2015, p.38). However, when I was selected as head teacher at our school she had a public meltdown and questioned why she wasn’t given the position. At the time, I didn’t address the conflict with Wendy because she demonstrated she was in no mood to talk about it and was very upset that she wasn’t chosen.
Now that I am more familiar with effective conflict resolution strategies, she and I could have benefited from nonviolent communication. Dr. Rosenberg describes nonviolent communication to be a compassionate way of “both speaking and listening which leads us to give from the heart, connecting us with ourselves and with each other which allows natural compassion to flourish” (p.1). I believe that going through the steps of clearly stating what was observed without criticism or judgment by simply stating what is happening would have started a great conversation between us. Stating how she felt regarding this action (again without judgment or criticism) and clearly stating what she needed connecting it to her feeling would have helped her sort through her emotions. It would also have given me the opportunity to hear her, feel compassion, and express my own concerns. In addition, I would have also used productive conflict to figure out how to best resolve this matter and involve her in resolving this conflict. Using productive conflict may clarify each other’s thinking regarding the issue under discussion.
What would you do and what strategies might you use?