How To Work With Parents: Mastering Communication
The simplest secret to winning with parents is to learn how to communicate clearly. I can’t count the number of times parents have asked me questions that could have easily been answered through basic communication channels. The parents at our church are smart, but not mind readers. Parents want to be informed about what’s going on. Here are 7 tips to improve your communication.
7 tips for mastering communication
- Be consistent: Every month parents should receive a brief list of announcements. Think of your top 5-10 events or ideas. If needed you can break things down further into weekly emails. Just don’t flood the weekly emails with too much info.
- Be concise: This stems from above, parents can’t keep up with all the reading they are required to do with school, sports, church, and life. Focus on dates and key details. Parents are looking for a simple menu, not a recipe.
- Be clear: If you’re not good at writing, find someone to proofread your emails. There is a big difference between an event starting at 6 AM and 6 PM. You don’t want to be on the other side of an angry parent when that mistake rolls out.
- Communicate in advance: Early communication helps prevent scheduling issue. This includes staff meetings. Make sure we know what you’re planning, and do it early enough so it can be reviewed and sent to the parents.
- Be cheap: Email doesn’t need to be expensive, but if you have families who are not online and don’t check their emails, it maybe helpful to print copies and leave it at your campus for pick up.
- Be honest: Communicate what time your meeting or event actually ends… Even if students are having a good time, angry waiting parents are not worth the blow back. Honor their time along with the students.
- Be helpful: Think about how to get conversation started at home. In your emails give parents a small heads up about what is being taught.