Materials in this section are designed to assist parent advocates and leaders to increase their knowledge and awareness of different communication styles, the importance of active listening and strategies on how to deal with conflict.

Basic Information

On this page, you will find a collection of materials that offers introductory, fundamental information on communication skills, active listening and conflict resolution. Click on the title to access each resource.

Communication Skills

Open Line: Effective Communication  PDF icon .pdf

This guide was developed to assist parents to effectively communicate with school personnel and other agencies. It provides an overview of verbal, non-verbal and paraverbal types of communication, barriers to communication and the importance of having good listening skills.

Importance of Active Listening

Listening Video  Movie / Video icon Flash Video

This short video was developed to help the viewer better understand the three critical elements of listening: keeping the focus on the other person; listening with care and empathy; and demonstrating understanding.

Key Elements for Active Listening  PDF icon.pdf

A two page summary of Thomas Gordon’s key elements of active listening.

Attitudes for Active Listening  PDF icon .pdf

One page summary of Thomas Gordon’s six attitudes that must be present to actively listen to what is being said.

Conflict Resolution

The ABC's of Conflict Resolution  PDF icon .pdf

This short presentation focuses on the fundamentals of conflict resolution: ask what the problem is, brainstorm solutions and choose the best solution.

Conflict Resolution: A Six Step Process for Responding to Conflict Constructively  PDF icon .pdf

A one page summary that offers six steps with helpful suggestions on how to implement each step.

Understanding Positions and Interests  Web icon web  Movie / Video icon  Flash Video

A short video presentation that explains the difference between one’s position and interest and how this understanding is key to resolving conflict.

Tips for Using Nonjudgmental Language  PDF icon .pdf

Ten tips for using nonjudgmental language.

Going Deeper Link

Going Deeper

On this page, you will find a collection of materials that provides more in-depth information on communication skills, active listening and conflict resolution.

Communication Skills

Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction

Book resource: Knapp, M. & Hall, J. A., (1992) Nonverbal communication in human interaction (3rd ed.). Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich.


How To Read Other’s Thoughts By Their Actions

Book resource: Pease, A. (1981) Body language: How to read others’ thoughts by their actions. North Sydney: Camel Publishing.

How To Use The Winning Moves of Power, Love and Success

Book resource: Pease, A. (1989) Body language: How to use the winning moves of power, love and success. [Audiovisual kit]. Avalon Beach: Pease Training Corp.

Importance of Active Listening

We’re working on materials for this section and will have them posted soon. Please check back!

Conflict Resolution

A Tale of Two Conversations   Web icon web
The first video shows an example of two people having a difficult conversation using poor communication skills. The second video shows how the same conversation can be conducted in a way that leads to significantly enhanced communication.

A Tale of Two Conversations Study Guide (No Captioning)  Web icon web
This guide provides a more in-depth study of the effective communication skills shown in the video A Tale of Two conversations.

Collaborative Problem Solving: Steps in the Process  Web icon web
This article provides an overview of a methodology for resolving conflict in a collaborative manner.

 Training Tools Link

Training Tools

On this page, you will find tools for trainers to use when conducting workshops or trainings communication skills, active listening and conflict resolution.

 Communication Skills

 Communication: Taking a LOOK at Non-Verbal Communication  PDF icon .pdf
A presentation developed to train parents and family members on Non-Verbal Communication. 

Non-Verbal Communication  PDF icon .pdf
An activity designed to engage members of the audience in expressing various non-verbal communication modes in a variety of different situations.

Who Is Holding the Ball?  PDF icon .pdf
A 15 to 20 minute activity designed to identify patterns of talking & listening.

Key Phrases and Statements to Encourage Communication  PDF icon .pdf
A tip sheet that offers helpful phrases and statements that can be used to start a conversation, illicit a response when the other person is not talking, express confusion and offer support and help. 

Importance of Active Listening

Effective Listening Skills  PDF icon .pdf
A presentation on the definition of active listening and 10 skills needed to demonstrate that active listening is occurring.

Skills Cheat Sheet  PDF icon .pdf
A two page factsheet that describes and gives examples for each skill associated with active listening.

Listening Awareness Inventory  PDF icon .pdf
A 10 questionnaire developed to help determine an individual’s listening style. Part of the "Effective Listening" PPT.

 Listening and Asking Clarifying Questions  PDF icon .pdf
A presentation that describes the importance of listening and asking clarifying questions in collaborative teaming settings and uses role playing to demonstrate the ability to use the skills of listening and asking clarifying questions. 

Escuchando y Clarificando Preguntas  PDF icon .pdf
Una presentación que describe la importancia de escuchar y hacer preguntas aclaratorias en entornos colaborativos teaming y utiliza juegos de rol para demostrar la capacidad de utilizar las habilidades de escuchar y preguntar preguntas aclaratorias.

 Listen  PDF icon .pdf
An anonymous poem that could be used to initiate an opening discussion on the importance of listening or as part of closing comments.

When We Listen  PDF icon .pdf
A poem on the importance of listening.

Active Listening Skits 1 & 2  Document .doc  
Each skit involves role playing a scenario that illustrates the use or lack of, active listening skills.

 Active Listening Skits 1 & 2 Observation Form  PDF .pdf 
A one page form developed to capture observations and comments while the Active Listening Skits 1 & 2 are enacted. 

Conflict Resolution

 Understanding Conflict  PDF icon .pdf
This presentation describes various approaches to help deal with conflict.

Entiendo Conflictos  Presentation icon .ppt
Esta presentación describe los diversos enfoques para ayudar a lidiar con el conflicto.

 Reflecting on Yourself  PDF icon .pdf
Five questions that can be used to assist participants to reflect on their style and approach to conflict management.

 The Zax  PDF icon .pdf
This poem highlights what happens when conflicts are not resolved. It could be used to initiate an opening discussion on conflict or as part of closing comments.

 Communication Styles: Self-Assessment  PDF icon .pdf
A short tutorial that describes the characteristics of the four main styles of communication, offers strategies on how to adjust to the communication styles of others and a short questionnaire that helps determine an individual’s style of communication.

 Some Causes of Conflict /Disputes  PDF icon .pdf
A one page list of common causes of conflict and disputes.

Learning Packets Link

Learning Packets

Our learning packets are “grab & go” materials designed with trainers in mind, but can also be useful tools for the interested parent. Each packet focuses on a specific topic or aspect of parent advocacy and leadership as it relates to communication.


Learning packetsActive Listening