Your principal asks you to follow up with a parent about a situation with their child. The parent does not respond favorably and reaches out to the principal to complain. The principal calls you to her office and "reminds" you that the school has protocols for how and when to reach out to parents. You are totally frustrated! You did exactly what she asked you to do and now she is blaming you for what's wrong.
Is your motive to prove to the principal that she was wrong and not you? Will that ultimately help you to support your goal of helping this student and working in collaboration with your boss? This one is hard for me because I *love* to be right. I am going to have to practice this skill of "ultimate goal" to help me get unstuck.
Master My Stories
A particularly difficult parent walks in your office with an angry look on their face. You brace yourself for their latest onslaught. You are so sick of this you think. The way they treat you is completely unfair and you really shouldn't have to put up with this.
What other stories could you tell about this parent? Fierce advocate? If you go into the conversation above with the idea that the parent is difficult and unfair, you will probably be defensive and further "prove" to the parent that there is something to be angry about. It's a vicious cycle y'all, when we see something that isn't working, change our story. I drive a lot for my job and I've pretty much mastered my road rage with this technique. When someone cuts me off, I'll think "they must be really distracted that they didn't see me." It works.