I recently listened to a podcast by Ben Bergeron, owner of CrossFit New England, and one of the topics of conversation was various “what if” scenarios and tactful conflict resolution. Ben has recently introduced this discussion in staff meetings in order to help his colleagues be better prepared for the various things that can occur in a day, both within the business but also the wider world.
It had me thinking about the various scenarios that have come up in the past 2 weeks in my current school. I would love to hear individual and departmental views on how they would deal with these – while I think either myself or the person involved dealt with some of these very well, there is always room for improvement (and another point of view).
- What would you do if: One of the members of your department left the school (without informing any other staff or their line manager) for 3 hours to get a haircut?
- What would you do if: You walked into the boys changing room to find one student with boxing gloves punching another student in the head?
- What would you do if: A game of football you organised for your students had to be cancelled on the day of a game, due to a late issue with another whole school event?
- What would you do if: Your Headteacher did not appear at the end of year Sports Awards ceremony, and was due to give out an award at that ceremony?
- What would you do if: Challenged by a parent directly (in front of their child) regarding their PE report (and with no prior warning they were coming to meet you?)
These are only a handful of examples……. I am sure people have many more. I think it would be a valuable experience to share some of the more unique situations that arise in schools, to allow staff to be better prepared for what might happen!
In summary, for tactful conflict resolution, Ben’s advice was relatively simple:
-Your first reply should start with “Thank you”
-Allow them to take a role in creating the outcome
-Ensure the desired outcome can be met with immediate action
Happy conflict resolution!