Communication and Conflict

At their second VOX ISKL parent workshop, leading experts Nick Haisman-Smith and Joe Tchen from The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning (IFSEL) shared practical strategies for enhancing communication and resolving conflict.
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Communication and Conflict: Approaches to Build and Repair Relationships Learning

What is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)?
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) describes the process of developing inter and intra-personal competencies, learning to recognize, communicate, and regulate emotions, consider and care for others, make wise decisions, and act ethically. These competencies are key to helping students successfully navigate their future and lead positive, fulfilling lives.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is one of ISKL’s three Strategic Objectives that underpin our school’s Vision and Mission, and we were delighted to welcome global SEL experts Nick Haisman-Smith and Joe Tchen from The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning (IFSEL) to once again share their learning with us at another VOX ISKL parent workshop.

Building on the content of their first VOX ISKL parent workshop on how SEL contributes to academic success, Nick and Joe focused on the practical strategies parents can adopt to enhance family communication and resolve conflict. The workshop opportunities for attendees to connect and learn more about the SEL competencies their children are developing here at ISKL and how they can support their child at home.

Nick introduced the session by talking about the “critical importance of these skills for our kids as they grow up and head out into the world and how we as parents can support them on that journey.

“This work is nothing if we don’t start with the adults, if we don’t start with the teachers, if we don’t start with us as parents and caregivers.”

Nurturing a healthy and positive adult culture at school is paramount in developing SEL competencies with our students. To ensure ISKL continues to be a leader in this area, the IFSEL team’s week-long visit included professional learning workshops for faculty as well as our In-service Day for all employees where we had the opportunity to reflect on our own practices and how we can best model the behavior, attitudes, and values that we want to see in each other and our students.

The theme of modeling behavior that we want to see in our children was evident throughout the parent workshop, particularly when managing conflict which Nick described as “a perfectly natural part of life, whether caused by unmet needs, a difference of opinion, or a misunderstanding.” Encouraging parents to reconsider conflict and “think about it as an opportunity” Nick talked through the SEL competencies that can help families effectively manage conflict at home – the same competencies that students are learning at ISKL.

Embedded within our curriculum, SEL begins in Early Childhood, where students start by learning to express their preferences, dislikes, desires, and needs, as well as discussing their families, school, and selves. The program develops in age-appropriate complexity with students, for example, learning to identify their own perspectives, opinions, and beliefs, building to an understanding that their perspective is informed by cultural context and experiences and that others may perceive them in ways that may differ from the ways they see themselves. This developmental journey fosters self-awareness, self-regulation, and social consciousness.

As Nick shared, “Your kids are going to be the ones who go out into the world with these skills and are going to make a difference so we can benefit from the amplification and ripples of this work in the world in years to come”.

CLICK HERE to access IFSEL’s resource packet for parents and watch the highlights from Nick and Joe’s presentation below!



In 2021 we created VOX ISKL as a thought leadership platform for external guest speakers to share their perspectives and effect change by igniting learning, reflection, and conversations about important topics. Sessions are open to ISKL’s internal community as well as the wider community.

VOX ISKL was a finalist in the 2023 International School Awards in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice category and short-listed in Talk Education’s 2023 Innovation in Education Awards.

Missed a VOX ISKL? Visit ISKL’s YouTube and Spotify channels to check out previous sessions:

  • Belonging & Inclusion: Inspiring Learners to Shape their Path as Global Citizens 
  • Approaches to Building Student Social and Emotional Learning for Academic Success, Balance, and Community 
  • CommUNITY @ISKL panel discussion
  • Growing a School Community for Identity, Agency, and Healing 
  • Identity-Centered Learning 
  • The Art of Courageous Conversations 
  • Living by Our Values: A Compass for Success and Wholeness

Join us on our learning journey and subscribe to our ISKL’s events list at


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Latest update: October 26

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