Corwin: How to Say the Right Thing Every Time: Communicating Well With Students, Staff, Parents, and the Public: Second Edition: Robert D. Ramsey: 9781412964081
How to Say the Right Thing Every Time

How to Say the Right Thing Every Time

Communicating Well With Students, Staff, Parents, and the Public

Second Edition

Robert D. Ramsey Consultant
© 2009   272 pages   6" x 9"  
Volume Discount Available! Contact Your Sales Rep
Paperback ISBN: 9781412964081 $36.95 Add to Cart
Hardcover ISBN: 9781412964074 $80.95 Add to Cart
Ebook ISBN: 9781452280554
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Other Titles in: Communication  |  Leadership
Grade Level : Elementary, Secondary, PreK-12
Translations & Foreign Rights  |  Permissions
List of Boxes
About the Author
1. The Twenty Biggest Communication Mistakes School Leaders Make and How to Avoid Them
The Top Twenty Reasons Educators Fail to Communicate
The Jargon Trap
Euphemisms Feel Good but Don’t Send a Clear Message
Too Much Political Correctness Can Send Wimpy Messages
How Straight Talk Can Make You a Better School Leader
When the Right Thing to Say Is “Nothing”
More “Must-Do” Tips for Always Saying the Right Thing
2. How to Say the Right Thing to Students
Ten Guidelines for Communicating With Students
Straight Talk Is the Language of Choice With Kids
How to Talk to Young Children on Their Level
How to Talk to Today’s Teenagers
Differences in Talking to Boys and Girls
Another Dozen Do’s and Don’ts for Saying the Right Things to Kids of All Ages
How to Give Clear Directions and Instructions Every Time
Socrates Had It Right: How to Ask Effective Questions
How to Give Students “Pep Talks” That Really Work
How to Give Authentic Praise
How to Help Kids Talk Themselves Into Success
Rhetoric-Free Reprimands
Dealing With Touchy Topics (Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, Eating Disorders, and Other At-Risk Behaviors)
How to Talk to Kids About Death and Dying
How to Talk to Tough Kids (Including Gang Members)
How to Talk to Kids About School Violence
How to Talk to Kids About National Tragedies
3. How to Say the Right Thing to Parents
What to Say to Put Parents at Ease
Success Secrets for Communicating “Must-Know” Information
Straight Talk at Parent-Teacher Conferences
How to Explain Grades and Test Scores
How to Share Good News With Parents
How to Break Bad News (Failure, Retention, Disciplinary Action, Athletic Ineligibility)
Don’t Beat Around the Bush About Bad Behavior
How to Talk to Parents About Student Secrets, Surprises, and Other Sensitive Subjects (Dependency, Pregnancy, Homosexuality)
What to Say to Angry, Out-of-Control Parents and Other Adults
More Pointers for Saying the Right Thing to Parents
4. How to Say the Right Thing to Peers and Colleagues
Successful Job Interviews: How to Ask the Right Questions and Give the Right Answers
How to Ask for and Offer Help to Peers and Colleagues
How to Give Advice
The Language of Coaching and Mentoring
How to Argue and Win
The Proper Art of Bitching: How to Complain About the System and the People in It
How to Criticize a Colleague Without Losing a Friend
What to Say and Not Say When Giving References and Recommendations
What to Say and How to Say It in Performance Reviews
How to Pay Tribute to a Colleague
How to Say the Right Thing to the Central Office
How to Say the Right Thing to the School Board
5. How to Say the Right Thing to the General Public and the Media
Smooth Schmoozing: How to Make Small Talk
How to Sway Opinion and Persuade Nonbelievers
How to Handle Complaints From the Public
How to Make the Most of Good News
Truth in Taxation
How to Ask for Money
“Houston, We Have a Problem”: What to Say When Trouble Strikes
How to Apologize and Admit Mistakes to the Public
Spin-Doctoring for Amateurs
Dealing With the Media: What to Say to Reporters
Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking for School Leaders
6. How to Say the Right Thing in Special Situations
Secrets of Successful Ceremonial Greetings
How to Give and Receive Compliments
How to Show Appreciation and Say “Thank You”
How to Say “No” and Make It Stick
Tips on Testifying
Advice for Leading Prayers, Giving Invocations, and Pronouncing Benedictions
What to Say to Someone Who Is Not Going to Get Well
How to Express Sympathy
How to Give a Eulogy
7. How to Say the Right Thing in Writing
Writing Is Different—or Is It?
A No-Nonsense Writing Clinic for School Leaders
Interoffice Memos: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Cyber Straight Talk: Making the Most of Electronic Messages
Real-World Report Writing
How to Say the Right Thing in Business Letters
Correct Forms of Address for Letters to Special Public Figures
How to Write Straight-to-the-Point Press Releases and News Items
8. How to Say the Right Thing With Gestures and Body Language
How the “Silent Language” Speaks Volumes
Avoid Sending Mixed Messages
Understanding the Vocabulary of Body Language
Using the Power of Gestures
Stay out of Trouble: Avoid the Pitfalls of Different Meanings for Different Groups
Smile, You Really Are on Candid Camera
9. How to Target Communication to All Stakeholders
Tale of the Tail: Customizing Communication
Old Stand-bys Aren’t Enough
New Tools for Saying the Right Thing to Everyone
One Strategy That Works With All Stakeholders
A 7-Step Code for Saying the Right Thing
More Ready-to-Use Tips for Targeting Messages to Specific Audiences
How to Be a Communications Hero
A Final Word
Resource A. 101 Ways to Be a Better Communicator Starting Tomorrow Morning
Resource B. What Others Say About Communication: Quips, Quotes, and Anecdotes

How to Say the Right Thing Every Time

Communicating Well With Students, Staff, Parents, and the Public

Second Edition
Robert D. Ramsey Consultant
© 2009   272 pages   6" x 9"  

Available Formats

ISBN:   9781412964081 Paperback Suggested Retail Price:   $36.95 Bookstore Price:   $29.56
ISBN:   9781412964074 Hardcover Suggested Retail Price:   $80.95 Bookstore Price:   $64.76
ISBN:   9781452280554 Electronic Version Suggested Retail Price:   $36.95 Bookstore Price:   $29.56

Previous Editions Published by Corwin

First Edition: © 2002

About This Title

"I had several 'ah-ha' moments while reading this book. Kudos to the author for creating a meaningful guide for today's school administrator."
—Marie Blum, Superintendent
Canaseraga Central School District, NY

"A good tool for administrators and teacher leaders with its readability, content emphasis, and real-life examples."
—Russ Bennett, Superintendent
Aurora City Schools, OH

Time-tested techniques for communicating effectively with all educational stakeholders!

For school leaders, being an effective communicator is one of the most vital and sometimes most challenging parts of the job. This user-friendly resource provides practical strategies for improving daily interactions with students, colleagues, parents, and other stakeholders as well as guidelines for avoiding missteps when critical issues arise.

Each chapter presents do's and don'ts for effective verbal and written communication in a variety of situations—from public speaking and working with the media to straight talk for approaching students about sensitive topics such as sex, gangs, and substance abuse. This revised edition also assists educators with:

  • How-to's for dealing with natural and man-made disasters
  • A new chapter on differentiating communication to reach a wide audience
  • A new section on communicating with school board members

Use the tools and real-world examples in this invaluable reference to resolve difficult situations and build positive relationships!

Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to

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