- Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module. Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
- After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them.
Effective communication requires that a message is transmitted and received, for a leader to convey a direction or a mission they must be able to get their message across clearly to their intended audience. Part of transmitting this message includes nonverbal areas such as perceptions on the part of the receiver so the leader must ensure that they are maintaining their credibility with the subordinates and keep their competence levels high in how they communicate with others. Leaders must be competent, not just in areas of expertise or dynamism, but particularly in the trust that is present in the relationships with team members.
Effective leadership provides an excellent balance to any relationship. However, 'I've seen leaders/supervisors talk to their subordinates with unnecessary aggression and become extremely upset when the result is unexpected. Communication is almost the weakest skill that most officers possess. Yet, this skill is essential because you're dealing with people.
This training module taught me that Communication is central to everything that happens in the workplace. Without good communication in law enforcement, your department would be a train wreck. No one would take charge; expectations wouldn’t be set, and needed daily duties wouldn’t get done. It would lead to unsafe communities and an unsafe working environment.
Leadership rises and falls with communication. A good leader and team player will always look for effective communication in the workplace, especially dealing with the public.
Effective communication is a very important trait for all of us to learn. A lot of times its not just what you say, but how you say it. Giving the others the opportunity to speak with your undivided attention. And then responding to them in a manner that shows you actually care about the conversation goes a long way. I was taught this early in my career by one of my supervisors. I have had a lot of individuals tell me that I gained their respect simply because of the way that I communicated with them. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.
Effective communication is extremely important. Failure to communicate in an effective way can be disastrous for a leader and their department. Leaders need to be competent communicators in order to enhance credibility really stood out to me. Without credibility and trust as a leader, you will be less likely to create an environment where your subordinates can feel comfortable sharing and integrating information within the work place.
I believe a key factor to point out here is that if you have lost trust or credibility, the open flow of communication will not occur. This will not only be present in dealings with subordinates, it will exist throughout all relationships and will be hard to repair..
Jennifer, I agree with your statement. After a leader, or anyone for that matter, losses the trust of another it is almost impossible to repair.
This module just verified that communication is vital in law enforcement. Whether it be communication in person (verbal and non-verbal), through email, over the phone, and even through the radio, it is all significant. We all have room to improve communication in law enforcement, especially myself. Dr. Long made many great points in this module about effective communication, especially that leaders should be competent communicators.
I agree, we all have room for improvement in the area of communication. It seems essential, but when talking to others during a critical incident debriefing, communication is always highlighted as an area that needs improvement.
The most significant lesson I learned from this module is that effective communication is vital for establishing credibility. One of the most common issues with supervisors is that they often fail to listen to the explanations provided. Unfortunately, we tend to forget that listening is an essential aspect of communication, and we often overlook it in our eagerness to speak. It is essential to remember that listening is a crucial component of communication.
Sender, receiver, message, medium, and feedback are all components of communication. While it is difficult to not let your thoughts occupy your mind while listening, it is super important to actively listen to communicate effectively. I think you are correct when you say the eagerness to respond gets in the way. Like Marshall Goldsmith said in his video, we all have to stop and take a breath and not let no’s, but’s or however’ still escape our lips. We must also not let them dangle in our minds while listening,
I've always wondered why the Sheriff never attended a captain's or Lieutenant's meeting. Now it makes sense. If he had been there, would we speak freely or just say what we thought he wanted to hear? Would we bring up opposing ideas or talk about the things that needed to be addressed that might not be comfortable to bring up in front of him? The Sheriff was leaving us to do our work and trusted us to do it. We open up and communicate more effectively when we're comfortable.
Trust being the most important component of credibility is the key. You can have the expertise and dynamism but if you do not have their trust you will not be successful. I have realized when asking for input, I have used some of the words Goldsmith tells you not to use. This is definitely something I will have to work on.
I think that we all may have been at fault on this matter previously, but I firmly believe that it is crucial to address and improve this concept before delivering the intended message.
To paraphrase a quote, listening is not just waiting for your chance to speak......Everyone has opinions and just can't wait to inform you. We are all guilty in this respect but learn over time the art of listening. When Dr. Long spoke of credibility, with trust being the most important, I couldn't agree more. As a supervisor, you better be able to back up your statements. Your subordinates need to have trust that what you are telling them is accurate.
Backing away and listening is a major part of communication within leadership in law enforcement. Being a good listener and being humbly receptive to the topics your subordinates are conveying is a key to success for you, the subordinate, and the agency as a whole. Several years ago, I was assigned to the special operations division of our agency, as a K9 handler working street level narcotics and criminal apprehension; conducting roadside interviews on traffic stops. I can remember having to learn to be transparent with my investigation/interview by explaining to the individual what steps I was taking during my investigation and legal procedures that backed up those actions. Avoiding technical legal jargon that could prevent evidence from being lost due to a suspect not understanding what I was trying to convey. This led to better understanding on the suspect’s part, and ultimately led to better cooperation throughout the encounter. Another aspect of effective communication on these roadside interviews, was watching body language, stress levels, and emotions throughout these interviews that would help lead to indicators of criminal activity. Taking these factors and applying them to communication in leadership is essential as well. Knowing your audience and listening to their needs and concerns can lead to meaningful guidance to your subordinates and resolving personnel concerns.
I would have to agree with you that an important part of communication especially for leaders, starts with being a good listener. We can't effectively give an answer of reply to someone if we don't know what they said or what the conversation was about.
In my opinion, communication is,and always has been the most important aspect of this profession. It is important the first day you hit the street and remains important as you progress though a career and increased responsibilities. I agree that credibility as a leader can only be gained through earning trust and both of those traits require effective communication skills. With that said listening is perhaps just as important and some of us, including myself must realize that it is an important part of effective communication. I have watched many leaders dismiss what is being said and I do believe that they would be or could have been more successful if they simply worked on enhanced their listening skills.
National Command & Staff College
Session # 17, Myrtle Beach, SC
Learning Area 1, Module 7
Discussion Board: Effective Communication
Communication is a major key to success and a very necessary tool used by leaders. Communication includes active listening, being able to talk in different settings, environments, groups, with individuals, etc. One of the best takeaways from this is changing the way you hold conversations with staff: When you are wanting to know how to proceed with a major change or decision, engage the conversation with the staff and if there are two differing opinions, have each follow up in a couple of days to challenge each other as to what is best for the agency. Encourage differing opinions towards the same goal to ensure open and complete dialogue. I also believe assigning someone or a group of individuals to play devil’s advocate is an excellent idea. It was also good to learn and be more aware of the three myths that keep people silent as this allows us to acknowledge and works towards better communication in the future.
I appreciate the idea of argumentative competence. The pace of our job and the desire to push an answer up the chain makes verbal aggression an easy option. As decision makers, however, we have to slow down and encourage open thinking. If our subordinates are afraid to express themselves, we may miss a good idea or solution. Accepting those suggestions from time to time sends the message that the supervisor doesn't have all the answers and is willing to accept help. Doing so is also teaching a subordinate to do the same when the time is appropriate.
My biggest take away from this module was the explanation of credibility with trust being its most important aspect. Without credibility your words are meaningless and your team members will not be able to invest themselves in your mission or goals.
Robert, you are 100% correct. You can give all the speeches, send excellent emails, and have excellent mission statements but if you don't practice what you preach it means absolutely nothing.
Agree. If the team cannot trust you, they're not going to buy into your goals and you're done before you even get started.
The TedTalk by John O’Leary brings home a valuable message of not allowing yourself to fall into the trap of people agreeing with you just because you are the supervisor. I routinely solicit a member of our organization that is not afraid to speak up to go against the grain of the group when discussing important plans. I relish the individual who feels comfortable enough to go against the group-speak mentality and to act as that devil’s advocate. I have to remind myself that to continue that and foster that in other individuals barriers have to be removed to allow that to happen organically.
The idea of opposing sides to your discussion is a groundbreaking concept. Assigning someone to come in with an opposing view could make the plan that was already solid even better. When I think of leaders that are great communicators, I think of generals who could get their soldiers to completely buy into whatever mission was before them. Communication is key to everything. Every relationship must have communication, or it will fail. I would agree with the fact that you cannot be an effective leader if you cannot communicate. In our business, a lack of communication could be a life-or-death matter.
The idea of opposing sides to your discussion is a groundbreaking concept. Assigning someone to come in with an opposing view could make the plan that was already solid even better. When I think of leaders that are great communicators, I think of generals who could get their soldiers to completely buy into whatever mission was before them. Communication is key to everything. Every relationship must have communication, or it will fail.
Randy, I liked the opposing view concept as well. I completely agree with your statement that all relationship's require communication.
I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that effective leaders need to be competent communicators - in 21st Century policing, there isn't any room (nor should there be tolerance) for supervisors who are subpar communicators. Supervisors who can't effectively communicate with their subordinates immediately lose respect and are designated mere managers, not leaders.
I learned the hard way that if I didn't communicate my expectations in a clear, concise manner to my officers, not only would I lose credibility, but I would also fail to secure their buy-in to the mission. Another lesson I learned is that not only do you have to listen to others in a meaningful fashion, but you must also truly hear what they are saying. If you're just going through the motions, or half listening to what someone is taking the time to tell you because they feel it's important, you lose all credibility with that person. It's definitely a process. Another idea that really reasonated with me is the premise that the key to managing a complex (multi-faceted) work environment is to develop credible (superior) communications skills, and this includes being a good listener.
Richard, I'm not sure if you're in the same boat as me, but I found the TED talk to be slightly more beneficial than the lecture, especially the "red team" suggestion. Like you, I believe that having a pre-selected "devil's advocate team' in place is an excellent way to troubleshoot potential operational challenges in advance. It's also a great way to get the buy-in of subordinates, especially from the patrol ranks. If you ask for volunteers, you're going to get your future sergeants on board. If you have an officer in mind who may be a little stagnant or feel that his or her viewpoints aren't valued by management, choosing that person to troubleshoot may reignite the fire under their proverbial behind and give them renewed interest in the department. Regardless, you're going to get a more complete perspective of your issue, especially ideas of what can possibly go wrong. I have found that there's no better way of cementing a relationship with someone who might be your ideological opposite than by showing them you respect their opinions, even if you disagree with them.
John O'Leary's TED talk has some great recommendations to avoid "yes men/women" situations. An open discussion would take a tremendous amount of trust and confidence from your subordinates., They would need to understand that contrary opinions are welcome during planning. O'Leary's suggestion to tell subordinates what the meeting will involve and have them bring a pre-written recommendation or plan would encourage more openness. His last bit of advice of having a Devil's advocate or red team, whose job is to present alternative positions, is excellent. Ideally, if the "prewritten plan" approach or "red team" approach is used enough, trust and confidence might develop enough to hold open conversations no matter the situation.
Effective communication is the key to getting your message across or describing your desired end result. This requires active listening on your part to assure your message has been delivered.
I agree. I have been a part of several meetings in which I felt the message was not being communicated effectively. I understood what was being said to everyone but some people didn’t have the same vocabulary to understand the message that was being conveyed.
I appreciated John O’Leary’s talk about subordinate leaders blindly following the commander. The concept of submitting anonymous notes or questions to encourage open dialogue is excellent at mitigating the risk of blind following. I do feel that developing a stronger and safer positive culture, as discussed in the previous model, is the better solution at preventing the “blind follower” issues. The key to success for me in this topic is the value of the words we use, the tone in which we deliver them, and the ability of all involved to listen to each other and not simply wait for their turn to speak.
I enjoyed John O'Leary's Ted Talk. He spoke about two ways to hold a meeting. The first was to call a meeting and discuss the issue at hand openly, and the second was to have all members bring a written note of their idea or thoughts to the forum.
The first option poses the risk that the subordinate leaders will often follow the boss and blindly agree. The second option will lead to a discussion and bounce ideas back and forth.
In my opinion, allowing others to bring the note with their ideas solidifies how they feel, gets them to commit, allows younger leaders to build trust in their decision-making, and encourages open dialogue leading to a more informed decision.
Daniel, I agree wholeheartedly with the red team idea. That is a great way to make sure everyone is involved in the issue. Having their arguments or agreements already on paper will add to the discussion. The more everyone participates the better buy in you have.
I think we all could be better listeners, as indicated by Marshall Goldsmith in this block. We are not always receptive to questions from our fellow officers who are just looking for guidance or the public when they are asking an important question that is redundant to us. As good communicators and leaders, people look to us as good role models and subject matter experts in their minds. We have big shoes to fill because of the trust, and we must give the perception we are ready, willing, and able.
Being good active listeners is a huge part of communication that I think is lacking today. So often we are so caught up in our own thoughts and efforts that we forget to be a part of the conversation and listen to the other side before we talk. I like your link between leadership and the listening mindset, and the leadership effectiveness.
Patrick this statement is spot on. I have learned that that the community and fellow employees respect you more when you give them your undecided attention and actually listen to what they have to say. One of my supervisors taught me that you can gain a higher level of credit from someone simply by how you communicate with them, with kindness.
You must be an effective communicator. If your employees don't know what your intensions are, how are they suppose to get the job done? Also, listen to your employees, they may have a great idea or alternate way of getting the job done.
Chad I agree with your statement that people must know what our intentions are in order to be effective communicators. Being a good listener is an essential part of our jobs whether it is our co-workers or the public.
I agree with you Chad Parker. Leaders need to provide end goals and specific ways to get there if they want them done a certain way.
Chad I agree. I have seen this many times. People want to know intention and direction and need to have something to work toward. When they don't have that they will fill in the gaps with their own prerogatives or just withdrawal from the operation all together.
Effective communication skills are essential for achieving shared goals. Leaders must keep their subordinates informed and explain expectations adequately. I have seen where groups of supervisors have been given information regarding upcoming events, and some have failed to discriminate the information. Officers lose trust in those supervisors, which makes them feel they are not entrusted with the information. While communicating with officers, asking for their feedback is imperative. Other officers may have better or different ideas which were not thought of that may assist more effectively in the workflow. This will build better relations within the agency and promote participation.
Well said. I recently had a situation where an officer brought to my attention a state code related to DUIs and accidents. If the officer had completed the investigation and made the arrest, I would have approved the report without a second thought. In our situation, the driver's vehicle was disabled, and the DUI was not a contributing factor to the accident. I did not know a particular criminal code states you cannot make a probable cause arrest. I had the officer complete a full investigation to the point of obtaining a breath result at the county jail. We then issued a citation for DUI and drove the defendant home. After consultation with prosecutors about the case determined it to be the best approach. I am glad I listened to the relatively newer officer's input.
My biggest take away from this lecture was the importance of effective listening and digesting the message thoroughly before making a final decision. Lessons learned from the Challenger presentation by John O’Leary taught me to gather all of the facts before making a key decision. That means gathering input from everyone and encouraging participation as a team. Leaders need to adapt the mindset into their style of leadership that they can learn from everyone. Major decisions should never be made exclusively by on person’s decision. It’s common for leaders to rush a project and wanting immediate results. However, no matter how disenchanted a leader becomes with waiting, they need to take the time for processing major decisions as a group or in a team effort. In some cases, the consequences can be corrected and sometimes it’s irreversible as it was for the decision that was made to launch the Challenger with all of the documented issues with the O-rings expanding during the frigid weather. Regardless of the magnitude of the decision needing to be made, it’s imperative that we as leaders listen to input from the whole team.
Effective communication is most important. only through the use of effective communication can we insure that the we are sending a clear message of that it is that we are intending to translate to the members. it there is no effective communication displayed the purpose or expectations came be missed. this type of misunderstanding is inherent in human communication.. Effective communications will enhance a leaders credibility among all especially those that you manage. in order to have effective communication you must be willing to listen. Listening will provide appropriate and personal feedback .
From numerous workplace discussions over the years, I can recall several instances in which I was less than a good listener, preferring action to protracted discussion. It has taken time, but I have learned this can lead to others becoming frustrated and disengaged. I have also learned being a good listener is especially important when someone or a group holds perspectives contrary to what must occur. The individual or group may not be satisfied with the outcome of such instances, but their perception of having a voice in the matter can prevent frustration and disengagement.
As a leader, failing to be a good listener is also teaching subordinates to do the same. They behave as we do. Somewhere along the way, an idea that was better than the original plan may be missed. Disagreement can be a blessing. What is the reason behind it and the suggestion to fix it?
Joseph Spadoni, Jr.
Effective communication is something that is very important throughout life in everything we do, from work to home life. Poor communication at work can lead to many misunderstandings and tasks at hand not getting completed. Poor communication at home between your spouse could lead to you being in the doghouse for the night and or in worse case scenarios, divorce. When communicating we must do it properly otherwise things could get misconstrued leading to an ineffective team.
I am an argumentative person, but the Marshall Goldsmith video has inspired me to think of ways to be less argumentative.
Being a good listener is a key trait in practicing effective communication. One of the best things people tell me when they have a conversation with me is how well I listen. I have really polished up on this skill while taking Crisis Intervention classes. In those classes we were challenged by mental health professionals to allow people who are often experiencing crisis to allow they to vent so to speak. I think often times in law enforcement, we are always in problem solving mode that we forget to allow people to opportunity to vent and or voice their issues.
Jimmie, I agree. Being a good listener is a key trait. It also allows us to think before speaking which will allow us to engage in conversation with the other party correctly.
Your last sentence speaks volumes. It is an aspect of LEO encounters we should be reminded of during training.
Effective communication is critical in our professional as well as our personal lives. Effective communication is a skill that requires much practice. A good communicator listens as well as speaks. When communicating we must be aware of our non-verbal cues. Maintaining eye contact, pausing between thoughts, facial expressions, and tone of voice are just a few of the non-verbal cues we must be aware of. Your face can speak a thousand words without your mouth saying any.
Communication is critical in any relationship but is often overlooked when skills are being built and developed. This is a dynamic process that requires both a transmitter and a receiver, so you are correct in saying that listening is a crucial element, especially the skill of active listening.
I agreed with how this module described the importance of communication. The starting of the sentences with the words "no but or however " was particularly interested as I often saw no. My takeaway from this is to be more open. Focus on listening to those around me to improve my communication and build trust. --
This is a lesson that seemed so simple on face value. Communication is one of the most complex things that we do not only in law enforcement, but in life. The best way is to be clear, concise, and always ask if it is understood.
A concept that is so simple yet so much work. Communication requires more listening and a planned way to present it for it to be effective.
this is true, a good and effective communicator must be a active listener and welcome feedback from the audience which you are communicating to.
Some points I took from the opening video by John O’Leary about conversation include how often a conversation took place before the execution that made (or would have made) the difference between success and failure. His examples of the Challenger explosion and the Bay of Pigs conflict really brought that to life. I also liked his statement that the quality of our conversations enhances the quality of our decisions, which in turn, dictates the quality of our outcomes. During the module with Dr. Larry Long, I liked his focus that credibility creates the foundation of, and is the key to, leadership and that trust is the most important component of credibility (as echoed in a previous module). I agreed with his point that leaders need to be competent communicators in order to lead effectively. It’s empowering to learn ways that I can enhance my credibility with colleagues, subordinates, and superiors.
I also found John O'Leary's presentation very informative. Made me think of how many great decisions and ideas that have affected the outcomes based on the proper communication.
Jeremy Pitchford Session#015
While listening to John O'Leary I couldn't help but think about how similar communication issues have caused problems within my own sheriff's office. It is a great reminder of why it is important to gather as much information as possible and listen to all sides before making a decision.
Effective communication both verbal and non-verbal is essential in being able to lead a department. The ability to communicate and idea is an art form when your talking to persons who have different experiences and come from different mindset. There are the different ages of the members of the department, different technological abilities, and coming from different walks of life. An effective leader must be able to communicate the vision and mission in a manner that allows all the difference experiences to not only get the content but also the motivations and desires to all. The non-verbal skills are almost as important as the verbal skills. Eye contact, separation between communicators, giving sole attention, and other styles allow the focus and emphasis to hit the high points when needed.
I agree with you. Speaking is only a part of the concept for effectiveness. Non- verbal skills really go a long way when speaking and listening.
Effective communication is one of the most important parts of any organization that without it there is a likelihood of disaster. A professional culture requires effective communication between the command staff and the subordinates. I have seen times where information is given to the supervisors to pass on to the subordinates, and by the time it gets to them, it is unrecognizable. The “Telephone game” comes to mind when I see such disjointed results. A good leader is also a good listener; which includes not only listening, but understand. This combination of attentiveness and response assist the leader to make good and intelligent decisions. Also, when you listen to those who report to you, you build a better team by showing them that you have trust in them and you empower them. This will encourage feedback from your team.
Yes, I agree with your comment. Especially how you have the power to empower those who report to you simply by listening to them. I also believe it is essential to do more than just listen. It would be best if you gave these individuals your full attention. Stop typing your email, stop texting on your phone, look at them, and listen. By doing this, you cant that person feel like their opinion matters to you.
Communication is a very important aspect in leadership .In order for communication to be effective, you must also learn to LISTEN. This is sometimes the most difficult part of a conversation, as most people start formulating responses while the other person is still talking. Effective communication allows us to ensure everyone is on the same page.
I agree with you, Devon. My father always told me that I had only one mouth but two ears so I needed to listen more than speak. Sometimes I find myself listening at first, and then thinking about what my response is going to be to a particular point or question, and then I have to catch myself and force myself to begin listening again. It's good to know I'm not the only one!
Devon, I can relate to your statement. I have always been a very talkative person; my wife says I should have been a used car salesman because I fill comfortable talking to anyone. I have often told people to be a good communicator, you have to be a good listener, and recently I was reminded that I need to focus on listening. When presented with problems, I jump up and try to fix them. So when a coworker showed a problem he was having with an assignment, I immediately jumped up to correct the problem. I then learned that he had already solved the problem but was telling me about his experience in handling the issue.
The mastery of communication should be the work of a whole life. We interact with the world first through our mind, then through our words and deeds, so being able to communicate effectively is vital. Perceived expertise is a good thing to have, but the value of our ideas should not depend on it. The logical fallacy of appeal to authority is based primarily on expertise. I may get someone's attention by my rank, but I shouldn't rely on " agree with me because I have the rank, or degree, or experience." I interpret dynamism more as engagement. Am I actually listening? Am I hearing what you are saying, and am I taking that into account when I respond? Trust is a difficult concept, yet is vital for so much in law enforcement. Trust is given; it's an act of faith. I believe trust can't be earned. But it can be lost. And once lost, it is difficult to regain.
Effective communication: This is a topic that I have seen mixed results on, depending on the leader. I have experienced some leaders that just layout the plan without wanting any input. They are announcing to staff their intentions without any “red-team” influence and want foot soldiers to do their bidding. I have seen other leaders take the conversational approach like discussed by John O’Leary. They want input that may influence their decisions. In my experiences, this creates a “buy-in” by the soldiers who will do their bidding.
Anyway, the dictatorship approach will get the leader their basic end goal, not more as the solider has no “buy-in”. They don’t feel valued as an employee.
The democratic approach creates the perception that an employee’s input has value. When they perceive their input has value, that creates a “buy-in”. When there is buy-in, the employee understands the mission and pushes for a quality outcome.
Having experienced both approaches, the conversational approach usually produces a better outcome for the leader and organization.
So, I learned an effective technique in what O’Leary called “independent deliberation”. The idea of having individual stakeholders writing out their thoughts and recommendations before the team conversation takes place so the team leader can build a consensus.
I agree with the module that effective communication is key. However, the module did not speak about understanding what the person is communicating with you. I learned in the past in order to have effective communication, one has to present the idea, and the person receiving it has to send back the message to ensure that both parties are on the same page with the communication. The module touched on this when it stated "Misunderstandings are inherent in human communication" but it did not get into how to avoid those misunderstandings. I think that would have been an important topic to include.
I enjoyed the subject matter described in this module. I agree that credibility is the key. I understand leaders need to be competent communicators but am discovering they also need to be competent listeners.
Your correct, most people just want to be heard. Giving someone a listening ear will make it easier for u to communicate with them.
I would agree effective communication is key to leadership but I would argue that it is just as an important skill for subordinates to learn also.
As leaders, we strive to have clear communication with our staff or team members. In John O’Leary’s Ted Talk on The importance of good conversation and how to have it, he outlines some myths that I found very impactful and empowering. The first myth was that dissent is equivalent to disloyalty, which in reality, is truly the opposite. What it means is that you have a valued team member who has the courage and personal fortitude to speak up and provide an alternate idea or solution.
In the lecture on Effective Communication by Dr. Larry Long, he outlined what effective communication should look like. Dr. Long stated that the communication process is an exchange of verbal and non-verbal messages between two individuals and that the process is dynamic. When effective communication is done well, it will build credibility and trust, two key components to leadership.
George, I too found the listing of the myths to be interesting. These myths are related to the dynamism of the leader, I think. Just because I dissent doesn’t mean I’m disloyal. I see my dissension at times as trying to protect the leader, but their dynamism doesn’t receive it that way. As far as a criticism of an idea, we need to listen and think about how to craft our response, so it doesn’t come across as criticism of an individual. That is a very important point to make if you want to be received as credible. As far as disagreeing with consensus, I have never been one to do that if a I see a red flag. So, it seems these myths come because of the fragility of the leader.
Failure of effective communication often entails a lack of further investigation into the initial information provided. Another hindrance is we do not promptly relay information. To be an effective and competent communicators, we must overcome these issues. In addition, we must build a relationship with our team and encourage feedback to keep information flowing accurately. Thus, to be an effective communicator also means being an effective listener and, in some cases, putting our egos aside to hear what someone else is trying to communicate.
The relationship element of communication is interesting. In order to be a good leader, I must first be a good follower. In communication, I have to be a good listener before I can be a good speaker. Having both sides makes one a good communicator.
So true Mitch. I have seen it time and time again.
Effective communication is key to the efficient operation of any organization. As mentioned in the earlier lecture by Erik Therwanger, he references the Marine Corp’s 11 Leadership Principles, where it states, “Keep Your Marines Informed.” If your people are not informed of what is going on in the agency, such as a policy or personnel change, they then get to decide the narrative on what they think is happening and not actually what is occurring.
I agree. In the absence of proper information people will create what will be taken as the truth
I have recently been having good results and positive feedback from being more deliberate in my communications to all staff or specific divisions about important topics. In the past I would rely on using the chain of command to communicate operational changes or important news down line level personnel. Often, I would be surprised when I would learn that the intent for my message was not properly communicated. Many times, first line supervisors would water down the message or put their own spin on it. Sometimes the message would be completely taken out of context and corrupted. Each time I exercise this type of communication, I get more comfortable and confident in doing it. It also gives me a direct voice with the staff that I have previously not had. I don’t think the importance of timely and meaningful communication by leaders can be overstated.
You are exactly right. Information passed down the chain of command often gets twisted and sometimes is nowhere close to the original message. When I started, everything from the Chief was on a written memorandum with his signature, and we all had to sign the back to acknowledge receiving the information. The memorandum was done as a record that the information was provided to each officer and ensured the correct information was received. Our next Chief relied heavily on the chain of command passing the information down, which was less effective. I like the direct approach you are using, as there is no doubt that the information was provided and understood correctly. It also allows you and your team to connect and encourages feedback from them.
Learning Area #1 / Module #7 Discussion Post and Response
Captain Jeremy Harrison
Oklahoma City Police Department
National Command & Staff College, Session 16, 2021
The TED talk for this week identified three ways some employees remain silent when communicating (O’Leary, 2022). The three ways included failing to offer “criticism” of an idea, fear of being outside the general “consensus,” and fear of dissenting from a leader’s perspective (O’Leary, 2022). All three aspects of remaining silent center around fear. There are many reasons these fears can occur, but they are clearly a detriment to the organization. I must admit I have struggled with these types of fears in the past. Many times, my silence did not have a negative impact on the organization. Unfortunately, there have been times where I allowed people to walk into unsafe situations due to my silence.
Removing this fear does not rest solely on the person experiencing fear. Leaders can be diligent in seeking out critique by challenging people to find the holes in any decision, as outlined by “O’Leary (2022). I want to be the type of leader where people feel comfortable disagreeing with me because they respect me and the organization enough to do so. I must also respect our organization enough to disagree with my superiors and cohort even when it might cause strained interactions at times. When disagreeing with someone, it must be done out of respect and kindness and not to make anyone look foolish or to steal the spotlight.
O’Leary, J. (2022). The importance of good conversation – and how to have it [Online Lecture]. Retrieved January 8, 2022, from https://acebase.commandcollege.org/courses/weeks-1-2/lessons/module-7-effective-communication/
Even though this module was short i thought it contained great information. The module not only reinforced that good leaders must have good communication skill but also good listening skills. I thought the portion in John O'leary's video where he discussed the quality of our conversations was especially relevant. i have had one on one conversations with leaders about a change or goal they wanted to implement. In the one on one discussion I completely agreed with it and understood what was expected. But when the leader delivered the information to the group they failed to deliver it dynamically or effectively. Needless to say there was no buy in from the group and the idea pretty much died there.
I have heard speeches myself which lacked “dynamism” (Long, 2022). I have even had some opportunities to significantly impact a group of people, but I failed to prepare for the moment, only to find myself regretting the lack of preparation in the moment. It was not until I was in the moment that I recognized the leadership opportunity I had and would most likely miss out on. I believe we get too busy that when we have the opportunity to communicate directly with our troops, we can fail to prepare to deliver the “dynamism.” I am hopeful I will take better advantage of leadership opportunities moving forward, preparing for the moment and brining the “dynamism” as a way to influence and encourage the members of our organization.
You make a great point in your post to not only be an effective communicator but also be a good listener. Being a good listener and empowering your team will increase their effectiveness within the organization. You provided a great example of how a great idea without a dynamic presentation may not get the necessary buy-in that is desired.
I think you are spot on with the need to be dynamic or dynamism as it is referred to. Being able to provide information in a logical and thoughtful manner is good because it shows intelligence. But the ability to be dynamic, to speak from the heart/soul, is where the average communicator becomes a great communicator. I know one of the flaws that I have is I will use humor or off hand remarks to get attention of focus others on the topic. Where I loose some relevance is when it gets down to over using the humor or staying on a topic too long and loosing my own focus.
Communication skills are vital to improving the leadership role that you take in an organization. Having the elements of communication that are needed to bring a dialog to your team is the important part of leadership that is not taught effectively. We need to be able to talk to our people, but as importantly we need to be able to listen to our people and not take offense when they have ideas that do not align with our own. While we have expertise to dole out to them, we need to understand that we do not know everything and there are times that listening to others and taking their opinions or expertise even into account when making decisions will not only make us a stronger team it will give them the ability to believe in us as leaders and a better buy in to the program as a whole.
I agree. The ability to listen and really hear our people is critical in team success. Weaker leaders tend to try and project confidence and a sense of having "the answers". Great leaders conversely openly discuss their mistakes and are confident in their vulnerabilities with their teams which encourages subordinates to discuss their concerns and voice their ideas in constructive ways to better the team.
I would have liked a bit more out of this lecture. Dr. Long made a great case for the importance of quality communication, but it would have been nice to have had some "how to" sections here. Communication is indeed important for leadership, and unfortunately, it's full of minefields even for those of us who are well-meaning. We aren't always good at calculating how things will be heard by others or read by others through e-mail or memo. What's also unfortunate is that our most salient public examples of how to disagree with others are the often terrible examples of political talk shows, social media memes, and other forms that often lack any semblance of respect for the viewpoints of others. Obviously, these forms of argumentation have no place in the workplace (I hope), so we're left with a dearth of good examples of quality communication. Brene Brown and Kim Scott are two fairly good resources on how to build honest communication as workplace leaders. Scott's concept of "radical candor" and her explanation of the four types of workplace communicators are very helpful, and Brown's explanation of the importance of understanding "the stories we tell ourselves," is great as well. I recommend their work as a decent starting place.
Effective communication is vital and I think an important component is being an effective listener. At times the multitude of distractions around me can make this challenging. From my mind wandering, thinking of my response instead of truly listening, or being distracted by notifications on my watch or phone. I strive to be a better listener, but know this is an area where I can improve.
I can relate to you comment. I too find myself sometime going through the motions and not listening because i'm thinking about the call I need to make or the admin work that is piling up along with other distractions.
I have been working on improving in this area for the past few months. I have been breaking myself of my old habit of leaving my office door open at all times unless I’m having a private conversation with someone. The result of my habit is that I have a lot of unanticipated visits and distractions, when I need to be focusing on something. Recently I’ve been more deliberate about closing my door when I have to focus on an item and do not want any interruptions. When I do have my door open and I receive and unscheduled visit, I now turn away from my workstation to face the person, so I am not tempted to split my attention from the person I’m speaking with. I’m also deliberate about giving the person my undivided attention. I know this has increased the quality of my communication and allowed me to better hear people.
I agree we must be a better listener but that is a challenge of its own while balancing all the duties that come with being a leader
I think most people need to improve their communication skills. I am guilty of listening only to respond, not fully giving my full attention to what others are saying.
From marriages and other familial relationships, to work relationships, poor communication is the biggest reason for struggle or discontent in those relationships. It is so vitally important to actually listen to those we communicate with, and then take the time to try to understand what they are trying to convey. So often people are waiting for someone to simply stop talking in order to take a turn at speaking, and not actually listening to what is said.
Your comment identifies something I find myself doing and I try to focus on not doing. Too often I am preparing my response before the person speaking has completed their thoughts. I agree it is important to truly listen and take time to understand what someone else is communicating.
The ability to communicate effectively with your staff, colleagues, and superiors is essential, no matter what organization or industry you work in. For effective communication to work, you also need effective listeners. Communication is verbal and nonverbal. Often nonverbal signals can convey how a person is feeling. For example, if someone is not looking you in the face, they might be uncomfortable or hiding the truth. Communication can solve the majority of work issues, but it takes the entire organization to understand that.
Effective communication is vital to all things. Without it, everything would suffer. You have to be able to communicate effectively as well as listen to what others are saying. You have to be open to listening to feedback or criticism. Effective communication is a two-way street.
I agree with you on the art of listening. This is one of the most forgotten aspects of communication.
One of the best modules yet. All other facets of leadership are null and void if effective communication is not there. Just like with any interpersonal relationship, communication is the key to influencing others. Without effective communication, the plan is only your plan. Without effective communication, there isn't a way to get feedback to verify your ideas or be accountable for the outcomes.
I agree Steven. I believe without effective communication among each other, things will just fall apart. Nothing would be accomplished. You also have to open to what others are saying and understand they may not agree with what you are saying.
Steven - I'm sure that the communication back and forth was learned with you in the military as it was with me. When we are making plans that effect whether someone lives or dies, there is no chance that one person knows it all. We must be able to communicate efficiently, meaning both directions, so that we come up with the best solution possible.
I enjoyed this module and was disappointed with how short it was. I have always valued good communication. I sometimes struggle with getting tongue tied or finding the right word I'm looking for. Despite those things, I try very hard to get my message across. I agree that credibility is important. Regardless of how well a person can articulate, I value what they may have to say when its coming from a position of experience or expertise. I also believe that trust is important. It's important to feel that the message is being delivered in its entirety and not altered for effect. Truthful leaders can communicate tough messages unapologetically. Dynamism is important also; I have seen leaders lack the enthusiasm in their own message to get others to take interest in it.
You're right, John, It was too short. I think a lot more could have been covered on this topic. Especially given we use communication through nearly the entirety of our day.
John, I agree this module was concise but to the point. I found the example of President Kennedy’s interaction or lack of interaction with Schlesinger very poignant. I think this sets the stage to remind us how receptive we are to receiving messages will significantly impact the quality of input.
Effective communication is a must at all levels. Additionally, as you rise up through the ranks of an organization, you must develop the courage to display loyal dissent if the situation calls for it. The absolute worst thing that can happen with decision makers is to fall victim to groupthink and not carefully analyze a situation for fear of being outcast by a group.
I agree! Effective communication is key at all levels. Communication and listening goes hand and hand. Without effective listening the communication is voided. As leaders we should all strive to have effective communication because it makes the organization overall a better environment. Great post!
I agree completely. I would add that as you become a leader, you also have to demand dissent from your people. This likely won't happen on it's own unless you invite it and make clear that you want and honor ideas that counter your own. I liked O'Leary's idea of assigning a "red team" whose job it is in a discussion to poke holes in an idea. This is an especially good idea if you're walking into a situation where you do want dissent but that you know that people may not trust that you mean it. This gives people the space to disagree with you while having the out of "it's just my role." This may help make them more comfortable disagreeing.
I have struggled with communication my entire career. I like to think I am more mindful because I am more conscious and aware of my weakness in this area. I have always appreciated those leaders who were very direct and to the point. Basically, tell me what you need, and let’s move on. Don’t beat around the bush or sugar coat it. I worked for a supervisor once who communicated through stories, often going halfway around the world to get to the point. Even then I am not sure I understood but that was how he communicated. Sometimes it would take me days to finally understand what he was getting at. He was not direct and because of that, he was misunderstood at times. To be an effective leader, one has to constantly work at mastering the skill of effective communication. Communication is always changing depending upon the circumstances, environment, and audience.
I have had the same experience, Stephanie. I am very must a person who understands better when people communicate with me in a concise, to the point, manner. I have realized that it is also important for us to communicate to those who we deal with how best to communicate with us. In my experience, most people are receptive and will try to accommodate.
There are multiple different factors that can hamper the ability to effectively communicate as public safety professionals. Perspective from the law enforcement officer versus subjects being addressed can many times differ and in a way that causes more conflict than progress towards a resolution. One party’s solution to a problem may not align with the other party’s or the thought process to get to a solution is also different. This difference in perspective can stem from stereotyping or past experiences and can lead to a predetermined mindset of the law enforcement officer or the subject about the law enforcement officer before communication has even taken place. Hostility can arise based on past experiences or recent experiences that have left an impression that creates a negative mindset towards a person, group of people, situation, etc. This hostility can arise from either the law enforcement officer or the subject being addressed by the law enforcement officer. It can be difficult for the officer to respond and do their best to resolve a situation when the parties being helped or addressed are not willing to cooperate with law enforcement due to personal hostilities they may have. This can hamper effective communication as the law enforcement officer too as their mind may already be in a place of frustration, annoyance, or anger before even reaching and assessing the situation at hand. Feelings can alter thinking which then in turn can hamper effective communication as the law enforcement officer is not in the correct headspace to effectively communicate to resolve a situation. Personal feelings can take over and create a mindset or perspective that is not fair to the subjects being addressed as there was a prior presumption or expectation of the situation at hand. These are just a few of the many factors that can negatively impact effective communication of law enforcement officers between themselves and the public.
John O'Leory stated, "Quality of conversation influences the quality of decisions and quality of decisions dictates the qualities of our outcomes." This statement summarizes how important it is to be competent in our communication and promoting competent communication. When the discussion of independent deliberation was discussed as a way to overcome the reasons why people remain silent, I could not help but think I have been communicating wrong. In the case of making corrections, I have always used a team approach but I never thought of doing individual deliberation. I plan to incorporate this immediately. I think a more rounded decision will come out of a process that has independent thought brought to a group for discussion and a final group resolution. The leadership team becomes more united and the affected individual has a response that is thoughtfully considered from many view points. A win-win process.
Agree Hinton that one of most powerful statements of the module is from John O'Leary when he said, "Quality of conversation influences the quality of decisions and quality of decisions dictates the qualities of our outcomes."
Hinton, I agree with what you stated. I also liked the idea of the independent deliberation. I think it is a good way to have communication and people be more willing to voice their opinions.
This module speaks truth as it relates to the way we should communicate better and how to achieve that. The hardest thing for me sometimes is to listen to what others are saying and to comprehend the material being presented and give feedback in a positive manner. Sometimes we tend to overlook the opinions of others because we think our idea may be better or it is the way it has always been done, when in fact, we should be open to new suggestions and ideas for how to proceed with something.
In Law Enforcement, we have the tendency to withdraw the idea of change when, in order to succeed, change may be necessary. Communication whether verbal or non-verbal should be done in a clear manner so that all participants have equal weight in the process of determining which direction to move in. This communication is key to the overall success of the subject matter being discussed and must include not only creating the idea but to also interpret it, present it and get feedback from the person receiving the information.
I agree, this is terribly difficult not to start your response with no, but or however. I often find myself formulating an answer in my head before I have heard the entire communication. I have been aware of this short-fall but now I feel I have some positive direction on how to begin to overcome it. To just start with a deep breath and focus on what is being said, rather then having a second conversation in your head, is a great starting point to competent communication!
Effective communication has always been an issue for me. Being an introvert by nature has hindered my development in this area. I learned from the Marine Corps to be brief and usually blunt in my communication efforts. Unfortunately, this hasn’t helped especially when talking with my superiors. I continue to place emphasis on refining my style of delivery.
When dealing with subordinates, I am working to ensure that I engage in active listening so I fully understand what they have to say. I feel active listening has helped develop more trust with my team mates. I’m working on being more articulate to ensure I reach all members of my team so they understand my intended message
Being an introvert does hinder this but luckily we have these modules to help develop these skills.
In order to be an effective communicator you have to build trust with who you work with. If you build that trust, you will be able to have effective conversations where other people know they can voice their opinion or their thought process without it becoming an argument. Since my promotion, i have had to learn how to effectively communicate the goals I want my supervisors to achieve.
Credibility is the key! Without trust open communication is absent and you fall into the "Three Myths". Putting egos aside and concentrating on a goal and all the dynamics that go with it is fundamental to a successful communication.
In order to be an effective communicator you have to build trust with who you work with. If you build that trust, you will be able to have effective conversations where other people know they can voice their opinion or their thought process without it becoming an argument. Since my promotion, i have had to learn how to effectively communicate the goals I want my supervisors to achieve. Andrew Ashton is right, sometimes you have to slow down and remain calm for the message to be clear.
I agree with Joey in that a good communicator must think before communicating. You must be sure to get the right message across and sometimes that means slowing it down and really calming ones self.
I could not agree more. I really have to plan out some of my speech so that I get the right message across to my team. Being somewhat of an introvert hasn’t helped in this area but with continued effort I feel I am making an improvement
Being credible is important as is being an honest communicator. Trust is indeed the most important as your people must feel that they can trust what you say in order to be able to communicate it further down the chain. It all ties back to your credibility in your position and within your respective command. Controlling your verbal aggression is also important as it will help to keep and atmosphere of open communication with your people not leaving them feeling stifled or judged.
In my opinion, being an effective communicator is paramount to the success of any leader. This module just pointed out the high points but I totally agree with Dr. Larry Long. Credibility is the most important value for a leader to effectively communicate to his subordinates, peers and superiors. I also really liked John O'Leary's lecture on the importance of good conversation. I learned some techniques on how to ensure your employees are telling you how they feel, not just agreeing with you. I particularly like the devil's advocate technique. I have used that technique in the past and it works well.
I agree, I have always admired people who are able to get your undivided attention and clearly communicate a message. Not only does it appear more professional and authentic, it instills confidence. Credible communicators get valuable feed back from there subordinates.
The one thing that really stood out to me in this short lecture on "Effective communication", is the importance of credibility. Dr. Larry Long described the three components of credibility as expertise, dynamism, and trust. I agree with his statement that trust is the most important of the three components. In order to get your officers to accept your leadership, trust in you is vitally important. This was short but effective module in the importance of communication in leadership.
I fully understand what you are saying Glenn. Trust is the most important component of credibility. Especially in our profession, if the supervisors/officers do not have credibility, the citizens and employees will not accept their leadership.
Excellent point on trust. Trust is, at times, hard to earn and easy to lose. Leaders must seek to build trust and work even harder to keep it.
Effective communication is a powerful tool in all areas of life, but especially in leadership. I know when I was a new sergeant many years ago I tended to yell and get angry. I was not a skilled communicator. I liked when Dr. Long talked about learning how to manage interpersonal conflict and how important it is to learn how to become argumentative competent rather than using verbal aggression to deal with the conflict. It takes a lot of hard work, but learning how to effectively communicate can help not only the team you work with but it will also help you out when it comes to leading others.
I totally agree with you John. I had similar experiences as a supervisor in controlling my verbal aggression to deal with someone who challenged me. Overtime, I've learned over time to become argumentative competent because it really helped me in dealing with conflict and challenges to being a leader.
While short, which surprised me, I found this module and John O'Leary's TED Talk very interesting. In the Marshall Goldsmith video he began with a quote by Peter Drucker which stated, "Leaders of the past knew how to tell, leaders of the future know how to ask." As leaders we must recognize there will be so much more success if we ask for input from our staff and listen and learn from them. It creates the opportunity for them to get buy-in to decisions or a direction we are heading.
From my experience, effective communication is vital to the organizations success in many ways. When this concept is implemented the leader will build credibility within the team that is being supervised. The lecturer gave three effective components of credibility that include expertise, dynamism, and trust. These three notions will assist the leader and the team to avoid misunderstandings. The leader having the ability to be a good listener and have quality conversations with the team during the decision making process is very important. These two skills will help guide the information flow that takes place inside the team. This will allow the leader and everyone on the team to have a same shared outcome.
Dr. Long's session was good, although short. In this module I received more from the John O'Leary TED Talk and Marshall Goldsmith's brief interlude. O'Leary's 3 myths , independent deliberation and devil's advocate techniques were priceless to me. Those will become cornerstones for collaborative efforts from here on out with my team. Marshall Goldsmith's bit on No, But and However brought to light just how many times I use those phrases. And here I thought I was an effective communicator. I've got work to do.
Trent I agree. It is important as a leader to stop and take a breath before making a statement. After reviewing the lecture I will definitely be more aware of how I begin my conversations.
I found myself to ask a person for their input then I start my conversation I understand what you are saying but, no, or however. I see now how that makes a person shut down and don't want to give you input anymore.
I was surprised on how short this module was but received some valuable information from it. I especially liked the Ted Talk by John O'Leary. I can relate with what he calls the 3 myths- Dissent=Disloyalty, Criticism of an idea=criticism of an individual and Disagree with consensus=not a team player. These have been a major factor in our supervisor meetings in the past but thankfully have gotten better. Effective communication can only be truly accomplished when they are viewed as myths and not as reality.
Yes, I was very shock on how short it was also, but very powerful with the message.
Highlighting those three myths was priceless. I have never viewed those myths as true when dealing with the team I lead, but when I am in with my peers and out bosses, I feel that way. I'll have to get past those if I am going to effectively communicate upward. And reiterate to my team that those are myths and that they need to feel free to disagree, dissent or not be in consensus if they have evidence they should do otherwise.
Effective communication is crucial in the law enforcement field. Effectively and efficiently getting your message, thoughts or request out to your personnel is essential. I prefer verbal communication and face to face if at all possible, that way I can read their non-verbal cues as well to ensure the message was properly received. That also gives them the opportunity to do the same when they are sharing information with me because it is equally important that i fully receive and comprehend what they are communicating. I also believe in starting a briefing with reminding everyone to hold all questions until the end, because I may cover that question later in the briefing and it will also help prevent from getting off task and leaving a crucial element out.
The lesson in this module is that to be an effective leader; you must effectively communicate. So often, when I talk about communication, I think only of verbal communication. However, it is also essential to realize that nonverbal communication plays a critical role in your effectiveness as a leader.
I agree that communication is key. People do tend to think verbal when the term communication is brought to light. However, non-verbal is just as important if not more and definitely can affect you as a leader.
Start no sentence with no, but, or, however. Great point as it relates to mindset and perception. From this lesson I will take away effective communication is not only verbal but also non-verbal. I have been told before that without saying a word my emotions give off communication signals that often people misinterpret. After taking a breath or time to think in the perspective of others, my outlook may change. It will be my responsibility to assure that my nonverbal communication is interpreted better.
I worked for a commander who could communicate a lot without saying a word. His face would definitely show his displeasure with you or something you said or did. It would also let you know when it was time to stop talking and listen. Although non-verbal, it was still very very effective.
In order to be a great and effective leader you must have effective communication. Effective communication is not only just talking but it is effectively listening too. Communication is so important in our profession. Without effective communication, tasks will not be completed according to policy. As a supervisor in the jail it is imperative that I have effective communication with my personnel.
Sometimes administration sends out emails to personnel and people do not even look at their emails. At the beginning of each shift we conduct roll call with our personnel. During this time, I make sure I go over any emails that had been sent out from Administration to make sure my personnel are up to date on any policies that have changed. I also stress to my personnel that communication is key to the shift running smoothly.
I know that I need to improve on my effective listening, if I want to improve as a leader.
Effective communication is certainly a powerful tool in our arsenal as leaders. I have definitely become more of a listener than a talker over the past several years. I have learned to really listen intently and process the information that is being presented without rushing to judgement. I do not attempt to cut someone short in the conversation even thought the urge can be great at times. We have to keep our team engaged at all times making them feel a part of the decision making process. That will lead to success within the organization.
I am good at listening and communicating well with others. However, I must admit I sometimes catch myself cutting someone short during a conversation. This is definitely a discipline I must master.
The module was short but to the point. I feel it touched on a couple of important characteristics leaders should possess. Dr. Larry Long stated "Leaders need to be competent communicators in order to enhance credibility, communicate expectations, and share information." Communication is central to everything that happens in the workplace. Dr. Long also mentioned, leaders must be great listeners. As leaders we cannot be distracted by our surroundings.
As mentioned by Marshall Goldsmith, leaders ask for input; learn from everyone around you. As leaders we must listen to individuals around us; allow their input. By doing so it helps them feel like they're part of a team. In turn it helps us to become better leaders. We have to remember they are our eyes and ears. We cannot be everywhere at once; a good leader has a great team.
Although our delivery and message is one of the main components to effective communication, I feel effective listening is just as important and is a concept that is often time not used. Yes, how we deliver our message and the credibility we establish with those under our command is important, but listening to their ideas and concerns is just as important. Listening to others and building our relationships with them only strengthens our communication skills.
Andrew, I completely agree that listening to the ideas and concerns of personnel under our command is very important. By listening to them you gain their trust, which in turn will make them want to follow you.
Andrew, I agree with what you are saying. To me, the most challenging part of communication is listening. I am a very verbal person, and it's most difficult for me not to wait until the other person has finished their idea. I find myself falling short on this and need to work on not interrupting my personnel.
Most of the time when I think of effective communication I think about how I delivered the message. How I presented the material. I don't often think about how credible I am when delivering the message. As I watched this presentation I actually remember an instance where the lack of credibility of an instructor was the driving force for me becoming an instructor myself. We need to make sure we maintain credibility with our officers. I need to work on becoming more dynamic. Certain subjects get energy and passion but many just get my words. I need to find ways to become more enthusiastic when relaying information that may not really make me excited.
Burt I totally agree and feel we are all guilty in a sense; when it comes to putting more energy into something we enjoy. I find myself as well putting more energy and time into something I enjoy; not taking into consideration my delivery and the message I'm conveying. Credibility is a major component in our profession. How can we lead if individuals do not have faith in us. How can individuals follow if they don't trust. We have to realize our words have more meaning and power than we believe.
Agreed, I think we can have the expertise on material but with a lack luster Dynamism the trust might not follow along.
Effective communication is a struggling point for myself as a leader. Effective listening is a lost art and is one of the biggest downfalls of so many of the people I interact with on the daily basis. Communication is one of the biggest downfalls of our organization because so much is delivered via email. Which makes it less effective, however to combat this we hold roll calls daily so we can verbally communicate the information to our shifts so we can ensure we are keeping our teams informed. But on the regular basis I have tried to explain a situation and been asked a question that I answered earlier in the conversation. This is usually an indication that they are not actively listening and only reacting to preconceived notions they had. This is why I try to be clearer in my verbal communications and ask if I need to clarify what I say and ask open ended questions to ensure they understand and comprehend what I am trying to communicate.
Long, L. (2017). Effective Communication. Module 7, Week 1. National Command and Staff College.
I must agree that the personal relationship and interaction is lost due to email and technology advances. In the past, the messages would have to be delivered in person and allowed for everyone to interact personally. Now we simply press a button to ask a question.
I am sure many of us have worked for or with an officer or supervisor that either escalates a situation which we have diffused or the supervisor that is a challenge to communicate with on a daily basis. In my current role at CSU, there are some unique challenges networking with stakeholders on campus. We are not immune to some of our external partners buying into the national rhetoric towards law enforcement. I have found that it has been beneficial taking that "tactical pause" and listening more, responding less. At the present this will benefit us long term in restoring relationships across campus.
Very well said, Jay. I live in a very law enforcement supportive community, but we too have stakeholders in our community who let the national tone drive their thinking and conversations. We must listen to their thoughts and opinions and hope that even though we may see things differently that it can bring all of us together in the long term.
One of the things our management team at the department has been working on the past few years is building relationships. We hold high the ability to build relationships with those in the community to work together to accomplish our organizational goals and objectives. At the center of relationship building is communication. If you can't communicate, you can't build relationships. If you can't communicate, you can't build credibility in the relationship. When the lesson reviewed the (3) key components of credibility, trust was really something that caused me to think. Not only do we as leaders have the obligation to build relationships and communicate effectively, we must absolutely do so in a way that builds trust. For a relationship to work, the others involved must trust that your word is true and you will follow through with what you said you would.
I enjoyed this lecture. As a leader we have to be able to communicate effectively. We have to be able to express ourselves in ways that many people are able to understand because we don't lead robots. We have to be able to express our thoughts and goals to persons in our profession as well as to ordinary persons in the communities we served. Being able to effectively communicate builds trust and faith with the persons that one leads.
One of the important things stood out to me in this lecture was one of the biggest mistakes when asking someone for input is to begin the sentence with No, But, or However. I know that I have heard people begin sentences with one of those three words and I am pretty sure that I have made the same mistake and just didn't realize it. I can see where it would make them question your ability as a leader.
I am quick to start a sentence with those words. Never really thought about the impact of consistently starting sentences with a negative tone. You are basically shutting them down as soon as you start. We, as leaders, need our people to know that we are actually open to the input we just asked for.
As a leader, to be effective, you have to be able to communicate. As a young officer, I know when I would speak to someone of rank, and they began to play on their phone or computer, I would feel like I was bothering them and often end the conversation. When I speak to subordinates, I make it a point to turn away from the computer and leave the phone on the desk to ensure that they have my full attention. This has opened the door for them to come to me more and seek out my advice and opinions.
I know that I have made the same mistake by looking at my phone when someone was speaking to me and as a 27 year veteran with my department I should know better. Sometimes I do it and not realize that it's happening.
Buck, I know we are all guilty of that...life was easier before smartphones...
Well said, Derek. I have been guilty of the things that you mentioned. Once I became aware of it (mostly from being annoyed by my superiors doing it to me) I forced myself to put all other things aside and give my undivided attention to the individual. I found that this goes a long way in building relationships and trust.
This highlighted many aspects of my hostage /crisis training and times I have had to use it. One of the hardest things for me to do was to learn to control my wanting to immediately talk in hopes that I could help defuse the situation. I still struggle with it but am improving.
The module again stressed the importance of communication which I think is noteworthy as it so important in our jobs and also as being a leader. The break down of credibility was interesting to be me specifically the part of dynamism. I wasn't sure what that meant at first, but it was clear after the module. It's clear that someone who is unmotivated or lacks the vigor of dynamism will not be seen as a credible leader or communicator. It's important to communicate and also walk the walk as they say. Once you do this, it will enhance your communications with other as you will become more credible and thus, able to influence others with greater effectiveness.
This lecture once again made me question my communication skills Being an effective communicator is vital in your role as a leader. Being a good listener is as important. I`ve had leaders that can give you about 30 seconds of their time. If you can`t get it in then you`ve lost them. Start giving people your undivided attention, they will gravitate to you and seek out your knowledge.
I can completely relate to the supervisor is too busy if you can get their attention. It was this type of supervisor that irked my nerves and made it feel like they were unavailable. I still remember how that made me feel as a new person and strive to never make any of my team members to ever have that feeling from me.
This module really expressed the importance of effectively communicating. As a leader in law enforcement communication is key. You need to be able to communicate the things you are trying to put in place as well as policies or directives you have in place. It is extremely important for your staff t know that when they speak to you, they have your undivided attention. This could be in regards to a case, changes they may feel are beneficial or an issue they may be having whether personal or work related. Overall, an open good line of communication goes along way with those you are leading. Showing you care and accept their criticism and concerns really earns respect.
This lesson really explained the importance of communicating with your team. As a leader you influence others so you must be good at listening and communicating. I also agree that a leader must be credible in order to be effective. When any of my coworkers come to me with a question or suggestion I stop what I'm doing, and give them my attention. I listen to them and at the end if they ask me what my thoughts are, I share them. I also think that when you have been working with the same people you begin to know and learn their habits, and you know when something is bothering them. At times, I'll ask them if they need to talk about an assignment or if they need help with completing a task. As a leader in my department I always ask my team for input. Many times the input benefit our department. I also encourage my team to be better and do better at something that they do repetitive.
I agree that a leader must be credible. They must be able to be trusted by the community as well as the persons that he or she supervises. When speaking to members of my team I also Make sure that I stop and give my full undivided attention to them. I Try to guide them to the answer they are looking for rather than just giving them the answer. I could do a lot better job at learning the persons I work with. I try to be there if they need anything on or off duty but I do lack at getting to know them away from work
This module while short was very eye opening. I liked how he described the 3 myths of effective communication.
criticism of idea = criticism of person
disagree with consensus = not a team player
I think all of of fallen into this trap where either we didn't speak up or be honest to give a overall evaluation of a situation or have been the person in charge where if someone did one of these things we equated tit to a negative. I believe that we need to realize that people are trying to do the right things and give all options and we or a person of higher rank shouldn't take it personally
I think a good line of communication goes a long way toward improving morale and preventing rumors and misinformation. I've worked for some other organizations where information was hoarded simply as a measure of control, and I've seen how this can be detrimental to unit cohesion. Of course there may be a time that sensitive information can not be communicated, but I think keeping everyone as informed as possible as often as possible helps keep everyone on the team moving in the right direction with the right attitude.
I agree whole heartily. Rumors can quickly kill moral within a department and one of the fastest ways to discourage and reduce them is by effectively communicating. It's hard to spread rumors, which may be detrimental to moral, if everyone perceives your communication as credible. I also think it's important to keep the lines open and following as you said, it can't be one and done. If the rumors are still there, the communication was ineffective.
Dr. Long (2021) speaks of credibility and makes several salient points in linking this with communication. While he posits the importance of credibility in creating a foundation and being the key to leadership, he goes on to link elements or dimensions of credibility in communication. A point that really resonated was how the lecture couched these elements. As leaders, it is clear that expertise in our day to day interactions is important. What seems sage is the caveat that explains that expertise is not confined to technical skills of the job. It also encompasses the importance of expertise in people. Being able to read communicative clues such as facial expressions, body language and interpreting returned feedback are important skills in assuring communication is effective, clear and concise.
An additional key point was the discussion of dynamism. Perceptions of an individual that are positive lend to their inherent credibility while negative perceptions tear it away. Right or wrong, that is the reality that leaders work within every day. It is not that a leader who dresses sloppily or does not shine his shoes is not a very credible and engaged leader, but that may be the perception afforded him by his appearance. It is a stereotype, and although it is unfair, it is a reality that we have to work in. Hence, leaders must be proactive and pick up on how folks will perceive their behavior and appearance. The neat leader who is attuned to their grooming and dress will fare better that those who choose to skate. Leaders do not have to look like models,. but they must be attired professionally. It is a model of respect for one's self as well as peers and team mates.
The key element of trust is built around many facets of an individual. Competency, appearance, consistency and clear communication are at the forefront of trust-building. Transparency is another element of importance when building trust. At the end of the day, leaders are built with series of bricks and not a single block of concrete. Effective communication is the mortar that holds all of this together.
Long, L. (2021). Effective communication. Module #7, week #3. National Command and Staff College.
Communication is a very important aspect in leadership. I feel that leaders need to be effective communicators and be able to address not just the staff at the department but as well as the public. I through a leadership course a few years ago and they covered communication. One of the things that stuck with me was non-verbal communication, specifically email. Email is a huge part of our daily activity so they stressed the importance of demonstrating strong communication skills via email. This is form of communication that gives us the ability to share information quickly and appropriately. A trick they taught in the course that I have found very useful in communicating via email is write shorter emails. I have found it very beneficial to keep my emails short and direct to the point. I think my superiors appreciate it too.
Hey Jared- Although I use e-mail incessantly, I like the personal approach. Effective communication, especially when there is no line of sight and body language to interpret, can be cumbersome, to be sure. I often wonder how we can improve communication venues that are set up to save time but are perhaps less efficiently than face to face discussions.
I was not completely sold on his definition of dynamism. I’m not sure how his example of shined shoes leads to a dynamic person. I don’t shine my shoes each day. Usually, it’s because every time I shine my shoes, I end up in a foot chase, a field, a dirt lot, or some other area that leads to dirty shoes. So, by his example, I’m not dynamic? Do my dirty shoes on the heels of the search of a field for evidence of a crime decrease my credibility? Also, dynamism, in many that I experience, comes across as egotistical. That leads to a decrease in credibility, in my opinion. I think the point is a credible person should have the ability to take charge (even quietly) and follow-through, but I just did not buy his explanation.
I have seen you with dirty boots and I do not find you any less credible! I do agree that dirty shoes does not decrease credibility. I'm sure that there are some people that look at an officers boots and see them really shiny and give that officer more credibility, but I sure wouldn't. I would view that officer as professional and prepared. I think there are many other ways I find important to gain credibility among your officers.
Thanks for appreciating my sometimes dirty boots!!
Brian I think that's a great counter argument. I understand the point he was making, but sweeping generalizations like that aren't always the best approach.
I strongly believe in communication as the foundation of leadership. My organization hasn’t always been effective at communication, which has at times led to conflict, rumors, and misunderstandings. There are of course times when information must remain confidential; however whenever possible supervisors should clearly communicate to their staff. This can be as simple as providing regular(and valuable) feedback to employees so everyone knows if they are doing what is expected of them.
I could not agree with you more. Effective communication is in my opinion as well, the foundation of effective leadership. Not having effective communication can lead to conflict, rumors and major misunderstandings that result in loss of jobs, arguments and sometimes a career change.
Eric - my organization several years ago was notorious for not disseminating information. That in itself was very detrimental to the department and to the morale. The information was only being shared with key members of the organization but was not being filtered down. That eventually changed and I observed many colleagues begin to get more involved in the department and their attitudes changed for the better.
During this lecture on Effective Communication, Dr. Long mentioned "exchanging". I believe that one of the most critical elements to communicating effectively is to exchange, rather than just provide. When speaking to groups I typically make it a point to ask questions to the audience. It has been my experience that the interaction helps retain their attention. I have found that talking with a group, is better received that talking to a group.
This course reminded me that "it’s not what you say, but how you say something." Many times a leader finds himself/herself receiving orders from a supervisor, who is upset about an situation developing. We can absorb and emulate these actions, or we can take time to compose ourselves before sending them to our subordinates. A leader will make conscious efforts to become rational before the strategy and execution of a plan. There is no need to "bark" orders to the ones you supervise, as it only creates the vision you are filled with incompetence.
I totally agree with you Thomas. Sometimes the way we say something can be interpreted the wrong way. Even through text messages or emails. Many times I received orders when my superior was upset and it made me doubt his credibility as a leader.
People will only listen to barking orders so long. It`s my opinion that in today`s times, the way we communicate with others is much more vital than ever before. Sometimes it`s best if we use the 10 second rule before we speak. Right or wrong, I believe the way we deliver our words can have a negative effect on today`s generation of officers.
I totally agree with your post, and I am one of those people who has benefited greatly from the "10 second rule".
I think we have all had the leader who barked orders because he/she was getting the orders barked at them. If these leaders had changed their delivery, the message would have been received differently, and they would have gotten the results they wanted. It is all in the delivery.
Competent communication is key for a leader to be successful. It is important to recognize the various steps in communication such as creating, sending, receiving, and interpreting a message and being mindful of how our messages are being received by others. Part of being a good communicator is being a good listener. Its important to listen and absorb all of the message, rather than bits and pieces.
I certainly believe now that more emphasis on listening should be put on effective communication.
This lesson reinforced the importance of communicating effectively. Effective communication must be open, honest and requires compromise. Effective communication requires us to talk and listen. Within my division, I have an open door policy for subordinates to talk to me at any time. This open line of communication and availability builds trust and shows that the employee is valued. The vast majority of the time, I do more listening than talking. When there is an employee with a problem or issue I want them to voice their concern to me. Most of the time, the employee only wants to talk and be heard. Communication can bring change. Change is not always bad. How we adapt to change says a lot about the type of leader we are.
Communication is something we as humans do all day every day, whether it be verbally or nonverbally. This module brought up some important topics as it relates to us as leaders, specifically with regards to credibility. If a leader does not have credibility as they communicate their message, it either is lost or not received correctly.
I agree Matthew. If a leader lacks credibility, their message may not be taken seriously or not received at all. Its important for leaders to establish that trust and enthusiasm with staff and build their credibility as a leader.
I have had the unfortunate experience of listening to unqualified instruction in the past. I found myself unable to put value on what was being said, because I knew the person was not qualified. No matter how well spoken, or how entertaining, I was unable to move past knowing they had very little experience on the topic. On the other hand, I have sat under very well qualified individuals that simply could not communicate well. These individuals possessed the knowledge, they just did not convey it well. Ideally, a good leader will possess the knowledge to be considered credible, but also be able to convey their message to others.
MIlitary leadership classes all involve communication, college classes emphasize communication, and every law enforcement class I have attended believes communication is vital to our success. I don't know about you but I am starting to think we should catch on to this communication thing. The credibility portion was a good one I had never heard or seen the word Dynamism but I am going to find someplace to use it. Uncle Sam taught me the respect of my uniform and how its presentation was a reflection of the person wearing it but it was also a representation of the United States Navy. Competent communication from leaders makes decisions and life much easier.
Effective Communication is very important, especially when speaking to subordinates. If we as leaders are not getting our message through and understood then our job performance as well as the job performance of those under our command will suffer. To me, the most important aspect to credibility is expertise. For your subordinates to have trust in you, you must have expertise in your area. This is why it is so important to continue to try and improve yourself by staying up to date on information in your field and continuing with your education.
Expertise is a vital part of credibility. I would agree we should be continually striving for self-improvement. I have taught effective communication courses for about 10 years and still find myself lacking at communicating well in some instances! Therefore, I constantly figure out ways to improve. I also learn new ways to teach the course to make it even more meaningful. Despite the importance of this topic, I still get pushback on teaching this topic when tactical classes interfere with timing. Many focus solely on tactics, and in doing so, they forget the value of effective communication as a valuable tactic to use to either avoid or delay the need to use force. The need to constantly improve should be reflective in the training we provide by combining multiple disciplines into training programs and scenarios.
I agree Shawn. We need to constantly evaluate ourselves as communicators and identify areas we can become better. There is always going to be misunderstandings but how we respond and learn from those misunderstanding defines our credibility for future interactions.
I enjoyed this short and concise module. It highlights credibility, which I beleive is a cornerstone of being a successful law enforcement officer in every interaction we have, from public information distribution, interacting with coworkers to interviewing a suspect in a criminal matter. Without credibility (Expertise, Dynamism, and Trust) none of our interactions will produce the results we are looking for.
This module covered the role that effective communication plays in effective leadership. Many times issues and failures can be found to have occurred simply from failure of effective communication in the beginning. I have seen many scenarios play out where due to a variety of reasons communication failed. Some of those times it involved egos, arrogance or stubbornness on the part of some of the individuals in the conversation. It is important to develop the environment wherein people feel they can honestly contribute to the conversation about a situation or project without the fear of some type of negative repercussions. The flow of information, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and input is vital to the success of any organization. The credibility of the leader is crucial in effective communication. That credibility is formed through demonstrating expertise, dynamism, and trust.
In the initial video it outlined one statement that I have found incredibly true in my career. The quality of communication influences the quality of our decisions which then has an impact on the quality of our outcomes. This sums up the importance of communication and how it relates to success.
Intervention Options in the Wisconsin DAAT (Defense and Arrest Tactics) manual starts off with "Presence.” Just the officer’s presence, alone, may be enough to get compliance and control. This is much like communication, where the officer’s personal appearance may impact how well they are able to communicate. The lecture speaks about an officer in uniform, by itself, is a show of communication. This is something that needs to be addressed, as often times we see the “sloppy” appearance. Effective communication may mean starting with the basics, especially in a position like law enforcement when everyone is watching and we are under the microscope.
I agree with you on professional appearance being vitally important. I watched a segment a few years ago where suspects arrested after killing law enforcement officers were interviewed about their crimes. Several of them cited that they sized up the officer before hand and decided that the officer did not look "prepared" and they felt they could take advantage of that. They referenced the officer's uniform not being pressed and them looking out of shape. In these instances their presence "communicated" that they could be taken advantage of.
I enjoyed the short and to the point learning format applied during this module. In order to communicate effectively we must be credible with an understanding that misunderstandings are inherent within communication. The module reinforcing that misunderstandings are inherent caused me to reflect on my own communication to determine how and where I can become a better communicater when misunderstandings have been identified.
I agree Shawn. We need to constantly evaluate ourselves as communicators and identify areas we can become better. There is always going to be misunderstandings but how we respond and learn from those misunderstanding defines our credibility for future interactions.
There were very good points made from this lecture. Being a good leader is some one that can definitely communicate effectively and also have the ability to be a great listener. I think that effective communication plays a huge role in the success of an organization. Everyone has to know the plan for the future, and been given some buy in on the decisions that are being made.
I completely agree. To get buy-in (which is crucial), you definitely need to learn and engage in effective communication.
The lecture stressed credibility as a key to communication in leadership. Basically, people are not as likely to follow somebody who doesn't know what they are doing or that they cant trust. The trust part is easy. Put the people you lead first and yourself second. Eventually you will earn their trust or, at least, their respect.
As leaders get higher up in an organization, it gets harder to stay knowledgeable in all facets of the job. Keeping abreast of what your people do at all levels is tough. It requires spending extra time to keep that working knowledge, but this is key if an upper level leader wants to retain credibility. I remember being about 2 yrs into policing when I had an "old school" captain work a beat with me on night shift. I was impressed that he took the time to get back to basics. I was even more impressed that he wanted to spend time with the new guys.
With the last year or so our chief deputy retired from our agency. Even though he was never required to work the road he sometimes did when his schedule allowed. He wouldn't just pick up the day shifts he literally would work the overnights to make contact with the frontline deputies. His expertise, dynaism, and trust that he had with his co-workers has yet been matched by anyone in our agency. This is something as a new administrator I am striving for. He was an effective communicator, listener, and respected leader through out the ranks. I often hear my coworkers, some subordinate to me as well as my peers state that, "he was the backbone of our agency". He set the bar very high prior to his retirement.
Well, that was shorter than I anticipated. Especially for such a crucial part of leadership. Although keeping it simple and to the point can be just as effective as long and hashed out topic. Every leadership class I've been to, at a minimum, touched on the importance of communication and its influence on the success of a leader. For me, listening and nonverbal communication are two things I have to be extremely mindful of when talking to people. Too often I find myself thinking of a response before the other party has finished talking and inadvertently miss part of the conversation. In the midst of that, at times, I can tend to have a physical reaction that may impact the destination of the conversation...steering it from where the other person originally wanted to go, to something they think I may want to hear.
The most important part of the module though, was the reminder of credibility and how critical it is to leadership. Verbal and nonverbal communication's impact on the trust felt by others. As well as how you act, speak and listen will impact others perception of reputation.
I agree Nathan. Communication is the foundation of everything we do and this was summed up pretty fast; however, great points made. Like you mentioned, credibility is crucial when it comes to establishing communication. Why would someone give you the time of day if you don’t know what you are talking about? I am sure we’ve all had instructors at one point that seem disengaged from the topic. Perhaps they don’t enjoy teaching that topic as much as other topics, or they just aren’t as knowledgeable in that course. Either way, credibility is a key foundation to communication.
The importance of effective leadership can never be stressed enough. There are so many pieces that involve being effective and they must all be used to be successful. I think one of the most challenging for me and probably a lot of people, is being able to take that step back and listen to someone without already thinking about a response to what that person will say. A lot of details may be missed if the person on the listening end really isn't listening and is more worried about being right and making their point. It may be easier to see this occurring if observing two other people having a conversation, but it's something all of us should focus on more.
I agree; the ability to aggressively listen to your people assists in removing preconceived notions and creates better buy in from you people. Details are missed, the intent is missed if we fail to aggressively listen.
I find myself in conversations with my peers and chiefs all the time. I can finish their sentences and thoughts and I can answer them before they realize they were interrupted. So yes I have to ensure I actively listen, I slow down in order to process what they are saying or want to be done.
Ronald, I used to find myself in a constant struggle with wanting to interrupt people when they're speaking. I have disciplined myself to listen to them completely then replying to them.
An interesting take away is leadership communication requires eliminating words that stymie positive interactions with our personnel. The “no, but, however,” terms are highly limiting and destructive to a leader's ability to have an open conversation with personnel. To hear of the example of the fines to a leader for using the word “but” shows how easily we create the bad habit of promoting negative influencing words. This lesson carries a close similarity to a positive psychology course that I was fortunate to attend to see where the use of “T” words (don't, can't, not, etc.) does the same thing. We found that by eliminating these words and replacing them with “yes and,” one is forced to remain supportive yet offer an opinion to facilitate support and open dialogue. This simple process makes it very difficult to be dismissive and not open to truly listening to the views and ideas of the group.
The Challenger video highlighted a breakdown in communication and evidenced how it can be catastrophic. Transfering good and bad communication to the law enforcement world can be equally or potentially worse than the shuttle incident. For example, many things happen literally second by second in our profession. If a dispatcher holds the information too long on a high-risk call, this could completely alter the outcome. From a leadership/management angle, if we don't clearly relay information to our staff it could cause all kinds of issues as well.
Plain and simple, we have to be effective communicators. Effective in the fact that our messaging almost always seems spot on. The receiver of information however may not get the proper intent of the message. Texting is one current example where messaging can get completely scrambled between two people. I see this all the time, I text something only to have the recipient go in the wrong direction or misinterpret what I was trying to relay. The best communication is face to face or at minimum voice to voice. This offers such things as tone, clarification, rebuttal, and so forth. Things are way less likely to be misinterpreted in this form of communication. If communication needs to be in writing, I always have a proofreader go over my work before I push send or print. Sometimes I even have two proofreaders.
Communication is very important as a leader and it is important to know how to communicate. Leaders need to allow others on the team to not agree with what is being said and feel comfortable enough to say something. In the TED talk, this was made clear in the two example he gave about the Bay of Pigs and the shuttle launch. Sometimes leaders can get so caught up in what they want to do, they are not able to take in all of the available information and it ends if a fiery crash. But those who are providing that information also needs to be able to share that knowledge without fear of recourse. Like was mentioned, it is important to not equate dissent with disloyalty. Being loyal means that you will step up and protect them team and/or leader when it is necessary.
Right away this module starts out by saying that us wearing our uniforms is a form of communication. I think that is something very important to keep in mind during our work. Too often we forget about the "non-verbal" form of communication which is this sense would be us simply showing up in uniform. Immediately when people see us in uniform they begin to form an opinion of that person of how the interaction is going to go. If we get out of our squads and walk briskly somewhere "or with a purpose" vs. walking normal those around us start to gather an idea of what is about to happen.....all this by NON-verbal communication. Back on track a little more with this module it is clear throughout almost every module that ineffective communication is highly detrimental to any organization and effective communication can be very rewarding, build trust and empower those within to do more.
This is so true. Just they way that you arrive and present yourself can say a lot about you. We have all worked those officers who get pour gas on the fire just by arriving on the scene or those who when they arrive, everyone is able to take a deep breath and relax. The uniform is part of the use of force continuum for a reason. The first step is officer presence, even before a word is said. The uniform is a form of communication and most people respect the uniform and it changes their behaviors, but as we all know too well, the uniform does not garner as much respect currently due to many issues in our society.
I liked how it started the lecture - an officer in uniform, by itself, can impact how communication may go. A great reminder for everyone to look and act professional.
Good point about the non-verbal communication. We often overlook the non-verbal communication and the importance of it in influencing outcomes. The power of perceptions from the beginning is greatly influenced by some of the non-verbal communication that is going on in the situation. I think many times this sets the tone for the interaction whatever it may be and can impact the outcome.
One aspect of this Module I thoroughly enjoyed and found relatable was "stubbornness and opinionated" are two key characteristics to most highly successful people. It seems ironic that the two characteristics which propel individuals to high level of success are two key characteristics that need to assessed and evolved. The key to this evolution of thought and approach lies solely within the ability to communicate effective. Such a simple process is the gateway to overall success.
"A leader of the past will know how to tell, a leader of the future will know how to ask." Such a simple sentence can make you reflect on how you communicate with your staff or how your supervisor communicates with you. When listening to Marshall Goldsmith talk about when asking for input don't use the words no, but or however, it made me self-reflect on if I do this or how often I do this and how it reflects on my staff.
This sentence resonated with me as well. I believe as leaders, we sometimes forget to listen to the leaders of the past. That experience is invaluable and can greatly aid us in being effective communicators.
I thought that this module was a great reminder of how important it is for leaders to be great communicators. A lack of effective communication is consistently ranked as one of the biggest issues among organizations. One of the best ways to create cohesive and successful teams and organizations is the ability to effectively communicate. It is essential that leaders communicate as much as possible. I appreciated the first part of the module with the John O'Leary ted talk. It was interesting to learn about the failure of President Kennedy and what he did to learn from his mistakes. Having a dissenting opinion and effectively communicating that does not mean you're being disloyal to the organization. Criticism of an idea does not mean you're criticizing the individual and disagreeing with the consensus does not necessarily mean you're not a team player.
I thought John O' Leary brought up some great points when he talked about the myths of communication. With our professional field being structured as a paramilitary organization, rank and authority play an important role but often get in the way of our effective communication. People are often fearful of dissent because they do not want to seem disloyal or they will just agree with the group because it’s the easy thing to do. I do feel with experience people become more confident and some of the fear goes away, but I also feel that people who are emotionally intelligent can make important points without sounding disrespectful or arrogant to superiors. I think most superiors expect your honesty in a well thought out conversation. I also felt that Dr. Larry Long brought up an important point when talking about credibility. If you do not have credibility in your organization, people have probably stopped listening before you even started talking. Dynamism is important too, it really goes along with 1st impressions, you may only get one chance!
Great points Andy. I believe that in a meeting or discussion, particularly if it's surrounding an important issue, we need to hear all sides of an argument. This helps flush out the "what ifs" and the devil's advocate angle. As you point out, emotional intelligence will either be present or it won't depending on who is in the room. It's ok to be passionate about something to get your point across, but there is a line that can be crossed, don't cross it. Respecting opposing views while not agreeing is acceptable.
Never start a sentence with No, But, or However. What a simple, yet brilliant rule to live by! I enjoyed the lecture and will be trying to implement these ideas. Communication is key. Credibility is such a huge part of positive communication.
That was great advice. I will have to try and see if I can do that. Also, listening is key to effective communication. We train extensively on effectively communicating with the public as Police Officers by building rapport, using active listening and remembering body language. How often can we use those same principles when communicating within our organization?
A good goal to shoot for. But do you think you can do it right away? :) Credibility and trust are huge and are the difference in actually listening to someone versus ignoring or discounting them right away.
I agree but the correct way to communicate is to know your subordinates, and trust them. This trust opens their minds to actually listening to the message you are trying to get across.
The part of this module that meant the most to me is the concept that credibility forms the foundation of leadership. When I think about this concept, it is 100% true that everyone that I have worked for that I consider to be a good leader has been an excellent communicator. The 3 components to credibility are Expertise, Dynamism, and Trust. I have known leaders that are absolute subject matter experts, but are not at all dynamic and very passive in their approach. I have also known leaders that have the expertise and dynamism, but can't be trusted based on past experiences, and this makes it hard to follow them. I think if we continue to work on all areas of credibility with each encounter we have with a colleague, subordinate, or superior, we will continue to build credibility and effective communication. Every encounter with another person is important no matter how small or insignificant it might seem.
I agree and like many others have witnessed this working against good people several times. How exactly do good, moral people who have a concern or disagreement with a process engage the chain of command who created the problem with out creating animosity. Unfortunately, not many in leadership positions are willing to be open minded and listen especially if they may be to blame. Some of the tips provided in this lesson may be the answer, but continued education on leadership techniques for those in positions of authority will also be of great benefit.
I enjoyed the section on the three elements of credibility; expertise, dynamism and trust. It is easy to understand that credibility creates the foundation for leadership. I typically try to apply lessons from each class to individuals whom I have worked with in the past. In this case it is easy to understand why people in leadership positions who were not experts in any area lacked credibility and also why those whom are in lesser positions but are clearly experts are sought after by others. Clearly trust plays a huge role in credibility but I struggle a bit with the idea of dynamism. The examples given were related to shining boots or having a well fitting uniform. I'm thinking that the role of active or passive employees is more of a style trait, for example do you take control of a struggling meeting or do you sit back and observe quietly. I believe there is value in both and regardless of your style or amount of dynamism you can be a credible leader.
I agree Robert that you can be an effective leader with both an active level and passive level of dynamism. I also think on the flip side a person who is passive has a more difficult barrier to overcome as they may have to get past the first impression they have created with things like uniform appearence, etc...
I was surprised how short this module was. I expected there to be more information regarding effective communication because it is so important for leaders to be successful. I really liked John O'Leary's Ted Talk video. I had never heard of the communication failure that led to the space shuttle disaster. The three myths he discussed were spot on. I've heard all of those from other people and can definitely relate to them myself. Dr. Long's discussion about credibility was good and he is absolutely correct that trust is the most important factor.
I'm right there with you! Especially with the Challenger Explosion. I remember watching it as a child, yet I've never heard about the communication failure about the O-rings. Obviously they did not want to loose everyone's trust in their ability, but good lord, how many times do the smartest people in the world need to be told, "Don't do it" before they understand. It sounds like their ego was to blame more than their communication.
The three myths he discussed were spot on and could have been hammered out a little more. Hopefully it will make me more open to discussion rather than feeling the need to defend a position when someone shows opposition to a topic.
Effective communication is essential for a leader to be successful. I have personally witnessed unsuccessful leaders who did not possess this skill. They would lead with one way communication that was composed of yelling and arguing. Had they taken the time to listen to other ideas and reasons why decisions should be made their leadership tenure would have been longer and more influential. Effective leaders encourage the challenging of ideas and do not take it as a personal attack.
I have had the same experience with certain leaders in my organization, especially early in my career. I don't know anyone who likes the type of leader who has to yell or argue to show their influence. This module even acknowledged that if leading by telling is the past, then leading by asking is the future.
I agree with you. Some very smart people have shown themselves to be poor leaders because of their stubbornness and inability to listen to others and make sound decisions based on the best information.
Well said! As a leader, i have to be prepared to accept constructive criticism and viewpoints that differ from my own. It can be humbling, but it helps me make better decisions and lead more effectively.
What John O'Leary in the TED video said resonated with me. He stated, "The quality of our conversations influences the quality of our decisions ...which dictates the quality of our outcomes". I often find some meetings are unproductive because once someone has an opinion someone always has a “but” to bring up. I also agree about dissent in a group setting being viewed as disloyalty, criticism being taken personally and disagreeing with a group as not a team player. I think this comes down to the credibility one has with the group.
In this module, I found Dr. Longs Ted Talk most interesting. The 3 myths that keep people silent at times. 1. Dissent=Disloyalty 2. Criticism of an idea=Criticism of an individual 3. Disagree with the consensus of the group=Not a team player. The difficulty becomes in creating an atmosphere where teammates are not afraid to speak up without fear of retribution or the belief that if you do speak up that one of the myths would be applicable. The Challenger story that he shared with us left an impact with me. By failing to truly listen to members of the team can truly be catastrophic sometimes.
In this lecture I learned the way we communicate and how we communicate it’s vital for effective communications. Our words must in congruence with our actions to transmit trust. This module reminded me that effective communications are not only verbal. Effective communications are rooted in trust. People listen with their eyes as well. As a leader it is important to remember that in order to influence a group of people thru effective communications, you have to instill trust. Credibility and trust go together and the leader must be aware of this. Without, communications are rendered ineffective. Great module. Lots of take aways that l will use at work.
I appreciate how this module touched on not beginning a sentence/reply with “No” “But” or “However”. So often when we communicate, we focus on what our reply will be while the person we are talking with is still attempting to communicate their point. As much as we try and hide this it can be obvious at times. Without us even realizing it this can send a nonverbal message to the other person that we are defensive and/or not open to what they have to say.
I absolutely agree with this. We jump the gun too quickly and speak when we should be listening. This is a simple sign of poor communications on our part. If we listened more we would be better communicators. This happens too often even during criminal investigations where the interrogating Officer cuts off a suspect, therefore missing important information. I will be more aware of my active listening skills to be communicate with my subordinates, peers and supervisors.
In his TED Talk, Dr. Long said that encouraging open communication can be difficult in a group setting and that having each individual bring their own recommendations before a meeting is more effective. However (yes, I know I shouldn’t start a sentence with this word), doing so requires a foundation of mutual trust, meaning that the participants feel safe to share their honest opinion. This is exactly why he also stressed that trust is the most vital component of credibility. Ineffective leaders get offended with respectful discourse when in fact they should be grateful and even encourage such feedback. Reflecting on both successful and not so successful conversations is also critical for growth. Trust cannot exist without open and honest communication. To grow as credible leaders, we have to make steady contributions to our trust savings account with open and honest communication which will make effective communication possible in the long run.
This section served a nice reminder to slow down, take a breath and listen to one another instead of rushing to offer advice or opinions. I believe it is important to have self awareness and emotional intelligence about how ones communication styles are perceived by others. This is a vital step towards developing effective ways to communicate.
This module reaffirmed my thoughts on the importance of effective communication in leadership. An important takeaway for me was the piece about trust in communication being key to successful communication. Trust plays a pivotal role in all parts of leadership as well effective communication.
I was surprised that through this module on communication that body language and approachability where not mentioned. Along with the great effective ways we communicate, I believe our non-verbal communications are equally as important. If we are not approachable, our superiors, subordinates and peers will be less likely to come to us and have conversations that allow us to use or communication skills and build credibility within the organization.
I agree. Body language communicates just as much non-verbally as our spoken word. That is a good point Kyle.
Yes, good point. They say most of our communication is done in a non verbal manner. As police officers we are taught so often to observe non verbal ques, body language, posture, and stance. These observations follow us into our professional communication as well and we can't ignore them while communicating with our officers.
I agree that body language, or non-verbal, communications are essential yet overlooked. For most of my life, people tell me that my facial expressions speak volumes, even though I am very reserved and do not speak up. This topic was highly evident during my deployments. During highly heated planning sessions, where I knew there were challenges but knew I should save my opinion for another time, my commander would routinely look at me to see what expression I was trying to cover up. If highly noticeable, he would call on me for my analysis, which was often counter to that of my peers based on facts and not emotions. While this often ostracized me as these shortsighted planners needed to reevaluate and reconstruct their plan, in the end, it was the best action for the command and the national objectives. I preferred using closed-door meetings to address my concerns, but I know that through this transparent expression, we saved a valuable commodity in planning, time, through being able to have a voice of reason
I was thinking the same thing about body language and now that you mention approachability that fits in as well. I could argue that our body language is more important that what we say. I've had several conversations where they other person's body language is clearly telling me they are not interested in what I have to say
Communication is really the center of being successful in almost all aspects of our lives. That being said, as we look at our greatest communicators within our departments people are naturally drawn to them and their words. Being an effective communicator naturally builds upon an individuals ability to be trusted. Communication is not just about the spoken or written word, we need to ensure all people are receiving the message we are trying to put out. This is something, as a leader, we need to continue to build upon. At times, we put out an email and expect that all people have received the message with the same understanding. The reality is that this is very far from the truth. Many people will read tone that is not present in an email, and this will render the actual message as being lost.
As leaders we need to make sure our message is being sent in ways that all our people are receiving it. But we also need to make sure that we are receiving the feedback of those around us as well. Communicating has to be a two way street. In our department, if providing feedback to someone they may receive it as being negative and "shut down". We need to make sure our team is receiving all the information and learning from it rather than letting it bring them down.
You definitely have a good point and it is true that people are naturally drawn to good communicators. Having charisma and being eloquent is good, but only if you are credible as well. I also like that you focused on how people communicate and the way that their style, format, body language and choice of words can affect how the message is received.
While watching the presentation associated with this module, two significant concepts seemed to present themselves. The first was the 3 myths discussed by Dr. Long; Dissent = disloyalty, criticism of an idea = criticism of an individual and disagree with conscious = not a team player. I keyed in on criticism of an idea = criticism of an individual. I heard this concept and thought about a project (important policy) that I had put my heart and soul in to and I remember how I felt when I presented an over view to some peers who had some divergent thoughts about my draft product. I took their feedback personally as if they were criticizing me. the more that was said, the less I listened. Afterwards I did a self assessment of the situation and I realized I was over invested in the project and had to step away if I was going to value the input from my peers.
The second statement that that got my attention was made by Marshall Goldsmith in his short video titled "Effective Leadership Communication". In this video Goldsmith states "leaders of the past tell and the leaders of the future ask". I think we have all worked for supervisors who have said "just do what I am telling you". When someone says this, there is no real communication taking place and according to Dr. Long can contribute to misunderstanding or interpersonal conflict. through my experience at my department and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve, I learned over time that I could accomplish more by ask people to do things through friendly conversation than by ordering someone to do something.
Good points. I have personally had more success achieving goals with my team when I have asked for input. It is difficult, and I have been guilty of using the 3 forbidden words by Dr. Long. I think by getting input, it supports the theory of the 95% of people wanting to be part of something good.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning from John O’Leary in his TED Talk. He described a communication tool that I had not experienced, or at least that I can remember, previously…changing the context of the conversation and specifically encouraging independent deliberation. I believe this tool can be difficult for public safety leaders on so many levels. Most of us are “Type A” personalities and we like to have the great idea or the best solution. Allowing for the best outcomes takes teamwork and dedication to something greater than yourself. And to make that possible, as leaders, we have to communicate all the information so others that may be tasked with coming up with solutions, and why, can make informed decisions not only based on the information they are provided, but also filtered through their own expertise. We have an incredible hurdle, in my opinion, when it comes to sharing information. We withhold information as a part of practice in our field. Without providing all the information, we are merely setting others up to fail, or vicariously providing a framework to others to help further your own idea. Effective communication takes credibility, as we all learned in the module that followed, with three components; expertise, dynamism and trust. I look now at this a little differently applying John O’Leary’s message. We have to trust others, too; trust their expertise and trust that their dynamism will shine through when given all the information to help make an informed decision and the opportunity to do so.
John O'Leary in this module stated the following "we conduct big conversations all the time and bring people together to do it." He went on to say that "the quality of our conversations, influence the quality of our decisions and the quality of our decisions dictate the quality of our outcomes." I couldn't agree more with his statements. As the leader of a large organization I need input from all areas of our department. If I don't take the time to have good quality conversations and sometimes just listen, I am not going to get the whole picture or all of the input and information. Not receiving all of this information can lead to poor decisions which could snowball into bad moral and the impression that I do not have the knowledge to lead the organization. I believe this is where the term I have heard several times before comes from, "those who are effective listeners are great communicators."
Great comments, Sheriff. We need others to bring perspective. I am reminded of a saying (I'm going to completely thrash it) but it's something like; "you have to worry when others stop bringing you their problems." As leaders, we must be willing to listen to the bad things and not merely dismiss them. And we need people in the organization that can do this, respectfully, or as the instructor put it, "develop argumentative competence." I would much rather be surrounded by people that think differently than I do, yet have the same goals in mind, so we can challenge each other in ways to bring out the best for the organization.
John O'Leary in this module stated the following "we conduct big conversations all the time and bring people together to do it." He went on to say that "the quality of our conversations, influence the quality of our decisions and the quality of our decisions dictate the quality of our outcomes." I couldn't agree more with his statements. As the leader of a large organization I need input from all areas of our department. If I don't take the time to have good quality conversations and sometimes just listen, I am not going to get the whole picture or all of the input and information. Not receiving all of this information can lead to poor decisions which could snowball into bad moral and the impression that I do not have the knowledge to lead the organization. I believe this is where the term I have heard several times before comes from, "those who are effective listeners are great communicators."
We don't take conversations very serious
This module discussed the importance role of effective communication and how to minimize the misunderstandings in order to manage a complex work environment. The module discussed how an effective communication process may help influence others in order to achieve a common goal. I find that effective communication eliminates differences and proves to be an effective tool when dealing with those within the workplace and dealing with the general public. However, if there are differences, they can be discussed so everyone is on the same page. I like the statement made by John O'Leary as he states, "Great achievements only come after great conversation." Larry Long also discussed the importance of credibility. Although expertise and dynamism are important components, trust was identified as the most important. As leaders, if we can gain trust in the workplace, our credibility is identified which could be mimicked by other team members to create an effective work environment.
In this module it has become noticeably clear that we as supervisors must listen to provide the appropriate response and or feedback to our subordinates. Today, I find myself in more situations where my attention is more needed now then in my past years as a supervisor. I find that when you are admired as someone that your subordinates trust they lean more on you for guidance.
I agree. "Listening" is one of my biggest challenges. I find that sometimes I am just preparing my response in my head rather than truly listening to the problem.
Effective communication can enhance your entire leadership career. There are many facets of communication that many won’t even use. Leaders have to be self-aware and show vulnerability in some conversations. Listening is one of the hardest tools we have but it is effective in building trust. Once you build trust with your subordinates you will be viewed as competent and credible.
Throughout my career, I have matured and listening was a huge step in the process. I realized once my supervisor started listening it opened new avenues in accomplishing the goals that need to be completed. Your subordinates want to be heard so stop and listen.
I agree we all learn as we mature throughout our career.
I agree with the comment above.. "listening is one of the hardest tools we have". listening is crucial to understanding but the very nature of our job puts roadblocks in our path. Information overload is one of my biggest detractors. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with emails, voicemails, notes and correspondence that its easy to get distracted when someone is talking with you. I realize this and counter its negative effects by turning off my monitor, silencing my phone, turning off my music and making a point to turn to the person wishing to speak and saying something to the effect.. "now I can give you my undivided attention".. I don't know how many times the other person has responded.. "oh you don't need to do that" but I know it helps convey that I am genuinely interested in what they have to say.
I agree with your distractions and solutions you have come up with to help be a better listener. I also like to close my door when staff come see me. If I don't, I usually get unsolicited opinions about my conversations from my colleagues next door to me. Some of it can be productive but I will always seek others opinion if I need it. To me it also gives staff the freedom to say what they need to when we talk which builds trust.
Effective communication skills is something most law enforcement officer struggle with throughout their careers. Most officers are "alpha" and have trouble expressing their expectations without coming off in an aggressive manner. from the beginning of your career, you are taught to control your scenes, and you are in charge of the situation. We don't realize how good communication skills with control a hostile scene much better than an aggressive verbal tirade.
I agree with your statement. Effective communication is key with the citizens we serve. What I have noticed lately with new generations, is that most of their communication has been through social media platforms or text messaging. I feel that some have a hard time having a face to face conversation because they are not use to it. That has been one of my biggest struggles is getting our staff out their cars to visit with our citizens and I truly believe that it is because of our technology.
A leader's most powerful tool is their ability to communicate their ideas and vision effectively. Equally important, influential leaders should also know when they need to speak, and when they need to listen. I have personally identified communication and active listening skills as areas where I can improve and have made efforts to do so.
An essential component of communication is clarity. If your message is unclear and misunderstood, it is incumbent upon you as a leader to communicate at a level that someone can understand. Sometimes, the fault lies in the sender when the receiver doesn't receive the message. For this reason, communicating via email, while convenient, may not always be the best way to communicate.
I also learned various leadership skills and styles from previous leaders that I looked up to or respected. Many of the skills I took from them were also the more "blunt" communication style. The communication was direct, to the point, and then you moved on.
I agree. Email, while a convenient, is not the best practice. In person communication is the key. Context is missed or misunderstood.
Short but to the point. Effective communication is the backbone of communication. From co-workers to the public, if you do not communicate effectively your message can get lost in translation. Back when I taught DARE, we dedicated a lesson to effective communication to our 5th grade audience. Even at a young age effective communication is key. I don't think enough people understand how to be an effective communicator.
I agree with Joseph. Far too many supervisors believe everyone should understand them just because they are of rank. The problem comes because they do not know how to explain their intentions or efficiently pass on information.
What a fantastic module. Effectively communicating is so essential to everything we do in our line of work. It isn't just with employees to supervisors but to how we speak with the public. If everyone thought a bit more about how they were seen as a communicator and worked to improve their deficiencies maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are now. Points laid out by Long and Goldsmith are one of the cornerstones of being an effective leader.
I agree that communication is essential in our profession, not just for supervisors, but with everyone we have contact with. I think it's crazy how people communicate these days, which can be misconstrued in so many ways, such as text messaging, emails, etc. The art of communication appears to be difficult sometimes if it's not delivered correctly. In my experience, punctuation and tone of voice is important, and it's sometimes misunderstood if you're unable to deliver it with direct communication.
Communication is the cornerstone to effective leadership. This module links communication to leadership and credibility, and those three are intertwined in every aspect of our professional lives. The module then took credibility another step deeper with 3 components of credibility, noting that the most important of the 3 (Expertise, Dynamism, and Trust) was Trust. I could not agree more. In my eyes and after being in the same organization for 21 years, without trust there is no credibility. This (trust) needs to be present both up and down the chain of command. I feel that a lot of time and effort is put into talking to people and telling people what to do, but not enough is spent listening and getting feedback. Because of this, I liked the learning point that said leaders need to be competent communicators to..."Develop argumentative competence rather than verbal aggression." We as leaders need to influence people to do the right thing so that they understand the 'Why' and the 'How' , thereby preparing future leaders.
Trust, like in any relationship, is key. Without trust there is no credibility. I liked how he laid out the 3 components of credibility and emphasized trust as the most important component. I agree with you that trust needs to be present up and down the chain of command.
Great points. Organizations really suffer when their is a broken line of communication. Everyone needs to be "in the loop" to a certain extent on what is going on with the department. Everyone also needs to feel empowered to criticize an idea. Taking the time to explain the 'how' and 'why' really is the key to effective leadership.
I could not agree more with you Jim. Trust being the biggest most important component of credibility is a MUST both up and down the chain of command. I often think most within an agency or organization think that the further up the chain of command goes the harder it is to trust "them." You talk about lots of time being spent on talking to people but not enough time being spent on listening and getting feedback. I think one of the best things our office has done to help overcome this is to develop the Sheriff's Advisory Board where we meet with senior mgmt. to talk about and discuss things happening in the department, equipment needs and they for the most part accept what we decide as a group.
One word makes the difference in this module. Effective! If you remove the word effective from this module it is irrelevant. You can have communication but it needs to relevant and effective. Without being effective you will fail.
Effective Communications is the key to success! Far to often leaders fail to listen and great ideas from line personnel are not heard. We put focus on delivering a message and don't prepare ourselves for the response.
This module was short, but was it effective. To be an effective leader we must learn how to first listen and evaluate what is being said both verbally and nonverbally. Then we can respond in the appropriate manner. Our response must be competent and credible.
I agree that communication plays a huge roll in leadership throughout any agency. Though it plays such a large role, communication lines are often not open in many agencies, especially between different divisions. A vast majority of the time my division, patrol, is left out of the communication circle when it comes to the activities of other divisions, such as the narcotics division. Often times, information wants to be received, but the receiver rarely wants to send information back.
I agree communication between divisions within an organization is very important.
I agree that effective communication is one of the most important aspects of leadership. I thought this training module did a good job of delivering the message in such a short amount of time. Over the last couple of years, our agency has put a lot of focus on training staff about the importance of effective communication. We developed a training course on effective communication that we cover each year during in-service training. One of the main topics we address is "effective listening". After watching this training module, I have a new perspective on on the subject and a few new ideas on ways we can improve our training methods going forward.
I like how Dr. Long discussed how credibility is essential to effective communication. In law enforcement, credibility is crucial to our roles with our coworkers and the communities we serve. Our ability to help others is dependent upon our ability to effectively communicate to avoid misunderstandings or misinformation.
Totally agree that effective credible communication is a cornerstone to effective leadership both within our agencies and our communities.
I agree that credibility is crucial. If we are not credible, we are ineffective.
While watching this module and I self-reflected on my communication skills. I learned that I need to stop trying to talk and be a better listener. I need to learn to take a breath before speaking, gather my thoughts then speak. Often, I have noticed myself interrupting people when they speak to justify what course of action was necessary instead of listening to their point of view and gathering more information.
Beau, I noticed the same thing about myself in regards to not communicating, and just waiting to reply. I was reminded recently by someone that we were given two ears and one mouth because we should listen more than we talk.
I think as an agency one of the most important things and yet it is one of our biggest struggles is communicating. I have been in meetings with supervisors where I couldn't speak a word and I have learned myself that by listening, it's just as critical as speaking. I think we have become too dependent on technology, where things are now communicated by text or email, instead of even just a phone call or face to face. This occurs in our careers as well as our home life.
Although this presentation is very short, becoming an effective communicator is not. Speaking effectively, especially in the arena we work in, takes time, failed attempts, feedback, and especially an open mind.
Reading some of the previous posts, I have to agree that this module was short and sweet, but informative. I remember, in the academy to eliminate three words from my vocabulary, routine, average and typical. The point was made for writing police reports and while I had not been told that so directly since, now; no, but and however. It is a good lesson and one that I hope that I can emulate.
You said it best, short and sweet. Too bad lessons in being a good communicator isn't short and sweet, or else we would all be experts.
This module is short and to the point, this is ironic because I believe it demonstrates the method needed for aspects of leadership. Leadership needs to be direct, concise, clearly stated goals, and effective. Dr. Long lends credence to the three elements needed for credible leadership via expertise, dynamism and trust. People truly can listen to you and not hear what is said. Conversely, people who wish to be heard by their "leader" may have it fall upon deaf ears. We all can improve upon the ability to listen more effectively.
I agree that we all improve upon the ability to listen more effectively. Well said.
The TED talk intro for the Effective Communication Module was interesting. The 3 Myths that keep people silent in group settings were new to me but absolutely make sense. I think people hesitate to disagree with an idea for fear that they will seem to be disloyal or not to be a team player. It is imporant for us to create an environment for open and honest communication. As a leader, confident communication from me will set the standard for my team and will build credibility.
Communication is definitely the key to success. As superiors we must step back, listen and trust my subordinates will get the job done. This module Effective Communication taught me to it takes both communication and listening skills to be an effective leader.
I agreed with you. I was taught when I started my career that communication is essential to be a great leader. I have also learned that I need more work on my listening to skills.
Learning to stop saying "No, But, and However" and instead to back away and listen has been a problem for me personally. Over the past year changing that behavior and communicating and leading my shift has proved very beneficial. I've learned alot and will continue to learn to back away and listen and let them do the jobs that they already know to do. Ill be there for guidance.
I agree that the short video related to saying "NO, BUT and HOWEVER" was very eye opening. There are so many times that I use those words personally and professionally. It was nice to learn that eliminating those three words from the beginning of sentences could really make a big impact to others.
Clear and Effective Communication is essential for the success of a group or organization. Throughout the address, I thought about how often we listen to what someone is trying to communicate, but at times we are developing our response before the statement has ended. By doing so, this can cause a significant breakdown in communication. This lesson will help me in keeping a more open dialogue with my coworkers and effectively keeping the trust between everyone.
Very great segment and the issue of managing interpersonal conflict when communication is key. Ff one or more in the conversation can not manage to keep emotions under control, then the communication has failed. I will work to improve this in myself in the future. I also thought that different methods of communication would have been discussed with different generation or personalities in this section. I think understanding the different methods of communicating to different group sets would be effective in assuring that all members receive the message.
In recent weeks I have learned the pitfall of poor communication and mostly my lack of it to people under my command. The problem is if your are not totally clear and concise people will start filling in the holes with what they believe should be in those holes and most of the time they are wrong which leads to miscommunication of your original intent. Effective communication is essential in our business.
I agree with you completely. How many times in our lives have we been told to do something by our parents or supervisors and once the task was completed, we find out it was done completely wrong. Clear and precise instructions are critical for success.
I agree with you. We must have good communication skills, verbal and written, in our profession. As you pointed out, if you are not concise in the communication, someone might fill in the gaps and this would lead to a misunderstanding or miscommunication. I have had the opposite problem. I have spelled out very specific instructions for some that I did not believe, or had stated that they did not fully understand a task. I have been told that I was treating someone like a child because of these instructions. It is a thin line we have to walk between letting an officer show some personal initiative and giving instruction; 1-2-3, that we want followed.
Effective communication is definitely a very important key. We have probably all had leaders that did not have time to listen. They only barked orders and told you to get out of the office. This is an excellent tool to break that cycle. We must communicate and make sure everyone understands and has their chance to offer ideas or the organization will never move forward.
"Great achievements can only come after great conversations"... is one of the many notes i jotted down through this module. In order to be a participant in a great conversation we now know we must be willing to listen and truly give our undivided attention when doing so to make the other participants in the conversation feel valued. I'm sure we have all had a conversation get cut short by a leader when we disagree with their views, but how great would it be if all involved felt comfortable enough to fully and truthfully express their views knowing that the other party was actually listening. After this module I feel one of the biggest aspects of effectively communicating is actively listening.
I agree, nothing feels as hopeless when you are trying to communicate something and you can tell there is no active listen from the other side. Makes you wonder why you attempt to communicate.
I've run into that problem with certain individuals. I've come to learn some people are hardheaded and stubborn no matter how well your thoughts are communicated. Just need to stay on top that person till they finally understand.
The three components of credible leaders brings to mind that which I need to focus on and work at. In particular of these is expertise. Since promoting years ago, it has become near common place to find myself "stuck" at my chair, in my office, at my desk. As has been shared repeatedly throughout this course thus far, this is not leading. The boxes that I find my mind focusing on that need to be checked off instead of the people that I am to labor beside are the resources that need my attention and time. Expertise of the skills that my subordinates must master have to be a priority for me to renew and remain proficient at or I lose the first stated component of a credible leader.
I agree that we will fail to lead our subordinates from behind the desk. We have to make the time to get out in the field and show them what they are capable of. There is no way for them to follow in our footsteps if we are shackled to our desk. As you said we must keep our expertise sharp, and the only way to accomplish this is execution.
In Module 7, I learned that communication is a dynamic process, and that you always want to create the foundation. I know as a leader I make sure that I maintain trust with my shift to ensure that my credibility isn't wavered in any type of way.
Yes. Your credibility is everything to those who work under your command. If you lose their trust, even if it was a miscommunication, it is going to take a long time to regain that trust, if ever.
Crisis defines organizations and leaders. During the crisis is one of the most important ways we are looked at by the community we serve. These communications can make or break us not only as a leader but an agency. During this health emergency, we have to be on point with our conversations and orders. Social media communication and officers educating the public are all key right now.
As a PIO, we have to be credible in our leadership. We have to be willing to be truthful no matter how good or bad we did. We are judged by not only the media but our communities.
Effective communication as a leader = Credible Leadership
This lecture was good in pointing out the ways of communicating, I agree being a leader we should learn to manage Interpersonal conflict because we can cause a blemish to our integrity by using verbal aggression.
I agree, sometimes we just need to stop and listen. How we respond and communicate makes a difference in our credibility.
Communication is the key to anything, as all of us know. The part that I learned so much from was about changing the way we communicate. It is surprising how just a few words will change the way we say something.
Communication is the key for everything we do in our lives and it is, sadly, a skill where many people are lacking. We often don't give much care to our word choices and this can taint a listener's view of our message even if it is unintentional.
I have had leaders that gave the impression that they were better than their subordinates and refused to listen. I never realized how many times during a conversation that their sentence would start with no, but. or however. looking back I realize that their words were dismissive of my thoughts and showed their stubbornness and inflexibility. These leaders taught me what not to do and this part of the lesson I will definitely keep in mind when communication with team members. Truly listening before speaking makes a world of difference.
It's amazing how those three little words change our communication and how it will make us slow down before we answer.
I really enjoyed presentation from John O’Leary. It gave me a lot to think about when it came to communication with my fellow officers especially the portions of having independent think tanks, independent deliberation, and Devil’s advocate. I have already started to build an anonymous questionnaire for those who work on my shift to find out what they want from me, the shift, and the agency. I have been in meetings and felt the wrath of being in opposition on an opinion of either my supervisors or the group. I want the deputies to feel as if they are not being judged and that they have a voice and role to play in the changing of their work environment. I want them to know that their opinion matters, even if it is not shared by everyone. Only after the questionnaires are compiled will I bring them together as a group to build a working consensus for better operations of the shift.
That is a great idea and I believe it has the potential to open up a great communication avenue for your subordinates, free from any possible reprimand. More often than not they do not want to go against the "status quo" and will quite possibly feel more secure in putting true communication in through the questionnaire. I have actually sat in a staff meeting and had a deliberation with myself wondering if it was worth the fight to bring up an issue that would be against most of the higher superiors viewpoint.
While this module was relatively short, the importance is huge. Communication is a skill that must be worked on and refined in order to see success in anything you do. I have been blessed in my career to have had the opportunity to get involved in crisis negotiation. While we have a formula or stairway to follow, the first step on that journey is "Active Listening Skills." I have gotten more involved with Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) the past several years and here again we see an emphasis on "Active Listening Skill." This is basically training on communication. We learn to convey that we are paying attention and understand where someone may be coming from. When we are in a leadership position we have to make sure those lines of communication of open and that the people we are working with understand that.
Since the beginning of my career over 28 years ago I have learned contempt for the term "yes man." I have heard the stories and seen the results when leaders inadvertently are surrounded with these people who tell him what he wants to hear and not communicate what is really going on. The motivation for "yes Men" are varied. Some see it as a way to advance a career while others are simply scared to tell the leader something think will upset the leader. Regardless of the reason, the result is nearly always negative. Communication is honest information sharing. The credibility of the source is important. Just as Active Listening Skills teaches that it is not the words that matter but the tone and body language. In effective communication there must be credibility of from all sources.
This module was the best so far. I was a senior in high school when the space shuttle exploded. Lack of effective communication caused this to happen. The engineering company essentially caved to the pressure from NASA. John O’Leary said in the video Dissent = Disloyalty and if you Disagree you are not a team player. I have had this feeling with past supervisors who were not great communicators. I felt like if I disagreed, I was not being a team player. I also need to become a better listener with the people under my command. Communication is the key to success.
Beaman, I posted my comment below prior to reading yours. Seems we have had similar experiances. Hmm. We can learn just as much from bad leadership as good leadership. we just need to remember how it made us feel and not make the same mistakes.
I agree bad leaders has left their mark on many organizations, but it is up to us to help change the future of our organizations.
Perhaps even greater...active listening is the key to success?! I have been reminded many times throughout my life that we as humans have two ears and one mouth and to act accordingly. I believe this myself, but I sometimes have to be reminded of it.
I identified the need of being an effective communicator a long time ago in my career. It was exacerbated when I took on the role of supervisor and I knew that I had to identify that it was a weakness of mine. Without even knowing or putting a name to it, I learned that you had to have the 3 components of credibility, expertise, dynamism and trust. One area I find myself working on still to this day is dynamism. I have to actively tell myself not to fall into a place of being passive, not being complacent and being active or dynamic within my organization.
Communication is still one of my weaknesses. It has been a work in progress my whole career. I also have to be mindful of falling into being complacent. This module was a good reminder of how important effective communicating is.
I've always thought that listening is was one of the most important parts of effective communication. Active listening and not listening to respond.
Active listening is a huge part of effective communication. Being able to listen to what is actually being said, instead of listening to provide a response or solution. There was actually a session on active listening when I went through a portion of the FBI LEEDA class. I don't think the lesson actually sunk in until I was with my wife and she was talking to me about her problems at work. So I changed the way I listened to actually sit down and actively listen to what she was saying. Might sound cheesy, but it worked.
I always enjoyed Active Listening Courses and now that I teach it several times a year I find my use of the skill to increase each time I repeat the information. The best part is that is works in all aspects of life, professional, family, and in general. I used to often catch myself often trying to multitask while I hold a conversation. After teaching Active Listening I realized just how disrespectful and in-effective that truly is. The paying of attention to anyone, especially your wife, is an investment that tells them they are important and you respect them.
Communication is important for a leader in order to get the mission accomplished. Dr. Long stated “effective communicators are effective listeners”. Leaders must also be able to listen to their team members. Staying off the cell phone and giving that person your undivided attention shows that the information given to you by your team member is equally important as the orders you are giving out. We would not stand for this action when we are giving out orders therefore we should not stand for it when we are receiving feedback.
Through the course of my law enforcement career, I have been honored to serve under superior leaders who promoted growth within their ranks. There are many attributes that each leader possessed, but the biggest quality that they all had in common was the ability to communicate, especially listening. I can only manage the amount of time they allocated to speaking and listening to others, especially me. Now that I've assumed a role similar to my mentors, I know why it is an essential requirement for leaders to be effective communicators.
I also had a few great leaders in my career. When a leader effectively communicates it makes the team members feel as though they are part of something important. The team member realizes he/she is part of the solution moving forward and this can be empowering.
Communication is a key skill in productivity. The lines of communication up, down, and laterally. Even at the lowest level it moves up and laterally at a minimum. I quickly learned as a young platoon sergeant in the military that sharing information with your subordinates after a leadership meeting was vital to a well-informed platoon. My troops always wanted to be in the know when we had training meetings. In order to convey the platoon leader or commander’s intent to them I gave them the important parts that directly affected them. I would communicate to my junior NCO’s what was expected of them and then gave them a time line to have a task accomplished. At the same time, I would communicate with the other platoon sergeants for something that may have been missed or not even brought up to help eliminate “show stoppers” during duty and aided in meeting the commander’s intent for the day or for that mission.
Effective communication is a must in leadership. In order to be an effective leader one must first learn to listen and actually hear what is being said. Dr. Long stated that leaders must “Listen to provide appropriate and personal feedback to your subordinates.” One of the most enduring traits that I have experienced in successful leaders is they stopped everything they were doing when I entered the room to speak with them. They did not answer phone calls nor did they continue typing or writing while I was addressing them. As a subordinate this instilled in me early that the leader was truly “listening” and “focused” on what I had to tell them.
You touched on a valuable point on being a leader, and that is being able to listen. As a subordinate myself to the chain of command, it is refreshing to know that a successful leader who is engaged with organization members often practices effective communications.
Listening is definitely important when communicating. I remember when I was first promoted, I was bad about not giving my undivided attention to my team members when they approached me to talk about an issue. I was convinced I could multi-task and I would tell them that. I have learned the importance of stopping whatever it is I am doing to give my attention to the person in front of me.
“I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system”
I believe that the worst thing that could happen to a business is that it is filled with disloyalty and disagreement with consensus (not being a team player). I've seen this practice for several years tear away and cause a divide within an organization. I think that leaders need to be competent communicators in order to break the cycle of this divide. Using the tools of sharing, managing conflict and enhancing credibility are some but not all tools needed to complete the task.
I have long understood that active listening is key to communication. I have been a Crisis Negotiator for 18 years. During that time I have had the opportunity to use what I was taught and experienced as a negotiator on my job. To communicate with others is not only about active listening but it should be understood that credibility is key. It has been repeatedly said through-out all of the modules that trust is key to leadership. If a person does not trust you, it will not matter what you say or do, or how you listen, the communication will be broken.
That's a very valid point that should be expanded upon in any communication lecture. Sometimes we hear what others are saying but we are not actively listening. And when you do listen ask questions about what you've been told to show you've been paying attention. Now you have gained trust.
I agree. Listening is one of the most important parts of communication. Are you listening to respond or listening to understand.
I concur with this statement that the ability to comprehend what is stated to you from people around you. If you do not understand what is being asked of you, or what you are seeking out. Communication breaks down and mistakes are made in the exchange of information. When Dr. Long speaks about building credible leaders, the team is encouraged to participate in processes. It is also encouraged to share and integrate information appropriately.
Dr. Long stated, “Leaders need to be competent Communicators in order to enhance credibility, communicate expectations, share information. Leaders must also be great listeners. If we get distracted by our surroundings we can actually misinterpret the conversation. It takes both communications and listening skills to be an effective leader.
During this lessons, I learned the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded because of the cold weather and poor communication between NASA and an engineering company . John O' Leary pointed out three myths of communication, "dissent equals disloyalty, criticism of an idea equals criticism of an individual and disagree with consensus equals not a good player." Communication is vital part of effective leadership. It sends messages to others. People communicate through words, body language and sign language. Communication also "inspires, engages and brings people in." Can you remember a time when you received a miscommunication from another individual?
It is important for leaders to be effective communicators. Marshall Goldsmith made a good point with the biggest mistakes when asking for input from others. I agree that starting sentence with no, but, or however is a mistake because I feel that you don’t value my opinion. I also agree with his suggestion of back away and listen. The entire module gave some great information.
I agree the module provided invaluable information about communication. I also appreciated that Marshall Goldsmith made points on not starting the sentence with no, but, and however. I will pay more attention to how I approach others and if I use these words in my communications.
Goldsmith's points of not starting sentences like that are very poignant. How often are we guilty of doing the same thing? When we are on the receiving side of that it hurts and makes you feel under-appreciated.
I concur that it is important for leaders to be effective communicators. Talking about the “back away and listen” aspect. I believe this has served true to me and has shown to be a very productive way to lead. I am currently a shift lieutenant overseeing the day-to-day operations of a patrol shift. I have tried my hardest to create an environment for my officers to feel comfortable enough to come talk to me with whatever may be troubling them. Being a good listener has made it to where they feel comfortable to talk to me about professional and personal life tribulations and successes. Ultimately leading to us having good communication relationships within our shift.
Communication is critical for law enforcement professionals. As a front line officer, an effective communicator can help identify and understand the problems with the citizens they interact with. A creditable leader who can communicate effectively will be able to manage conflict within an agency, understand the needs of followers, and listen to the issues plaguing the agency’s success.
Effective communication can solve citizen complaint problems earlier and with more efficiency that allowing issues to fester.
Being an effective communicator is essential in all walks of life, professional and personal.
As Dr. Long pointed out that “Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences individuals or a group of people through effective communication to achieve a shared outcome or goal.” Simply put, without effective communication, you are not leading.
I believe that listening is just as important to communicating effectively. I see this neglected often and it is always detrimental to the interaction.
I agree. Leaders within an agency tend to “tell” their subordinates what they want, what should happen, or how to do it. As creditable leaders, we need to do better at listening to our followers. This will enhance our credibility as leaders.
I also believe listening is just as important if not more. If a person is not listening intently the can actually misunderstand what the other person said. We as a society are to dependent of cell phone, computers, ect. Put them away, shut them off and listen to the person.
I agree I remember the times when family really sat down and talked to each other. I've seen my kids texting each other while sitting in the same room. As a family at dinner time there's no phone use. We play this game call best part, worst part and funniest part of the day which allows each member of the family to communicate how their day went.
Your point of "Without effective communication, you are not leading"...Excellent. In my own post (before I saw yours to reply to) I had the same observation that listening is often neglected when discussing communication. We want to be heard when giving our feedback, opinions, or suggestions, so why wouldn't we (as leaders) not give the same consideration to those we interact with? I can get frustrated when people equate rank with always being right- they are not one in the same. Communication must be two-way to be effective in all but certain tactical environments.
Being an effective communicator is imperative in life. Not only in the work environment but home too. Without it, a leader won’t be able to get their goals across to their followers. Plans will fall apart as well. You also need to be a good listener. I have been guilty of people coming to talk to me and being preoccupied on other things. There are also leaders that like to communicate behind email. That’s a big problem with technology today. People don’t want to get from behind the desk and have face to face conversations with people anymore. It is too easy to just send a message. We all know the problems with that is, it can be mis-read and interpreted incorrectly.
Very well said Laurie. I'm guilty sometimes of communicating with email when I should communicate in person.
To become an effective leader, you must be well trained in effective communication. The ability to influence your colleagues is essential if we wish to reach or share a goal. Many times we have seen a lack of understanding or making something too convoluted quickly leads to misunderstanding. Effective communication is not only vital in our profession, but our personal life also. If we don’t effectively communicate with our children, then they will often misinterpret what we are trying to address with them about sharing a common goal in life. I also feel that a good listener can be very effective in communication, much like a hostage negotiator.
Clint I think you are correct. Influencing your colleagues/subordinates is very difficult without influence. How do we properly influence colleagues/subordinates? It is done through learning to effectively communicate. Effective communication is accomplished by listening, encouraging, clearly defining what expectations are expected, and learning to resolve interpersonal conflict.
Clint, that's the first thing that came to my mind. The first thing we tell new recruits when we "train" them on some basics of negotiating, is that the biggest thing they can do is listen. Too often we think that if we are not speaking then we are not accomplishing anything. When in reality we always learn more by listening.
One would think the word communication in and of itself describes the act of talking, but what stuck out to me in the lecture was listening. A good communicator listens.
Yes I agree, part of being a good communicator is listening. Today people are so distracted with other things, its hard to get someone to sit and listen. I am guilty of this. Good thing is, I recognized it and so did my people under me so its something we were able to work on.
Yes, active listening is a good tool too.
Effective communication is vital for the success of your department. If information is communicated though the department incorrectly or is received incorrectly will determine how a task is competed. One of the biggest problems with communication is that supervisors only communicate one way, they give out communication but fail to receive it.
Of course effective communication is essential to being a effective leader. This is something that the leaders of my department and myself could improve on. I feel I need to improvement with my verbal aggression. I sometimes have trouble with control my nonverbal clues when I am upset.
Christopher, most people only think of effective communication as being able to speak clearly and appropriately. But like you referenced about nonverbal clues, those can be more effective when communicating when we are delivering a message to your subordinates or supervisors.
Communication is the most difficult part of leadership. Being able to articulate what I'm trying to say is a challenge. To stay focused and listening without wanting to interrupt or think ahead takes practice and continual work. In the section, Role of communication, "misunderstandings are inherent in communication" is a reminder to keep working toward improvement.
Communication is an essential part of being a good leader. Goals can not be accomplished if those under your command do not understand or they feel intimidated by the way we speak to them. I must also remember that failure to communicate clearly can lead to mistrust and anger.
I've experienced this, mistrust and anger, during my time in patrol as an officer. Credibility is essential in retaining control and keeping officers in line. Once lost it is almost impossible to regain.
Also if the team player is not being communicated to in the right manner, I feel that the communicator/leader will lose credibility and the team player will not want to provide valuable feedback.
Competent communication is the key to being a great leader. Working with different individuals can generate feelings of all kinds. These range from irritation, anger, frustration, disappointment, hurt, fear, futility, despair, hate bitterness and discouragement. Sometimes it's best to back away and listen before you respond.
I agree most supervisors believe that once that is the end of communication, they fail to listen.
Effective communication is not as easy as it sounds. Often leaders including myself have failed in this area. When it talked about manage interpersonal conflict, I took note because I have been argumentative and have yelled at subordinates before. I knew at the time that probably wasn't the best way to handle it but I let my emotions get the best of me.
No, you are correct effective communication is not easy. This is especially true in stressful situations.
What I learned within this lecture is that you must an active listener first before you can be an effective communicator. Before you can influence other to achieve a shared or common goal, you must get to know and understand your personnel. You have to come an expert in the field of discussion or mission to build that trust with your personnel and display the correct level enthusiasm to buy-in. Without active listening, you would not be aware on whether your personnel understood your direction of tasks give or whether they have a better way at achieving your goals. Effective communication allows us to ensure everyone is on the same page and redirect is necessary. This also including the ability to read non-vebal cues.
Yes, by utilizing effective listening you will make sure that you understand what the other person is saying.
I agree, a effective listener will reduce miscommunications. Especially when we are talking about interpersonal conflict.
Consistency in communication should be adhered to at all times as well. Levels of communication needs to flow smoothly from an upward chain to the lowest and be presented with the 3 keys. Also, when communicating you need to be self-aware of non-verbal actions. These nonverbal actions can send the wrong message when communicating. Are you standing with your arms crossed? Looking at your watch or phone periodically? Looking past the person talking or stopping them when they are trying to talk to pay attention to someone else. Be more self-aware of how you are communicating back in a non-verbal way
Dan you pointed out the need to be aware of nonverbal actions. I agree, nonverbal communication is huge. When interacting with someone, they will know in a heartbeat if you're genuine or not.
I agree with you, staff always want to feel that what they are saying we are listening to and if we don't pay attention to our non-verbal cues we can hinder progress in the conversation.
Effective communication is crucial in any work environment. People want to interact with others who not only listen but can exchange positive information or feedback. I was once told that if someone wants to speak with you that they should have your undivided attention. So if your on the computer you should turn away from it and look that person in the eyes.
You cannot properly influence others if you cannot communicate with them. it is essential to establish credibility. If that is lost, so will be your message. You have to first show expertise, being squared away and trustworthiness. This way miscommunications can be brought to a desirable outcome
It’s always easier to follow someone who is a great communicator. How did they get their message across in a level of competence to meet the recipient’s knowledge level? A desirable outcome would be the message was delivered and received. If that process didn’t happen then of communication didn’t take place only an exchange of words.
Being able to effectively communicate with our team along with people we interact in our daily lives is necessary to become an effective leader. Having the credibility with your team is earned through time and experience. Being able to resolve interpersonal conflict in the workplace is crucial in building that trust as a leader. Giving your staff the confidence to discuss things with you rather than just argue with you or their co-workers.
I completely agree with your post. I recently just started with a brand new team of deputies and there have been a few communication issues that have come up. I would point out at as well that being able to trust the leader is one of the first steps to having a successful team in my opinion. That leader needs to make expectations clear and then learn to trust the team and it return, the team will trust the leader. That will build confidence for everyone and will benefit everyone in time.
I think that all of you are spot on. I think that communication is an revolving trait. The lecture brought up a great point in regards to being an effective communicator you must have credibility. I couldn't agree with this more. We had a sergeant who loved to hear himself talk; however, amongst the line level troops, he had no credibility so no one listened to him. Also, how we communicate now as opposed to years past is completely different. Being brash and matter of fact does not work as well with the millenials. Knowing your who your audience is always a factor when trying to communicate.
Your audience is exactly right. I know that in my department, there are folks that I can talk to one way and folks that I have to talk to another way. There is definitely a generational gap among the ranks. We have a slew of new recruits that you almost have to hold by the hand in your communication techniques and the old hands it is more of a straight forward approach.
I agree that communication is one of the most important part of being an effective leader. On many occasions I have given facial expressions that were not a positive way to communicate. My non-verbal messages have made some employees feel like I am not interested in them. I need to make a conscience effort to be a better listener and to watch my non-verbal clues I give to my employees.
In this module I learned that effective leadership is crucial in being a good leader. This is an area of improvement I would say my entire agency needs to invest in if we want to progress our agency and our culture. So many times, you learn about things going on within the agency from someone who isn't even a member of the agency. Effective communications is neglected in so many ways. I just think about times I meet with my supervisor and think how rushed the meeting are and how the communications from both sides did not accomplish anything. You leave these meeting and feel as though they were a waste of time. I have learned when meeting with my subordinates just how important is it not to rush what they are trying to communicate. You have to make time and listen to what is being said and provide a truthful, proper response.
Frank, I completely agree with your post. Leaders must be credible, and that credibility does not come from their rank. It must be earned. I also agree with you when you say part of being a good leader is being a good listener. Too often we deal with people who interrupt in the middle of what you are saying or get on their phones to answer a text or a call. You find yourself repeating things you said that they missed, or they miss the point of the conversation all together. I know I used to do that, until someone brought it to my attention. Once I figured it our and people did it to me, I understood how annoying and rude it was. I try to have patience but it is hard.
Communication is so important and multifaceted. Being a great leader means there must be effective communication with people at multiple levels. For people to listen, the person communicating must have the knowledge, the credibility and the relationships with people. Active listening is also a large component of effective communication. People must be able to understand each other’s perspectives or points of view. Now with all the distractions around us today, it is easy to be distracted during a conversation or be inpatient and interrupt the speaker to get out points across. It is a conscious thought to be an active listener and to think things though when we communicate. Other things we must be mindful of is our body language. Some people have no self-awareness of how they come across with their body language and gestures combined with what they say. They don’t possess the ability to read the audience and adjust accordingly. They are completely unaware of how they make people feel which tends to alienate people from that person and depending upon who that person is, those feelings can carry a rippling effect across an organization.
As leaders, you must have the influence to accomplish the goals of your agency. There are many factors associated with having influence, one of which is the ability to effectively communicate. Building influence relies on your ability to be seen as a credible, trustworthy and experienced leader. Effective communication is key when building trust with your team. When sharing information or seeking input, they must trust that you are being honest and also trust that sensitive information is passed up the chain without leaving them with a target on their backs. This is important for those who want to share areas of improvement, but do not want to be seen as ruffling feathers. In order for communication to be effective, you must also learn to LISTEN. This is sometimes the most difficult part of a conversation, as most people start formulating responses while the other person is still talking. However, when the other person is seeking to be heard, you fail when you miss their complete message. You can also fail because your feedback should be based upon a complete picture of the problem.
I agree with you Nancy, effective communication is crucial in all aspects of our lives personal and professionally.
The one thing that i have realized about my self is that i would answer my office phone when i had a member of my team in my office. Since i have completed this part of the course i no longer answer my office phone when i have a staff member talking to me. I apologize to one member of my staff that i had in my office the the day before and interrupted them in mid conversion and answered my office phone.
Colby, that is an excellent way to be an effective communicator. It also shows respect for the person in your office. If I was the officer in that situation I would be appreciative.
Excellent point Colby. I, at times have also struggled with this. I make it a personal point to be present in my communications and in my interactions with staff. For me this would mean, not answering the phone, being present in their conversations and not thinking about other things I may have to do.
We have all learned that effective communication comes down to being an active listener. It isn't an easy skill to master. As leaders, we realize that our influence shows in a various ways, especially our ability to listen so others feel like they have been heard. I need to improve in this area and I started by not bringing my cell phone to meetings, which demonstrates that you believe everyone's time is valuable. Reading text messages or emails during meeting is a sign that you do not value other people's time. Give it a try! Another active listening strategy is to not think about your response, but really listen to see if you truly understand what the other person is saying. When you respond, ask a clarifying question, which will make the person believe that you are genuinely trying to understand their idea, problem, or point of view.
Communication skills are definitely not equal to all by any means. I have struggled in the past with my listening skills when working as a sergeant. It was evident after receiving feedback from peers that things needed to change. I was able to take a few courses in active listening and integrate myself as an instructor into a conflict resolution course. Since then, I have truly experienced a different relationship both professionally and personally. Communication is definitely key to success.
Jared, we all have the same struggles with effective communications. If you have been in law enforcement for any period of time this was just the mentality that everyone had. Most of the supervisors I had over the years had little to no communication skills. We learned from our supervisors and took on their traits. We now have to change our ways by educating ourselves so that the future leaders of our organizations don't have the same struggles that we face.
I have also struggled in the past with my listening skills when i was a lieutenant. My superiors advised i needed to step back and let my sergeant/subordinates be more active. Since then with more input, communication from my sergeant/subordinates i seen growth.
This section's reminder that effective communication is essential to leadership is important for everyone in an organization, not just those in leadership. Often leaders/managers/supervisors tend to carry the burden of public communication resulting in future leaders/supervisors/managers who have little experience. Mentoring in this regard is essential to the success of future generations and providing feedback of one's strengths and weaknesses is important so people can improve over time. Also, communication can be strained between generations within an organization based on preferred style. With the newer generation of officers, it seems that more detailed communication is important to their understanding and development. Providing the "why" behind the directive or assignment is important in comparison to previous generations where people followed orders without explanations being given.
Leadership is built on influence; influence is dependent on credibility; credibility is highly dependent on trust; trust must be earned through actions and relationships; and the right actions and strong relationships are built on a foundation of effective communication. In my opinion, effective communication starts with effective listening. Habit #5 in Steven Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", is "Seek first to understand, then to be understood". He argues that we share a general tendency to rush into other people’s issues to try and fix them by providing advice, and often do so with taking the time needed “to diagnose, and to really, deeply understand the problem first.” By investing time into truly understanding an issue or problem, we strengthen our relationships with those involved, which in turn allows us to gain the credibility and influence needed to become an effective leader.
Chris that was well stated. Listening is one of the greatest tools that was given to us and is sometimes ignored. Fixing problems and not allowing someone to communicate their needs first won't develop them. Allowing them to navigate through their own thought process while talking with you, the leader, builds trust and shows their vulnerability.
Chris, I agree with you, listening is the most important part of effective communication. The decisions being made based on an interpretation and not on a full understanding diminishes the organization and creates additional problems. To resolve an issue, the leader needs to have a full understanding before an effective action can take place.
Effective communication has been my Achilles' heal my entire career. I've been told on a few occasions that I needed to work on my delivery when talking to subordinates. Early on when I was a sergeant, I mimicked the way I communicated with others based on my favorite leaders. Ones who didn't sugar coat anything, were brief, and blunt. I personally liked this style of communication because I viewed the person talking to me as an expert, they were dynamic, maybe not in words, but more in action. And they had earned my trust. These were military and SWAT leaders, where a little less conversation was usually preferred. Well, as I've promoted, I have noticed when I talk to large groups, they seemed turned off and that I'm not connecting with them. This was because I wasn't that open and I can definitely be stubborn. Over the past four years, I've really worked on my communication skills. I paid closer attention to my audience and crafted my messages in a way that they were more receptive to.
Effective communication has also been a challenge for me and is one that I have committed to improving on. In seeking feedback on how I can improve in this area, I have found that I also tend to be too brief, which limits the connection created during the conversation and many times results in an incomplete communication. As a result, the involved parties leave with different interpretations of the plan, expectations or take-aways, which ultimately results in a disappointing or ineffective outcome. To combat this shortcoming, I now ask others, after asking if they have any questions, to re-state our goals, our plan, and our expectations to ensure that we share a truly singular understanding. I have found that by taking this approach, tasks are now completed with far fewer 'bumps in the road' and a higher level of satisfaction on everyone's part.
We have all been in your position. For me, it's trying to be present and not allowing the subconscious mind that keeps trying to remind you of all the things that need to get accomplished today, which makes you come across as aloof or uncaring. Self-reflection is critical so you can develop the muscle memory that will help you catch yourself when communicating one-on-one or in a group.
Having the self-awareness about how your communication style is perceived by others is the key to being able to develop a more effective way to connect with others. It takes a lot of self-reflection and emotional intelligence to consider others needs / styles in the important communication process.
I agree with you on the self reflection. When going through this module I chuckled at myself as I am the "No, But, However" guy. I need to learn how to listen better instead of thinking about my response while the person is talking
I have seen the same response in the past when I was also a sergeant. Possibly due to a lack of maturity, I do feel that over the past several years, I have finally realized how important it is to slow down, listen to the staff, and then make collaborative decisions.
I agree this is probably one of the toughest things for a law enforcement officer. Since we are always the one that needs to be in charge of situations, we sometimes fail to listen as part of effective communication under less stressful conditions.
I also tried to emulate others that I looked up to in my delivery as it seemed effective for them. I realized that not everyone is the same and while some of my subordinates received the message in a positive way, there was one who i later learned was absolutely terrified of me. This was not my intent at all and caused me to re-evaluate how I communicate.
It is definitely tough when dealing with multiple people and multiple personalities. Even when you know everyone on an individual level it is very easy to be misinterpreted.
I agree with you Brian. I have learned over the years you cant talk to everyone in the same way. i have found you need different communication styles when dealing with different people. people of different age, gender, and culture respond differently.
Lt. Oubre I agree that you can not communicate with everyone the same. Each person understands a specific type of communication. I defiantly think age, gender, and culture respond differently.
I also prefeed my leaders to be brief and direct with me, and never wanted something sugar coated. I just wanted the facts. I have also used that style when talking to subordinates and later found out they thought I was angry because of the way I spoke. It has been challenging making sure that I deliver my message the right way. Good luck.
I think we have all been in the same place at one point or another. I also learned various leadership skills and styles from previous leaders that I looked up to or respected. Many of the skills I took from them were also the more "blunt" communication style. The communication was direct, to the point, and then you moved forward. I have learned while that style of communication may have a place at times, it is definitely not one that can be used for a majority of your communications with the newer generation of officers.
Effective communication is crucial in all aspects of our lives, both professionally and personally. To be an effective leader, one has to constantly work at mastering the skill of effective communication. Communication is a dynamic process, and one which is ever-changing depending upon the circumstances and environment. Our ability to communicate effectively with one individual does not mean this same method of communication will apply to all individuals. Everyone brings their own life experiences, expectations, beliefs, and values into their communication styles. It is important for leaders to LISTEN and learn how to best communicate with each person on their teams or in their sphere of influence. Leaders must be genuine and instill a sense of confidence, trust and safety among their followers. To be an effective leader and communicator, others must trust and feel confident that the person they choose to follow has the expertise and knowledge to take them and the organization in the right direction. This is how leaders develop credibility, which is the foundation of effective communication and leadership.
I agree that listening is key to being a good communicator. Like most, I have an open door policy, and when I'm visited, I make sure to ignore my monitors, my phone stays in my pocket, and I never look at my watch. Nothing can kill lines of communication faster than giving the impression you're not interested in what they are saying.
I agree with you Nancy, effective communication is crucial in all aspects of our lives personal and professionally.
I agree that effective communication is critical, not only in our profession but as a leader. I think we all to often get wrapped up in our responses and forget to listen to what people are saying. This impacts our ability to effectively communicate because we have not listened to what the other person is saying. I am guilty of this and it is something I actively work to improve.
I completely agree. Effective communication is more than just a verbal exchange of words. Effective communication involves effective listening and the ability to relate to the situation and respond appropriately. It involves using proper word selection, voice tone and body language that reflects the seriousness of the conversation.
I agree, expressing to someone they have your attention is valuable in communication.
Nancy, I agree that not only is effective communication ket to our professional lives, but our personal lives. You are spot on when you say that different styles of communication are needed for different people, and that they don't all work interchangeably. I would add that being approachable would allow us to become better communicators and leaders.
I agree listening is very important for a leader. Leaders can lose trust by simply not listen to those the lead, because they are not hearing the needs of others.
Effective Communication is key in every aspect of our lives. It is key when speaking to those we work with, when speaking to members of the public, it is even key when speaking with our families. But when also need to focus on listening. I know I am not the only person to get told that I didn't hear something my wife said when the football game was on. I cannot effectively manage my household or my work environment if I cannot listen.