This week, I'm asked to discuss some conflicts and strategies that help me manage or resolve the conflicts. I've got a great example. At the beginning of each new school year, my co-workers and I go through each child's folder. One thing we look at is the child's preferred name. The child could go by his middle name or even have a nickname. My co-workers and I view this very differently. I believe if the child goes by A.J. then in class he should be called A.J. It is what he is used to--it's his first school experience and we want the child to feel secure in class. My co-workers believe this is harmful and want to use the name Adam (first name). They want him to know his first name--without the nickname. I understand he will need to learn to spell his name--but before we get to that point lets call him something he's familiar with. Regardless, I usually do not battle this decision--just give my opinion. I let them know how I feel--we do this every year! This year I decided to use the 3 r's we have learned about: respectful, reciprocal, responsive. I listen to their reasoning--it appears it may be a cultural difference. I listen with my full attention without becoming defensive to our new students and their preferred names. I reciprocate their feelings--I give and take-- and then I respond. I respond with why I feel strongly about this. I express my concerns of a child not knowing his full name--only his preferred name. I explain that this child may need the comfort of hearing his preferred name. I am met with defensiveness and reasons why this is wrong, but I stand firm in my opinion. Sure, we may differ on the opinion of this, but I have learned that by following the 3 r's I don't feel personally hurt by their decision. (I don't know why I take it personally :).
This class is really help me become a better communicator! I can see great change in my communication styles!!