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Thread: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

      
  1. #1

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    Default 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    This list came up in an American Referees magazine that covers all sports officiating.

    Not sure I agree with all the points but thought it might be a good conversation piece around referees communication.

    7 STEPS TO BETTER CONVERSATIONS
    Dealing with adversarial relationships can be tough. These seven tips to better conversations will make your difficult job a bit easier.

    1. Pause before responding
    Let the other person get more words in if he wants. Don’t cut him off; that only exacerbates the situation. In responding, avoid using words like “but” and “however” because they usually cancel out the first part of a sentence, lessening the message. “I understand the situation but we’re going to have to …” is an example of how the word “but” lessened the effect of the initial positive statement “I understand.”

    2. Discreetly praise players
    Congratulate them on good plays and encourage sportsmanship. You can win over many players with a kind word; that can help you later in the game if problems arise.

    3. No matter whom you’re dealing with, apply the “golden rule.”
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Be reasonable with the words you choose and the tone you use. It will go a long way to handling situations effectively.

    4. It’s OK to say you made a mistake
    Honesty is your best policy. Under no circumstances should you try to lie your way out of trouble. Recipients know and then they’ll think you can’t be trusted. Lying fuels their negative perceptions of officials.

    An old school of thought in officiating was, “Never admit making a mistake.” That theory has gone away over time. If you blew a call, it’s OK to admit it quietly to the coach or player. Many times, they’ll respect you more for that than if you tried to twist the truth and equivocate. Most coaches understand you can’t change judgment calls, but admitting you missed it often ends the argument. Do it too often, however, and your reputation will suffer.

    5. If a coach or player is begging, listen to that person.
    If a reply is necessary, reply with an even tone. Be brief. Do not use sarcasm or put-downs. Acknowledge that you’ve heard and understood the complaint. That’s not an admission of guilt or error on your part; it merely shows the person you are listening. Many times, all the person wants is to be heard.

    6. You may be able to smile or use humor to diffuse a potentially volatile situation.
    Be careful; what you think might be funny may not be to the other person, thus adding to the problem. However, smiles and a deflective word can work in the heat of battle. An official who can chuckle or smile is in control. An official who can’t see the humor in a situation may be perceived as uptight.

    However, officials shouldn’t get into joke-telling. It’s simply too dangerous because people differ in what amuses them. What you might think is a great joke might offend the listener. Try humor sparingly and make it as light as possible.

    7. Don’t ever utter the phrase, “It’s just a game.”
    Few phrases turn participants to rage quicker than that one. Remember, they’ve worked all week, all season and all their careers for that game. It is critically important to them, no matter what the sport or level. That phrase is often interpreted by coaches and players as a flippant “I don’t care” response. Basically, it is demeaning.

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  2. #2

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    as a non ref Id say I have queries about number 1. Number 5 i have some caveats.

    the rest seem on the surface reasonable.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by didds View Post
    as a non ref Id say I have queries about number 1. Number 5 i have some caveats.

    the rest seem on the surface reasonable.
    I agree.

    No 1. I'm not going to stand there and let a player rant on about some seeming injustice. I will interrupt. I will stop him, but then calm him down if I can.

    No 5. If they have a valid point I will listen, but that doesn't mean I will act on it.

    A phrase I have found useful is "that's not how I saw it from my angle" this is something that they can't argue with.

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    Thats it Phil - my concerns are that it just creates an environment for both skippers or even pack leaders. lineout leaders, vice captains and uncle tom cobbley and all then all to have a platform provided for them. That isn't to say that there aren't some grievances that are valid but to just start accepting one or two surely creates a precendent - otherwise its a case of "but you listened to him whinge!"

  5. #5

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    I did say it was from an American Referee magazine.
    Have you seen the way baseball players/coaches talk to referees!

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    I did say it was from an American Referee magazine.
    Have you seen the way baseball players/coaches talk to referees!
    I don't think this is uniquely an American problem, have you scene the way round footballers interact with the officials?

  7. #7

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by thepercy View Post
    I don't think this is uniquely an American problem, have you scene the way round footballers interact with the officials?
    Touché

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by thepercy View Post
    I don't think this is uniquely an American problem, have you scene the way round footballers interact with the officials?
    Having refereed in both, I think the difference is that coaches think they have the ability to debate stuff, even while the game is going on, by right. I never had a coach come on the field to debate a point with me in England (regarding the award of a 22 instead of the 5m he was expecting).
    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
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  9. #9

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonSmith View Post
    Having refereed in both, I think the difference is that coaches think they have the ability to debate stuff, even while the game is going on, by right. I never had a coach come on the field to debate a point with me in England (regarding the award of a 22 instead of the 5m he was expecting).
    If a coach did that in the UK he would get one warning and then probably end up watching the rest of the game from the clubhouse!

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  10. #10

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    Default Re: 7 Steps to Better Conversations

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    I agree.

    No 1. I'm not going to stand there and let a player rant on about some seeming injustice. I will interrupt. I will stop him, but then calm him down if I can.

    No 5. If they have a valid point I will listen, but that doesn't mean I will act on it.

    A phrase I have found useful is "that's not how I saw it from my angle" this is something that they can't argue with.
    45 degrees vertically?
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