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An important part of making sure a governing or school council works effectively is to make sure there are good relationships among everyone involved. This is especially important during council meetings.
These points can help with how you approach meetings and discussions with other people, particularly in more formal situations. You should:
- have respect – offer it, mean it and earn it
- have understanding – learn about and consider each person’s background and culture
- be sensitive – be considerate and thoughtful in how you deal with each person
- listen – listen actively and allow other people to be heard
- be prepared – have all the necessary papers and information required for meetings
- think – are any issues going to cause distress to individuals or conflict with specific cultural values?
- speak – talk plainly and openly, and try not to use complex words when simpler ones will do.
There are some things to look out for and avoid:
- being late
- blaming and accusations
- rude or offensive language
- racist or sexist remarks
- talking over someone else
- hostility or aggression.
As well as these basics about dealing with people, there are specific expectations about how you behave when you are a member of a council.
Governing Councils, Office for Education and Early Childhood
Phone: 8226 9617
Email: decd.sitegovernance [at] sa.gov.au