• Suggestions For Effective Communications

    When addressing your concerns, the following guidelines** may be useful in facilitating discussion and problem resolution:

    Organize Your Thoughts

    • Clearly state the issue or the problem you are experiencing.
    • Prepare/obtain supporting documents.
    • Make a list of questions or points you would like to make.
    • Identify several possible solutions you think would resolve your concern.

    Stay Calm; Maintain A Civil Tone

    • Focus on the facts, not on the person with whom you are discussing the issue.
    • Avoid blaming, demands and “shoulds.” Say “I believe…,” “I feel…,” rather than “You should…"

    Clarify Rather Than Assume

    • If you are not sure about something or what you heard, ask for an explanation or clarification.
    • Try to understand the other person’s view of the situation and the solutions they might propose.

    Be Flexible

    • Recognize that problems can be solved in more than one way.
    • Be open to alternative solutions.

    Keep Records

    • Make notes of meeting dates and times, who you talked to and what was discussed.
    • Save copies of letters, forms and other material related to your concern.

    ** Source: Based in part on guidelines from the State of Washington, Office of the Governor, Office of the Education Ombudsman.

    Download Effective Communications card >>