You are here

How to Say the Right Thing Every Time
Share

How to Say the Right Thing Every Time
Communicating Well With Students, Staff, Parents, and the Public

Second Edition

Other Titles in:
Communication Skills | Leadership

July 2008 | 272 pages | Corwin
Time-tested techniques for avoiding 20 most common communication mistakes! This user-friendly resource for school leaders provides practical strategies for improving daily interactions with students, colleagues, parents, and the community. Each chapter presents ready-to-use tips for effective verbal and written communications. The author offers do's and don'ts for difficult situationsùincluding grief and healing and straight-talk techniques for approaching sensitive topics such as sex, gangs, and substance abuse.

This revised edition features:

- How-to's for dealing with natural and man-made disasters

- A new chapter on differentiating communication to reach a wide audience of stakeholders

- A new section on communicating with school board members

 
List of Boxes
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. The Twenty Biggest Communication Mistakes School Leaders Make and How to Avoid Them
The Top Twenty Reasons Educators Fail to Communicate

 
The Jargon Trap

 
Euphemisms Feel Good but Don’t Send a Clear Message

 
Too Much Political Correctness Can Send Wimpy Messages

 
How Straight Talk Can Make You a Better School Leader

 
When the Right Thing to Say Is “Nothing”

 
More “Must-Do” Tips for Always Saying the Right Thing

 
 
2. How to Say the Right Thing to Students
Ten Guidelines for Communicating With Students

 
Straight Talk Is the Language of Choice With Kids

 
How to Talk to Young Children on Their Level

 
How to Talk to Today’s Teenagers

 
Differences in Talking to Boys and Girls

 
Another Dozen Do’s and Don’ts for Saying the Right Things to Kids of All Ages

 
How to Give Clear Directions and Instructions Every Time

 
Socrates Had It Right: How to Ask Effective Questions

 
How to Give Students “Pep Talks” That Really Work

 
How to Give Authentic Praise

 
How to Help Kids Talk Themselves Into Success

 
Rhetoric-Free Reprimands

 
Dealing With Touchy Topics (Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, Eating Disorders, and Other At-Risk Behaviors)

 
How to Talk to Kids About Death and Dying

 
How to Talk to Tough Kids (Including Gang Members)

 
How to Talk to Kids About School Violence

 
How to Talk to Kids About National Tragedies

 
 
3. How to Say the Right Thing to Parents
What to Say to Put Parents at Ease

 
Success Secrets for Communicating “Must-Know” Information

 
Straight Talk at Parent-Teacher Conferences

 
How to Explain Grades and Test Scores

 
How to Share Good News With Parents

 
How to Break Bad News (Failure, Retention, Disciplinary Action, Athletic Ineligibility)

 
Don’t Beat Around the Bush About Bad Behavior

 
How to Talk to Parents About Student Secrets, Surprises, and Other Sensitive Subjects (Dependency, Pregnancy, Homosexuality)

 
What to Say to Angry, Out-of-Control Parents and Other Adults

 
More Pointers for Saying the Right Thing to Parents

 
 
4. How to Say the Right Thing to Peers and Colleagues
Successful Job Interviews: How to Ask the Right Questions and Give the Right Answers

 
How to Ask for and Offer Help to Peers and Colleagues

 
How to Give Advice

 
The Language of Coaching and Mentoring

 
How to Argue and Win

 
The Proper Art of Bitching: How to Complain About the System and the People in It

 
How to Criticize a Colleague Without Losing a Friend

 
What to Say and Not Say When Giving References and Recommendations

 
What to Say and How to Say It in Performance Reviews

 
How to Pay Tribute to a Colleague

 
How to Say the Right Thing to the Central Office

 
How to Say the Right Thing to the School Board

 
 
5. How to Say the Right Thing to the General Public and the Media
Smooth Schmoozing: How to Make Small Talk

 
How to Sway Opinion and Persuade Nonbelievers

 
How to Handle Complaints From the Public

 
How to Make the Most of Good News

 
Truth in Taxation

 
How to Ask for Money

 
“Houston, We Have a Problem”: What to Say When Trouble Strikes

 
How to Apologize and Admit Mistakes to the Public

 
Spin-Doctoring for Amateurs

 
Dealing With the Media: What to Say to Reporters

 
Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking for School Leaders

 
 
6. How to Say the Right Thing in Special Situations
Secrets of Successful Ceremonial Greetings

 
How to Give and Receive Compliments

 
How to Show Appreciation and Say “Thank You”

 
How to Say “No” and Make It Stick

 
Tips on Testifying

 
Advice for Leading Prayers, Giving Invocations, and Pronouncing Benedictions

 
What to Say to Someone Who Is Not Going to Get Well

 
How to Express Sympathy

 
How to Give a Eulogy

 
 
7. How to Say the Right Thing in Writing
Writing Is Different—or Is It?

 
A No-Nonsense Writing Clinic for School Leaders

 
Interoffice Memos: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 
Cyber Straight Talk: Making the Most of Electronic Messages

 
Real-World Report Writing

 
How to Say the Right Thing in Business Letters

 
Correct Forms of Address for Letters to Special Public Figures

 
How to Write Straight-to-the-Point Press Releases and News Items

 
 
8. How to Say the Right Thing With Gestures and Body Language
How the “Silent Language” Speaks Volumes

 
Avoid Sending Mixed Messages

 
Understanding the Vocabulary of Body Language

 
Using the Power of Gestures

 
Stay out of Trouble: Avoid the Pitfalls of Different Meanings for Different Groups

 
Smile, You Really Are on Candid Camera

 
9. How to Target Communication to All Stakeholders

 
Tale of the Tail: Customizing Communication

 
Old Stand-bys Aren’t Enough

 
New Tools for Saying the Right Thing to Everyone

 
One Strategy That Works With All Stakeholders

 
A 7-Step Code for Saying the Right Thing

 
More Ready-to-Use Tips for Targeting Messages to Specific Audiences

 
How to Be a Communications Hero

 
 
A Final Word
 
Resources
Resource A. 101 Ways to Be a Better Communicator Starting Tomorrow Morning

 
Resource B. What Others Say About Communication: Quips, Quotes, and Anecdotes

 
 
References
 
Index

"I had several ‘ah-ha’ moments while reading this book. I cannot imagine anyone reading this and not finding it worthwhile. Kudos to the author for creating a meaningful guide for today’s school administrator."

Marie Blum, Superintendent
Canaseraga Central School District, NY

"A good tool for administrators and teacher leaders for its readability, content emphasis, and real-life examples."

Russ Bennett, Superintendent
Aurora City Schools, OH

Relevant to the objectives of the course syllabus

Dr Robert Berardi
Education Dept, Northeastern University
December 25, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter 1


Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

Order from:

ISBN: 9781412964081
ISBN: 9781412964074