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Paraeducator Supervision Academy


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Title: Paraeducator Supervision Academy

Paraeducator Supervision Academy
Presented by Your name here Your affiliation
here Your contact information here
Created by Nancy K. French, Ph.D. Associate
Research Professor The University of Colorado at
Denver Director, The PAR2A Center1380 Lawrence
Street, Suite 650Denver, CO 80204-2076Email
303-556-6464FAX 303-556-6142 Website
Job Titles
  • Para means along side of
  • Most commonly used titles
  • Paraprofessional
  • Instructional Assistant
  • Educational Assistant
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Instructional Aide
  • Aide
  • Paraeducator

  • A paraeducator provides instructional services to
  • and
  • works under the supervision or direction of a
    certified or licensed professional who is
    ultimately responsible for the students and the

Paraeducators Who are they?
  • Activity
  • Think about the paraeducators you work with.
  • How old are they?
  • How much money do they make?
  • What are their educational backgrounds?
  • What other characteristics are true of them?
  • Where did they come from? How were they hired?
  • What implications do these characteristics have
    for what we, as professionals, do to direct their

Who are Paraeducators?
  • Gender
  • 97 female
  • Experience / Training
  • gt 10 years experience
  • no formal training
  • Median Age
  • 40
  • Work Schedules
  • Range from 12-15 hours per week to 37 hours per
  • 60 work full time, 40 part time
  • Education
  • College degrees - 10
  • Some College - 50
  • Salaries
  • Hourly, benefits some places, none in others
  • Higher in urban areas, but generally the lowest
    in the district
  • Racial Characteristics
  • African-American and Latino heritage highly
    represented among paraeducators, but not among

Contributions of Paraprofessionals
  • Activity With a partner jot down several
    possible answers to one of the following
  • What contributions do we expect paraeducators to
    make to the educational process ?
  • Why do we employ paraeducators in schools?

Top 10 Reasons To Employ Paraeducators
  1. Complex student population
  2. Need for instructional support
  3. Cost effectiveness
  4. Instructional effectiveness
  5. Community connections
  6. Individualized support
  7. Need to provide related services
  8. Improved teacher-student ratio
  9. Shortages of fully-qualified professionals
  10. Legislation allows/ requires it

1997 IDEA Amendments
  • Part B, Section 612 (a) (15) - Personnel
  • State agency establishes and maintains standards
    to assure that all personnel are adequately and
    appropriately trained.
  • Paraprofessionals who are adequately trained and
    supervised may assist in the delivery of special
    education and related services.

Case Law Pertaining to 1997 IDEA Amendments
  • Paraeducator services must be provided to
    students with disabilities (including 11
    services) if such services are necessary for a
    student to receive a free appropriate public
    education (FAPE).
  • Legal decisions have indicated that the
    individualized education plan (IEP) team holds
    the responsibility to make the determination
    whether a paraeducator is necessary for a free
    appropriate public education.
  • Schools must provide related services required
    to assist students with disabilities to benefit
    from special education.
  • Related services may include health care,
    therapy, psychological services according to the
    individual needs of students.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2002
  • Title I specifies that paraprofessionals must
  • Two years of college, or
  • An associates degree, or
  • Pass a rigorous assessment of skills equivalent
    to two years of college, AND
  • Demonstrate the ability to assist in literacy and
    math instruction
  • Must work under direct supervision of fully
    qualified teacher
  • May only provide instruction if it doesnt
    prevent the child from receiving instruction by a
  • Job duties are limited to
  • individual tutoring

  • Activity
  • Discuss with a partner what the word liability
    means to you
  • Jot down three words that relate to issues of

Liability Paraprofessional Responsibilities
  • Understand and apply written safety procedures
  • Carry out and support all classroom rules,
    routines, procedures
  • Use prudent judgment relative to the safety and
    welfare of students
  • Implement the written instructional, curricular
    and adaptations plan as directed
  • Take data, keep appropriate records and
  • Communicate observations, insights, or
    information about students to professionals
  • Be aware of and heed the physical, behavioral,
    emotional, and educational needs of students that
    may affect their safety and welfare

Liability Supervising Professional Responsibility
  • Review procedures and policies that protect
    student safety and welfare.
  • Orient paraeducator to classroom rules, routines,
    procedures and practices
  • Determine risks and limitations for students
  • Provide written plans
  • Maintain a record keeping system
  • Use effective adult communications
  • Review confidential information that may affect
    student safety or welfare

Liability Administrator Responsibilities
  • Develop and disseminate written safety procedures
    and policies for all types of instructional
  • Provide district level and building level
    orientation to new and returning paraeducators
  • Provide appropriate ongoing, systematic
    in-service training to all those who carry out
    the instructional program
  • Establish an environment that supports effective
    interpersonal communication and teamwork among
    team members
  • Provide mentoring and guidance to professionals
    who supervise paraeducators

Potential Problems One-to-one dedicated
  • Become the primary service provider
  • Lack specific training on purposes of inclusion
  • Lack supervision
  • Develop ownership of the child
  • Communicate directly with families, leaving
    teacher out
  • Foster overdependence on adults
  • Create learned helplessness
  • Fail to provide specific behavioral or academic
    data to professional
  • Relieve general ed teachers of responsibility for
  • Give student the answers
  • Create social barriers between students
  • Lose perspective

Potential Problems Title I Paraeducators
  • Are inadequately or poorly trained
  • Have inadequate supervision from qualified
    reading teachers
  • Pull students out of class- limiting time with
  • Become primary service provider for certain
  • Assume responsibilities of teachers
  • Use poor grammar / lack literacy math skills
  • Use inappropriate teaching methods

Potential Problems ESL / Bilingual
  • Lack training in ESL and instructional methods,
    language acquisition, behavior management, etc.
  • Have inadequate supervision from fully qualified
    teachers or administrators
  • Assume full responsibility for teaching ELLs
  • Plan lessons
  • Assess language competence, academic progress
  • Provide concurrent translation during English
  • Relieve classroom teacher of responsibility for
    instructing ELLs Become primary liaison with
    families, leaving teacher out
  • Create overdependence and learned helplessness
  • Become social barriers between native English
    speakers and ELLs

Potential Problems Library Media
  • Lack preparation in the breadth of the curriculum
  • Lack preparation for teaching students to conduct
    research, use media to its fullest potential,
    select materials wisely etc.
  • Assume full responsibility for the collection
  • Lack supervision from fully qualified L-M
  • Fail to provide appropriate curricular support to

Potential Problems Classroom paraeducators
  • Hired with no minimum qualifications or prior
  • Lack appropriate training in curriculum,
    instruction, behavior management, classroom
  • Lack appropriate direction or guidance from
  • Teachers feel threatened by the presence of
    another adult in the room
  • Become sole service provider for certain students
  • Perform only clerical work

Shifting Roles
  • Professional Status and Supervision
  • the changing role of the teacher signifies a
    shift toward a more professional status for
  • Teacher As Executive
  • Classrooms are workplaces and the person who runs
    the workplace must perform a number of executive
  • Teachers must assure completion of and remain
    accountable for their five primary
  • Principals and District Administrators
  • As teacher roles shift, so do the roles of
    administrators who become chief executives,
    coordinating, coaching and guiding the work of
    multiple executives who supervise paraeducators

  •  Professions are characterized by the following
  • The obligations of service to others, as in a
  • Understanding of a scholarly or theoretical kind
  • A domain of skilled performance or practice
  • The exercise of judgment
  • The need for learning from experience as theory
    and practice interact
  • A professional community to monitor quality and
    aggregate knowledge
  •  Shulman, L. (1998) Elementary School Journal,,
    98(5), p. 516

Ethical Considerations
  • Preparation
  • Consider paraeducator competencies and skills
  • Consider paraeducator preferences and confidence
  • When you cant provide training, finding someone
    who can, or a class the paraeducator can take
  • Scope of Responsibility
  • Consider whether the task is legitimately within
    paraeducator scope of responsibility
  • Direction
  • Written plans, meetings, task monitoring,
    coaching of skills
  • Professional maintains responsibility for student

Professional Responsibilities
  • Planning
  • curriculum and instruction for students
  • Assessment
  • for program eligibility and for ongoing progress
  • Instruction
  • teaching or causing instruction to happen
  • Collaboration
  • with other professionals and families
  • Supervision
  • characterized by seven functions

Working Smarter Not Harder
  • Delineation of Roles and Responsibilities
  • Consideration 1 Legislation
  • Consideration 2 Liability
  • Consideration 3 Ethics
  • Scheduling / Improving Time Use
  • Sphere of influence
  • Self-Management


Paraeducator Responsibility Categories
  • Instruction
  • Data collection / reporting
  • Activity preparation / follow-up
  • Team participation / membership
  • Clerical work
  • Ethical practice
  • Supervision of groups of students
  • Health / personal related services
  • Other tasks (assigned in accordance with legal,
    liability, ethical considerations)

Executive Functions of Paraeducator Supervision
  1. Providing Orientation
  2. Planning
  3. Scheduling
  4. Delegating
  5. Training
  6. Monitoring task performance
  7. Managing the workplace

Providing Orientation
  • Stage 1 Get Acquainted
  • Introductions
  • Policy and Procedure Orientation
  • Confidentiality

Providing Orientation
  • Stage 2 - Establish The Supervisory Relationship
  • Structured Initial Conversation (next slide)
  • Work Style / Preferences Analysis
  • Defining the Job
  • Job definition step 1 Create Master List of
    Tasks Duties
  • Job definition step 2 Determine Paraeducator
  • Job definition step 3 needs vs. preferences"
  • Job definition step 4 - create Personalized Job
  • Job definition step 5 - list Training Needs

Structured Initial Conversation
  1. Why have you decided to work as a paraeducator /
  2. What are your recreational activities / hobbies?
  3. Which of your teachers made the biggest positive
    impact on you?
  4. What other skills do you have that we might
    incorporate into the classroom?
  5. What is your understanding of this position?
  6. What do you think are the goals of education?
  7. What other teams have you participated on?
    Sports? Work?
  8. What talents and skills do you bring to the team?
  9. How do you think teams function best?
  10. How can we assure that we will work well

Providing Orientation
  • Stage 3 Keep the Momentum
  • review training plan
  • review a list of all personnel finish

Team vs. Individual Supervision
  • Activity
  • Stop and think about your situation.
  • Briefly describe the way paraprofessionals are
    used in your school.
  • Where are they located throughout the day?
  • Who are they with?
  • What impact / effect does that have on the
    supervision provided to them?
  • Who supervises?

Paraeducators in Typical Teams
  • Example 1 General Education Teams (grade-level
    or subject area)
  • Together, provide orientation, develop
    personalized job description, clarify training
    theyll provide
  • Plan together, determine the paraeducators
    schedule, delegate tasks, and monitor the work of
    the paraeducator.
  • periodically meet with the paraeducator to
    communicate team and student needs, explain how
    to perform tasks, resolve problems and conflicts,
    and provide performance feedback

Paraeducators in Typical Teams
  • Example 2 Special - General Education Teams in
  • various professionals e.g. school psych, PT,
    OT, SLP, nurse, sped teacher classroom teacher
    share assessment and planning for students
  • students receive most of their education in a
    general education classroom
  • many team members are itinerant
  • day-to-day scheduling, direction and monitoring
    of the paraeducator shared by general ed teacher
    and special ed teacher
  • teachers share the daily functions of supervision
  • itinerant professionals provide plans, direction,
    on-the job training, and periodic monitoring of
    paraeducators task performance

Paraeducators in Typical Teams
  • Example 3 Paraeducator Supports Students
  • Individual or groups of students receiving
    specific program services
  • Spends time in general education classes
  • Classroom teacher plans instruction for class
  • Consulting teacher
  • consults with classroom teacher
  • plans individualized adaptations or instruction
  • provides specialized materials
  • provides training to the paraeducator
  • monitors student outcomes

Supervision Decisions for Teams
  • 1. Who plans the curriculum and instruction
    (including adaptations)?
  • 2. Who directs the paraeducator on a daily
  • 3. Who provides training for assigned duties?
  • 4. Who observes and documents task performance?

...What youre putting off
Five Major Reasons
  • Confusion
  • Lack of mental organization
  • Lack of clear goals
  • Resentment of Authority
  • Lack of control / Demands seem unjust
  • Lack of Self-Confidence
  • Unsure you can do it / Lack of skills
  • Self-Sabotage
  • Mixed emotions... about supervising, about
    inclusion, collaboration
  • Fear of failing / fear of looking bad or foolish
  • Pleasure Priority
  • Put enjoyment ahead of ambition / professional


Instructions given by flight attendants to
airline passengers
  • For those of you traveling with small children,
    in the event of an oxygen failures, first place
    the oxygen mask on your own face and then and
    only then place the mask on your childs face.
  • The fact is, the adult must be alive in order to
    help the child. In schools we spend a lot of time
    placing oxygen masks on other peoples faces
    while we ourselves are suffocating.

Time Use Matrix
  • Two continuums
  • Importance of tasks
  • Urgency of tasks
  • Time Use Matrix for School Professionals

Managing Your Time
  • Activity
  • Take a few minutes to plan how you want to manage
    your time
  • Some questions to consider
  • How will you take charge of your day and your
  • Can you schedule tasks at times that suit you,
    rather than handling them as interruptions?
  • How will you help yourself think about the
    questions of urgency and importance at the moment
    of an interruption or request?
  • How will you make time for things that are truly
  • What will you say to others when they tell you,
    or ask you to do something that you consider less
    important than what is already scheduled?

What is Delegation?
  • Delegation is...
  • the process of getting things done through others
    who have the skills to handle the tasks
  • the act of entrusting enough authority to another
    to get tasks done without giving up
  • an executive function that is fundamentally
    important to the professional behavior and time
    use of school professionals and to the
    supervision of paraeducators

What Delegation Is Not
  • Dumping
  • minimizes the paraeducator role
  • shows disrespect
  • ignores paraeducator abilities
  • shows disorganization, lack of skill to run the
    program or classroom
  • Puppeteering
  • fails to give authority to carry out the task
  • micro- manages
  • provides too much detail
  • Passing the buck
  • blames the paraeducator for failures
  • Punishment
  • mean-spirited assignments
  • diminishes initiative and ownership

Why Delegate?
  • As David Letterman would say, these are the top10
    reasons to delegate
  • It makes the most of your time
  • Creates teams
  • Empowers paraeducators
  • It means you dont have to do everything yourself
  • Maximizes use of your personal resources
  • Gives paraeducators what they need
  • Challenges paraeducators
  • Avoids the creation of indispensable people
  • Gives schools a better return on personnel
  • Minimizes physical limitations

Why School Professionals Fail to Delegate
  • Top 10 reasons school professionals fail to
  • I can do it faster myself
  • I am a perfectionist I want to be sure it gets
    done right
  • I have no time to train the paraeducator
  • Teaching is for teachers, Speech Language therapy
    is for therapists, etc.
  • The paraeducator isnt qualified to do the job
  • Paraeducators are paid too little / work too hard
    for their pay
  • Its not part of the paraeducators job
  • Some parts of teaching are my occupational
  • Im not confident of the paraeducators work
  • I dont want to be bossy I want paraeducators
    to like me

Effective Delegation
  • Like a legal contract, delegation...
  • Specifies the scope of the task
  • May be only a part of a larger task or the whole
  • Tells what is involved
  • Specifies goals or objectives to be reached
  • The eventual goal, purpose or outcome
  • How this task is related to others or builds up
    to the goal
  • Specifies the time frame
  • How urgent it is
  • How much detail or time to spend on it
  • Specifies the authority to carry out the task
  • 4 levels of authority
  • Specifies how the performance will be judged

The Seven-Step Delegation Method Overview
  1. Set clear objectives
  2. Select the right person
  3. Train the paraeducator to carry out the tasks.
  4. Get input from the paraeducator.
  5. Set deadlines, time frames, and follow up dates.
  6. Specify the level of authority
  7. Guide and monitor tasks

Step 1 Set Clear Objectives
  • The purpose of the activity or lesson
  • The eventual outcomes
  • How / where this activity fits with others to
    reach the intended outcomes

Step 2 Select the right person
  • Consider all available people for each task (e.g.
    peer assistant, classroom teacher, volunteer)
  • Take the skills and preferences of paraeducators
    into consideration
  • Provide opportunities for paraeducators to learn
    new skills
  • Rotate and balance assignment of unpleasant tasks
  • Consider workload and other responsibilities

Step 3 Provide Training
  • Consider what you already know about the
    paraeducators skills and confidence on various
  • Provide training on tasks that are new, have new
    variations, or for which they had little skill or
  • Consider who else might be able to train the
    paraeducator to do the task.
  • It may be a better use of your time to ask
    another paraeducator to teach a skill,
    demonstrate a technique, or explain a procedure
    than it is for you to do it.
  • Plan time for training sessions for new tasks.

Step 4 Get Input From The Paraeducator
  • To increase paraeducators commitment to their
    work and to the best outcomes for students
  • ask them what they think,
  • about what approach to take with a particular
  • what materials they would use.

Step 5 Set Deadlines Follow Up Dates
  • Minimizes the chance of miscommunication or
  • Establish checkpoints or follow up dates
  • Review data on student outcomes
  • Delegated tasks are being carried out correctly
  • They are having the desired effects

Step 6 Specify The Level Of Authority
  • Level 1 full authority to take action, use
    judgment, make decisions
  • Level 2 authority to take action, but requires
    frequent contact, specifies how often she will
    stay in touch and who initiates contact.
  • Level 3 Requires approval before taking action,
    or moving on to next step.
  • Level 4 Requires strict adherence to the plan,
    no leeway for independent decision-making

Step 7 Guide And Monitor Tasks
  • Amount and intensity of monitoring depend on the
    history of the working relationship.
  • Scheduled time for monitoring and feedback
  • Focus on objectives, rather than the perfect
    execution of prescribed actions.
  • Dont hover
  • Causes loss of self-confidence
  • Consider work style differences
  • Note and recognize good performance and
  • Documentation of performance should be specific
    to the objectives of the task and the
    specifications of the plan.

The Importance of Planning
  • The most effective teachers plan
  • Know what outcomes they expect from students
  • Know what methods theyll use to achieve those
  • Some teachers try to wing it
  • Experience matters
  • Carry ideas in their heads, make it through a day
    without written plans
  • Paraeducators are not teachers
  • Should not be forced into taking on teaching
  • Legally/ethically dont make decisions about
    curriculum or pedagogy
  • Cannot read teachers minds who should be
    making the decisions

Adapting Curriculum Instruction
  • Required by law (IDEA 504) for persons with
  • Illegal and unethical for paraeducators to
    determine adaptations
  • Adaptation plan should contain
  • long-range goals for the student
  • specific types of adaptations for all types of
  • Adaptation plan has multiple purposes
  • Serves as communication tool
  • Special ed General ed teachers
  • Teachers and paraeducators
  • Teachers and volunteers or peer assistants
  • Related services providers, families
  • To provide written data about student progress
  • Arams Adaptation Plan
  • Daily communication sheet for Aram

The Paraeducators Role in Adapting Curriculum
  • To follow written plans and oral directions!
  • Provided by any school professional
  • On behalf of
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students with other special learning needs (e.g.
  • Students with health issues
  • The general welfare and safety of all the
    students in the school

Planning Variables
  • Paraeducator experience, skill and training
  • Complexity of the task
  • Risk
  • Increased by
  • Lack of structure
  • Distance

  • Activity
  • Name the problems that keep you from providing
    written plans to the paraeducator?
  • Time?
  • Hassle?
  • Lack of a system?
  • Disorganization?
  • What would help?
  • Something that would be time efficient and yet
    get the job done?

Planning Form / Format Criteria
  • Easy to use
  • Readily available
  • The simplest design that covers the components
  • Brief
  • User-friendly
  • Visual appeal
  • Reads quickly
  • White space and/or graphics

Components of Plans
  • Purpose of task, lesson or adaptation
  • Long term student goals, short term objectives
  • Specific student needs / strengths
  • Materials / Resources
  • Sequence of actions, use of cues or prompts,
    permissible adaptations
  • Data structure for documenting student performance

Build Your Own Plan Forms or Formats
  • Activity
  • As we look at the following examples, discuss
    with a partner which of the components are
  • Consider the needs of your students are there
  • Consider which features you could use in your
    plan forms
  • What other types of plan forms would be useful to
  • Make sketches of the types of forms you might
  • Examples
  • Sean
  • Ashley
  • 7th grade vocabulary procedures
  • Calvin

  • Differs from planning in that it tells
  • Where each person should be
  • The time frame
  • Who they are with (students and teachers)
  • Generally what they are doing

Paraeducator Growth Development
  • Planning for Growth Development
  • Two Key Reasons
  • 1. A gap exists between programmatic needs and
    the skills or confidence level of the
  • 2. Life long learning - continual renewal and
    refinement of skills and keeping current with new
    ideas / technologies.

Paraeducator Training Needs Assessment
  • Completed by paraeducators
  • Identifies preferences and desires
  • Acknowledges importance of paraeducator role
  • Markets upcoming training
  • Shows districts concern
  • Doesnt necessarily identify all the training
    needs that exist
  • Completed by supervisors
  • Encourages reflection
  • Creates awareness of training needs
  • Acknowledges that some training can be provided
    in groups not just on the job
  • Demonstrates administrative support for teachers
    work with paraeducators
  • Doesnt necessarily identify all the training
    needs that exist
  • Needs Assessment Example

Content or Curriculum
  • Look for
  • Need
  • Consistency
  • Integrity
  • Relevance
  • Depth
  • Role legitimacy
  • Practicality
  • Instructional quality
  • Accountability
  • Cost

The Range of Training Formats
  • Training formats
  • Telling, mentioning, suggesting
  • Thorough explanation during team meetings
  • Demonstrating during student contact time
  • Using videos or other demonstrations during
  • Attending workshops, seminars
  • Taking courses
  • Attending conferences
  • Reading flyers, brochures, other print materials

Providing Training
  • Training methods vary according to purpose
  • For information / awareness - choose conferences,
    print, telling, Internet resources
  • For skill development select courses, workshops,
    demonstrations, on the job training with
    students, and coaching

Training Components
  • Theory skill, strategy, or concept is clearly
    explained or described
  • Demonstration skill, strategy, or concept is
    modeled or shown, so trainee sees or hears how it
    works in real situations
  • Practice trainee tries out the skill,
    strategy, or concept in a controlled or safe
  • Feedback trainer provides information to the
    trainee about how well the trainee performs the
    skill or strategy, or understands the concept
  • Coaching on the job while the paraeducator
    works with students

Documenting Training
  • A safeguard for three situations / reasons
  • The paraeducator doesnt meet the employment
  • Protects the safety and welfare of students
  • Provides a basis for legal defense if necessary

Changing Role For Teachers
  • Monitoring implies deliberate, purposeful
  • Equates teachers to team leaders in business
  • Little precedent for this role
  • Therefore requires
  • Administrative support
  • On the job training of teachers in this role
  • Coaching
  • Feedback to teachers
  • Accountability

Unfocused Observation Methods
  • Include Consideration of Multiple Variables such
  • personal style components
  • voice, gestures, delivery
  • content of lesson
  • interactions with students
  • organization of lesson or materials
  • time use
  • use of behavior management techniques
  • Examples Include
  • audio, video recording
  • scripting
  • notes on significant events

Focused Observation Methods
  • Checklist
  • Identifies / Tallies the Presence or Absence of
    Specific Behaviors
  • Useful to Assess the Overall Use of Specified
    Techniques in a variety of instructional or
    consultative / collaborative instances
  • Selective Verbatim
  • Captures word for word certain, pre-selected,
  • Useful for understanding questioning levels,
    frequency of questions, amount of teacher talk,
    clarity of directions, etc..

Formative Feedback
  • Five guiding principles
  • Performance
  • rather than personal characteristics
  • Specificity
  • rather than generalities
  • Honesty
  • rather than pretense, but cushioned with tact
  • Frequency
  • the more the better
  • Consistency
  • versus playing professionals against one another

Five Facts of Paraeducator Evaluation
  • School professionals often contribute to
    evaluation ratings
  • Recognizes high quality work
  • Recognizes the need for training or coaching
  • Evaluation requires judgement
  • Fair evaluation is based on
  • facts rather than opinions
  • standards rather than interpersonal comparisons
  • first-hand knowledge (observations) rather than
  • multiple data collection points


Rubric for Judging Level of Task Independence
  • Independent - performs task, as taught, without
  • Developing - performs task, as taught, but
    relies on cues or prompts for portions of the
  • Emerging - performs parts of task or tries to
    perform but requires substantial guidance to
    complete all aspects
  • Unable to Perform - Does not know how to perform
    the task
  • Unwilling to Perform - Unwilling to perform the
  • Sample form

Holding Meetings
  • Considerations
  • Finding a time
  • Establishing group norms
  • Establishing a functional location
  • Facilitation
  • Reviewing meeting effectiveness
  • Using an agenda
  • Developing the agenda
  • Agenda content
  • Following the agenda
  • Documenting group decisions / plans

Problem Solving
  • Step I. Recognize the existence of and define
    the problem
  • Describe, what the problem is
  • in terms of needs - not in terms of competing
  • Write the problem down
  • Tell who it involves
  • Describe when and where it happens / patterns
    that appear.
  • Decide how serious it is.
  • Determine causes, contributing factors.

Problem Solving (continued)
  • Step II. Decide whether or not to try to solve
    the problem,
  • Step III. Decide the criteria for a successful
  • Determine the standards that absolutely must be
  • Be sure that the standards are consistent with
    your values (if team members disagree on the
    values, now is the time to say so and to
    negotiate which values will apply).
  • Identify circumstances or standards that would
    turn an acceptable solution into an ideal one

Problem Solving (continued)
  • Step IV. Generate possible alternative solutions
  • If only one solution is generated, stop and
    reexamine the problem, as stated
  • If any team member suggests that there only one
    solution, sound the alarm!
  • Generate a list of at least three alternatives
    without evaluating them
  • Employ every creative idea-generating strategy
    that you can find.

Problem Solving (continued)
  • Step VI. Select one or more alternatives to
  • Write down the alternatives that are selected and
    the rationale for each selection. Be specific
    about what exactly is going to be done
  • Determine who will do what
  • Establish the timeline for the implementation of
    the alternative

Problem Solving (continued)
  • Step VII. Plan how to monitor and evaluate the
  • Determine what would constitute sufficient
    evidence that the solution is or isn't working
  • Establish a timeline
  • Establish a meeting time to discuss the results

  • The Circle of Conflict

Structural Issues
Five Factors that Cause Conflict
  • Relationships - history of strong emotions,
    misperceptions, stereotypes, poor communication,
    negative repetitive behaviors

Five Factors that Cause Conflict
  • Values -
  • Preferences
  • Deep seated beliefs that guide actions
  • Long-standing habits that control behaviors
  • Values can be acknowledged, understood, maybe
    even influenced, but probably not changed

Five Factors that Cause Conflict
  • Data
  • Lack of information
  • Different information
  • Different interpretation

Five Factors that Cause Conflict
  • Structural Issues
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Time
  • Schedule
  • Resources
  • Space

Five Factors that Cause Conflict
  • Interests
  • Psychological (status, power, respect, control,
  • Substantive (resources, materials, space),
  • Procedural (how decisions are made, steps taken
    to reach a goal)

Managing vs. Resolving Conflict
  • Resolving conflict is only possible if the nature
    of the conflict is in the bottom half of the
  • Structural Issues
  • Interests
  • Conflict Resolution - when the conflict is
    settled to the extent that it no longer consumes
    energy of the group or individuals

Managing vs. Resolving Conflict
  • Often, the very best we can do in relationship,
    values, and data conflicts is manage it
  • Conflict Management - the conflict is identified,
    acknowledged, assessed, steps are taken to
    address some of the most serious aspects or side
    effects, options are generated.

Caring Confrontation
  • Three steps
  • Message of positive care and concern
  • Observation of specific behavior
  • Statement of feelings
  • Example Beth, its important to me that we work
    well together, even when we have differences.
    Today, in the meeting you said something offhand
    to the effect that I didnt have an area of
    expertise. That hurt my feelings.

Resolving Conflicts
  • If resolution seems possible and conflict is in
    bottom half of circle, and you are willing to
    devote the time it takes, then do this
  • Gain agreement to resolve the conflict
  • Identify interests
  • find out what each needs to get out of it in the
  • Generate options
  • select options only if they allow the interests
    of each party to be met
  • Select a solution
  • gain agreement from both parties to adhere to the
    selected solution
  • create a solution plan
  • E.g. who does what, where , when, how
  • Gain agreement to adhere to the plan.
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