Being a good advocate really takes a lot of people skills. An advocate needs a strong emotional quotient. known as EQ
- Recognize the situations that cause various negative reactions. Identify how our body responds in these situations (tightening shoulders, voice becomes high pitched) as well as the accompanying emotions. What will you do to remain calm if tis occurs?
- Plan how to use positive responses. Recognize what your "go to " negative responses were . in the past . Rehearse the positive responses you want to use if things become tense during a meeting.
- Go into the meeting willing to listen with an emphatic ear and heart.
- During the meeting watch others' body language while you and others are speaking. Adjust your approach if you sense that others body language is not positive or neutral toward you.
- A break or postponement of the meeting is better than heated words that cannot be erased.
Relational or EQ skills are the hardest part of the advocating process but may be the most important. It is hard to develop these. Your child will be the big winner if you communicate effectively with a little relational savvy!