Crucial Conversations

Sentence Starters

Establishing Mutual Trust and Respect

  • Thank you so much for coming, I really appreciate your time.

  • Thank you for coming to talk with me about such an important issue.

  • Is now a good time to talk?

  • Last we talked, you shared concerns regarding______. I’d like to follow up on those concerns and discuss your child’s progress.

  • I called today to share a success/celebration_______.

  • Compliment sandwich

    • Lead with a positive, get to the “meat” of the issue and close with a positive.

Establishing a Shared Focus or Purpose

  • Our/My goal is to provide ______________ with the support he/she needs to be academically successful.

  • I know that you want was it best for your child, please know that my goal is also to provide him/her with the support he/she needs to be successful her at school.

  • I can see that this issue really bothers you and that ___________ ‘s success is really important to you, and overall we have the same goal because ____________’s success is really important to me as well. Let’s talk about how we can work together to achieve our goal.

  • Together we can figure out the best way to support him/her here at school.

Making the Conversation Safe

  • You know your child better than anyone else and I would love to get some additional information/specifics on what motivates him/her. Would you share that with me please?

  • I appreciate you coming in today to discuss concerns about _______. Why don’t we start with you. Can you share your concerns with us? We want to work with ______ to help them feel more successful here at school.

  • I understand that you are very upset/frustrated about ________________. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me about it today.

  • Please go on. Help me understand what happened.

  • How can I help?

  • I’m sorry that this happened ________. Let’s work on a solution so that doesn’t happen again.

Closing the Conversation

  • Thank you for coming in today…

  • I see that I need to gather some more information to address your concerns. Let’s find a date/time that we can reconvene to discuss this further.

  • Do you have any questions or concerns we haven’t addressed?

  • Is there anything else you think I should know?

  • Please know that I will follow up with you as soon as I have more information.

    • Give time/date

    • Take the time to gather facts

    • Follow through