Last Updated 20 May 2021

How to Establish Relationships with Adults

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How to establish relationships with adults Establishing relationships with adults use the same basic skills, wither it is a friend or colleague. The main difference establishing a friendship with an adult and a colleague is how much formality and professionalization is used. Professional Colleagues.  Formal vocabulary – You speak in a professional manner, using correct pronunciation and clearly.  Know colleagues title – Use their correct titles e. g. Mr, Mrs, Professor, Doctor etc.  Keep personal issues away – Do not bring into work your home issues, or let them distract you from work. Trust, Reliability and Initiative – When working closely with someone, you have to be able to trust that person to be able to carry out instructions correctly, know they will be in and on time, for work and know that they can handle situations on their own or have some input towards a common goal. Also not having to be told all the time what needs to be done next etc.

Approachable, Helpful and Assertive – Always be friendly and helpful, this way your colleague feels they can come up to you and ask for help etc. without feeling they are putting on you, as you are both working as a team. You must also be assertive, this does not mean attitude, lack of respect or rude but putting your opinion across on ideas or views.  No Attitude or Undermining – In a professional setting you DO NOT give a colleague any attitude or undermine him or her. This not only makes you look unprofessional but also lets everybody else know that there are issues and affects their work. If there are issues, you can ask the colleague for a quiet chat privately and put your opinions across politely and respectably. Body language & Humour – Your body language speaks volumes to other colleagues before you have said a word, so keep yourself happy, smiles, confident and available. If your body language is good, you will be more approachable, accepted and liked.

Humour is a good thing but you must always make sure it is acceptable for the situation and is not personal towards colleagues.  Confidential – A colleague must be able to tell you things of importance regarding work or a person and know that you will keep it confidential, without fear of it leaving the setting in which it applies. Dress code – How you dress reflects a lot on you, make sure you are dressed appropriately for the setting, with no miniskirts or very low cut tops etc. You should always be clean and presentable to be able to carry out your tasks in a professional manner. These are especially important guidelines to follow when working within a classroom setting with a teacher every day; you will build a lasting relationship built on mutual respect and trust. In addition, the pupils will see you both work as a team and friendly, which will better their experience in the classroom and their education.

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How to deal with disagreements Between you and other adults: If you do have a disagreement, it needs to be approached with respect and sensitivity to each other’s feelings as quickly as possible to prevent any further deterioration of the situation.  Making sure a disagreement has occurred – I would ask to have a private conversation with the other adult to check I have not just misunderstood what they have said or asked.  Communication & Respect – Make sure you listen to others opinions and views, without interjecting or talking over; this will only escalate the situation.

Also, expect the same respect back. Discuss the issues calmly and fairly. See if any agreement can come from conversation or common ground.  Mediation – If the disagreement cannot be resolved between ourselves, a third party can try to mediate between us. Who is not involved in the initial disagreement and is neutral.  Apologises – Always be ready to say sorry, if needed and be genuine. Also, accept any apologies given. Do not hold grudges or carry it on after it has been resolved. Between you and children or young people:

You should never be drawn into a disagreement with a child or young person, if the child or young person is trying to do this, you will have to manage the situation in a number of ways:  Find out what the problem is – Depending on age, lower yourself to their eye level and either repeat or request an instruction, ask them if they understood. If they reply yes, ask what is the problem?  Tone of voice – Keep your tone of voice calm and clear but firm.  Defiant child / young person – DO NOT get annoyed, ask another member of staff to help with situation, give the child a time out ( depending on age, will deter the time out given e. . corner or classroom or out of classroom etc. )  Distraction – You can sometimes distract the child from what is annoying them to help stop the disagreement.  Show example – Show the child/ young person what you expect by either a demonstration from yourself or another pupil in the class, this will show them you are reasonable in your request etc.

Be genuine – A child or young person will know if you are not and will continue to try to draw you into disagreements. Aggression – If a child is being aggressive, it will depends on the depth of the aggression e. g. strength, anger or even special needs will determine how it is dealt with. Mild aggression can be handled with talking and listening to the pupil, taking the child away to calm down and from what is causing them to get aggressive. Stronger aggression will need extra staff to help and can either restrain the child, then remove or in some cases remove the rest of the pupils from the class until the pupil has calmed down. Personality clash – Sometimes it can be just down to personality clash that you may have a pupil that draws you into disagreements, If this is the case, you must try not to show this towards the pupil but they will towards you.

You must remain professional at all times. If you are helping the pupil on a one to one, maybe ask to be moved to another child as the pupils education will suffer if they are more interested in having disagreements with you. Never tell the pupil this is why you are being moved and do not make them feel bad for the clash, it happens. Apologies – Never be afraid to say sorry to a pupil if you are wrong and say it meaningfully, the pupil will know if you are being honest. All of the above are ways to deal with a disagreement with a child or young person; any disagreement has to be dealt with accordingly with their age and extent of disagreement. Never feel you have to deal with it all by yourself, if extra help is wanted, ask for it as it may calm the situation down a lot quicker and easier.

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