Communication Tip:

Originally written by Kerry for tutorial reference material, rewritten for Communication Weekly.

Accurate Appropriate Acknowledgments

This tip is a quote from the Communication-Skills Tutorial for Teachers. It's of value for everyone because it addresses the subject of acknowledgment—one of six causes of breakdowns in communication in relationships. The word "you" in the following quote addresses a teacher doing the tutorial.

"Whenever a student is failing there is something that's not being acknowledged."

Parents have an implied agreement to support you in teaching their child. This implied agreement only turns into a supportable agreement when you (the teacher) verbally communicate it.

The way to tell you have communicated the Teacher-Student-Parent Homework Agreement is by looking at the results. When a parent sends their child to school without the homework done you discover that communication did not take place; most importantly, the student, the parent(s), and you are now in a condition called out-integrity for which there are always undesirable consequences.* i.e. For some, the consequences (karma) from a lie or a broken agreement, come quickly, often in the form of feeling guilty, of not feeling well—even sick about the incident; others pay themselves back by creating their own breakdowns in communication. In other words, a broken homework agreement not only negatively affects you and the student, it also affects the parents and their daily intentions (outcomes) as well.

If you fail to acknowledge the parent the very first time he/she breaks this homework-support-agreement, their unconscious covert sabotage of you as a teacher, you will produce more of the same results for yourself and all with whom you relate—such is your power. The parent and their child will set it up to get caught (acknowledged) for this first perpetration. They expect you to be sharp and on top of things. They will test you to see if you're worthy of their support and respect. If you fail to acknowledge a parent when he/she thwarts you in having all homework turned in on time you will lose their respect. They will know for certain that you are a typical teacher. "Typical" here meaning, like most of the ones they had in school—a teacher who doesn't always mean what he/she says.

An agreement is rigorously supported. It is unethical to create the illusion of an agreement; it sets it up for the other to fail. At best an unacknowledged perpetration guarantees more of the same; if you don't acknowledge a student for all outcomes he/she will find other ways to get acknowledged, most often through misbehavior, failing, getting sick, or worse.

The teacher's tutorial will support you in acknowledging accurately and appropriately."

As pertains to personal/intimate relationships, accurate appropriate acknowledgment is a key to the experience of love, happiness, prosperity, and health. If your spouse is failing in life, or if your child is failing in school, there is something that's not being verbally acknowledged. A problem persists because there's a lie in the space; when the truth is told a problem disappears. A failing child is in fact communicating non-verbally that something's wrong, that the integrity is "out" within the family, specifically, that the child is not in-communication with anyone.

For example: All dissatisfactions with sex between married couples are generated from the very first experience in which one partner stuffed his/her thoughts thereby rewarding, training, and condemning their partner to mediocrity. Allowing a partner to believe they are great, or even satisfactory, is referred to as a setup; the dissatisfied partner unconsciously sets up their partner to fail and then later blames them when in fact they perpetuated the less-than-satisfying performance with their leadership-communication skills. One is either experiencing exquisite intercourse or they are withholding a thought from their partner; they are in fact acknowledging them non-verbally, inappropriately and inaccurately.

* If a parent sends his/her child to school without the homework being done (or done but with poor penmanship) then we say that the teacher created the illusion of an agreement. The teacher assumed that the implied agreement was a given. At first we might think that the teacher failed to communicate; not so. What's so is the teacher manifested his/her unconscious intention. Teachers unconsciously intend that students and parents not honor the homework agreement (read—The Homework Story); a teacher unconsciously does this in support of communication mastery, specifically, to address the teacher's addiction to blaming. What's also so is the parent and the student clearly got that the teacher did not mean what he/she said. Instead, what did get communicated was, "Like most other teachers, I don't always mean what I say. "When homework is communicated it gets done through to everyone's satisfaction; when a teacher lapses into his/her imitation of communication then homework is not done or, it's done but accepted with sloppy/poor penmanship (the teacher thereby thwarts a fellow teacher—the student's former penmanship teacher).

Note: I know of no university speech-communication curriculum that teaches education majors how to co-create agreements; none to my knowledge address personal integrity and its effect on outcomes. What's worse is that none offer or require Leadership Training. For example: Few principals know how to cause the various daily, weekly and monthly teacher reports to be completed and handed in on time and so they can't model this skill for their teachers.

Use the free Clearing Process to restore/maintain your integrity.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 10/15/17)


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