When it’s time to have a difficult conversation with a staff member, I utilize the F.U.R.R. communication method:

F- Facts – state the facts only.

U- Understand the employee’s situation.

R- Respect – always be respectful.

R- Responsibility – remind them of their responsibility.

Example – You’ve been tardy four times so far this year (have dates and previous emails if sent). I understand you have some personal things going on, I really do. Additionally, I respect and appreciate all the extra curricula activities you volunteer for at the school. Your hard work and dedication has not gone unrecognized. However, you do have a responsibility to be to work on time. The expectation for correcting this deficiency is immediately.

This technique usually takes about two minutes. There’s no additional discussion as everything was stated during the F.U.R.R process. Finally, the teacher, I, and assistant principal sign the documentation stating the meeting was held. This has been a very effective strategy for difficult conversations.