Archived: Self-advocacy 101: meeting tips

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 From final grade appeals to Code of Student Conduct hearings, most processes at Mount Royal involve at least one meeting. To be your best self-advocate, it’s important to prepare for meetings and present your information clearly.
Here are some general meeting tips, which you can take or leave at your discretion. The Student Advocacy Office has seen students achieve effective results with these techniques.

 – Body language & tone of voice are important. Uncross your arms and leave your body language open. This signals to the other person that you’re open to speaking. Keep your tone of voice neutral and calm.
Prepare your main points ahead of time. Be prepared to demonstrate but not defend your position. You need to demonstrate a willingness to hear the other person’s point of view.
Ask questions to gain deeper understanding. Tip: ‘Why’ questions will signal to another person that you are on the defence. Try using ‘What/How/Where’ questions, or open-ended questions. This will demonstrate to the other person that you are ready to have a discussion rather than an argument.
Show the other person you heard what they’re saying by paraphrasing. It’s a good best practice to check understanding with the other person in the conversation and show them you are actively hearing what they are telling you.
Be courteous and respectful. Thank the other person for their time.

 Remember, SAMRU’s Student Advocacy Coordinator can help you prepare for a meeting, or attend a meeting with you as a moral support.
For more tips on meetings and conflict resolution, check out the Student Advocacy Resource Library!