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Having Hard Conversations with Jennifer Abrams

Pan American School of Porto Alegre, Brazil By Kristen Moreland

At the end of September, The Pan American School of Porto Alegre, Brazil, welcomed Jennifer Abrams, an educational consultant from Palo Alto, California, to lead workshops with our entire community about the importance of ‘Having Hard Conversations.’ 

Jennifer’s first session was open to our parents, and we had a full house! Forty-two members of our parent community came to be part of the workshop entitle “Finding Your Voice Around What Matters.”  Parents reviewed the key skills around having humane, growth-producing conversations, in order to be more effective communicators.  This session was very well received, and many parents left asking for more!

Following this session, Jennifer consulted with the senior leadership team, and then delivered a ‘keynote’ address to our teachers.  

On Friday, we welcomed guests from Bahia, São Paulo, Colombia and Chile for a morning workshop on “Emotional Intelligence: Being More Allocentric.”  This session taught us about how to be more ‘other focused,’ instead of always putting ourselves first.  Understanding where someone else is coming from is key to communication and understanding.

Friday afternoon, our external guests joined our teachers and teaching assistants for a workshop on  “Having Hard Conversations”  Jennifer provided us with tools and a framework for how to talk to someone about a difficult situation, and provided us time to practice.  

Saturday, was a full day workshop called “Swimming in the Deep End.”  This session helped participants build a skill set of effective decision messaging capabilities, ‘resistance management’ communication strategies and ‘stress tolerance.’   It was a day of really looking inward at who we are and how others might perceive us, filled with much laughter and community building.  

We are so grateful for the opportunity to welcome such an excellent facilitator into our school to guide us through deepening our knowledge and understanding of such an important and timely topic. We hope to see Jennifer back in the AASSA region again soon!


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