Command and Staff Program

Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management

Replies
376
Voices
196
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. 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.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
  • Kyle Turner

    I completely agree with the section on confrontation in this module when it says to communicate high levels of respect for the worth of others when confronting them. I would even go a step further and say it is always important to communicate a high level of respect for others which provides the foundation for opening people up to critical feedback. If people see you as genuinely caring for them, they are much more receptive to critique, or even discipline, because they will understand that your rationale for doing so is ultimately to help them improve.

    • Brian Johnson

      Kyle, great point. If you make people feel like they are appreciated by showing them a high level of respect, they will be more understanding of feedback because they will genuinely believe that we have their best interest at heart. Making sure that they still feel valued even after taking corrective action is something that takes a lot of time to evaluate so we don't come across as not caring. We need to plan to ensure the timing, outcome, and purpose have the desired long-term effect. Timing is probably the most critical part that we have control over, so we need to plan out the process accordingly. Brian

    • Monte Potier

      I also commented on this same topic. As I noted earlier I always understood the "why" we do so, but never thought of the fact that the "right" to do so should be earned well in advance.

    • Chris Corbin

      Kyle, I have found that quite often, the issue that prompts the need to confront an employee can be found to be the result of that employee overusing a strength (e.g. confidence; humility; etc.) or using a strength not best suited to the situation at hand. When that is the case, it makes it very easy to lead with respect, and for me at least, has generally produced positive and fruitful interactions.

    • Nancy Franklin

      Kyle, you make some great points in your post about ensuring that we always treat others with a genuine level of respect - whether it is our peers, subordinates, or citizens. I think of the "Golden Rule" in that we always want to treat others in a manner in which we wish to be treated. Mutual respect and authenticity in our daily interactions is needed to build trust and maintain collaborative relationships.

      • Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        I agree Nancy, If you treat someone in a respectful manner, the same level of respect is usually returned. It is something we should do in our daily interactions with people.

        • Jarvis Mayfield

          I agree respect plays a great factor on how people are treated. Respect and appreciation dictates the level of honor and pride and employee will give to the company.

        • Miranda Rogers

          I agree that we should always communicate in a respectful manner and use active listening skills.

        • Jack Gilboy

          I agree Captain but we all have the bad habit of making snap judgements. We make snap judgements with each other and with the public. We need to show respect to everyone we come in contact with on a daily basis.

      • Nancy, your comment stood out to me rather quickly. I believe most younger people don't see the "Golden Rule" in the same fashion as you and I do. Maybe it's the older generation (with due respect, I don't know how old you are) who wants to continue the old fashion of respect towards others. I also believe the young generation sees it as how they are treated and feel, not what they do to others. They are getting away from that.

    • ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      Absolutely! You can confront someone and discipline them without belittling and they will still feel appreciated. They are more likely to correct their actions and still benefit the department.

    • Kyle,
      I agree with you, and think that the relationship a leader has prior with an employee will make it easier for the confrontation. They will already have known where the leader is coming from when it is time for this meeting.

    • Steve Mahoney

      I agree with you 100% we all need to learn to communicate with respect. We might not accept what the other person is saying but we need to respect them and their ideas. Too many times we disrespect the person because we confuse being respectful with acceptable. If we learn to be able to both communication as a leader will be better

    • Deana Hinton

      Kyle, I agree with you completely. Problem solving from a respectful place goes much further. It demonstrates you are concerned with an issue, believe they can overcome it and can move forward stronger and in a better place. If you can minimize a defensive reaction there is a much higher probability of a successful outcome.

  • Brian Johnson

    This module continues to reinforce the interpersonal skills that leaders need to master in order to be an effective and visionary leader. The areas within this module that really are a challenge for me are # 16, Attending, giving undivided attention to others and # 20, Listening, checking for what others intend to mean. The skill of really being an active listener is a daily struggle for me, but I have improved over the years. I continue to make these areas of my daily focus as part of my leadership development plan. As we know, a great deal of leadership surrounding communication is making sure that our people know and feel like they have a voice and they are being heard. Being an active listener will help reduce misunderstanding simply by people feeling that they were heard.

    • Dan Wolff

      Brian Johnson,
      What you are saying is especially true to me as well. Not intentional at times but when I have someone that wants to talk with me, I try to make a habit of leaving my two phones (1 for work, 1 personal) away from the conversation. Any distractors for me I try to remove to help me be a better listener because at times I am easily distracted. I think it’s like every parent would say when I was growing up, “you got two ears and one mouth, so I should listen twice as much as I talk”.

    • Clint Patterson

      Brian, I also selected attending as a common fault. Both attending and listening correspond with each other. Giving our undivided attention while being an active listener will impact our roles as supervisor and result in better leadership.

    • Justin Payer

      Brian, attending and listening are also challenging to me. I find am continuously having to remind myself concentrate in certain conversations. This module gave some good tools to use to help and reinforced why it is so important to improve on these skills.

    • I agree. Attending would be probably the main skill i would like to improve on. Giving undivided attention seems to always be an issue for me as there is always something that attracts my attention, no matter how hard i try to focus. I will continue to improve on my active listening skills also.

  • Monte Potier

    I did enjoy the discussion on the skill of confrontation. I always understood that you do so to correct problems of behavior or attitude that need to change, however though I never thought of "Building them up" when doing so instead of "tearing them down" I will now make a conscience effort to provide positive feedback also when attempting to correct behavior.

    • Frank Acuna

      Monte, funny I read your post after I made mine and I spoke of this very thing. Some employees need their "ego stroked" a bit first before delivering constructive criticism. This helps to motivate them and helps them process this information better.

      Frank

      • Jarod Primicerio

        I completely agree. Learning the dynamic personalities of your subordinates is crucial. Information delivery is definitely not a one size fits all.

      • Jarvis Mayfield

        I believe that employees want to feel valued. Not their "ego stroked". If they feel valued they will be able to accept and kind of criticism. Employees want to hear the truth and feel apart of something.

        • Deana Hinton

          Jarvis, exactly! Empty praise is never productive. Valuing what a person brings to the team is the key. It opens up growth and mentoring opportunities for the individual because they will have a desire to bring the same to others - we all want to be valued not given hollow words.

      • Brent Olson

        This really couldn't be more true! I have an employee who has received no less than a dozen accolades from outside sources, the chief, or myself throughout the past year. He received constructive criticism for one incident (very minor constructive criticism) in the same time frame, and that is all he focuses on. We spent time building him up at the time of the constructive criticism, and we continued for almost a month after to get him past the feedback. He did use the feedback to further his performance, however he is a person that has very high expectations of himself.

    • Lance Leblanc

      Monte, I agree that this is definitely a new concept for me. I never thought of that approach. Most police are aggressive and type "A" personalities. including myself. If I was on the receiving end of this concept, it would negate the confrontation.

    • chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

      I agree, I think if we change the dynamics of things, I believe things will probably change in a different shade of light. We really focus on other peoples problems and behaviors.

    • Paul Brignac III

      I have had tremendous success from building people up, or stroking their ego, before pointing out flaws when teaching firearms classes. I usually start by telling a student several of the things they are doing well, then discussing what they are not doing well. I have found that praise prior to informing them of what they lack creates higher success rates. In some instances I have even made it a point to spend much more time focusing on what they were doing well, and try to casually mention what they are not doing well. More often than not I see good results from using this method.

  • Frank Acuna

    This lesson covers a variety of skills that deal with confronting problems while using good inter-personal communication. Communication is an area I constantly look to improve on in my daily life. I learned as a young supervisor that my communication style needed to adapt to those with whom I am communicating. Not every person receives information in the same way. In fact, I had two civilian employees who I would deliver the same message to, in very different ways. In this case, one preferred information straight up, with no fluff or need for building them up first. The other, needed their ego stroked a bit, and told in a softer manner. This was done because I learned they will be more easily influenced and they were motivated in different ways. I learned that I could not use my own personal frame of reference to deliver messages, I must understand the audience first.

    Frank

  • Dan Wolff

    Further expanding on the life skills in this module are very important as a leader in today's workforce. Most of the deputies under my immediate supervision are millennials and how I carry myself, interact, and communicate with them is crucial. Knowing myself first, how I’m perceived, and able to listen and respond to them are key factors when interacting with them or anybody for that matter. The days of military style and dictatorship leadership are few and far between now and deems a useless tactic with a majority of issues we encounter. Depending on the credibility and trust you have established with that person also is useful in the way you communicate as well.

  • Nancy Franklin

    This module discussed the importance of combining good interpersonal communication skills with those of conflict management. It is important to understand how these skills build upon one other because in order to manage conflict effectively, we need to employ respectful and effective communication skills. Emotional intelligence is important because having such an awareness allows us to craft our message to the audience and/or individual with whom we are communicating. As supervisors having an awareness of others' communication styles and the influences that have shaped them into the person they are important when we are considering how to manage conflict or influence behavior.

  • Jarod Primicerio

    As I continue to grow, mature, and understand how complicated human interactions are, these topics covered in this module are crucial. Promoting through the ranks only bring upon more conflicts and we, as leaders in this profession, are required to help resolve and manage them. I have been truly working on my active listening skills, knowing I was not proficient in this arena. It truly involves stopping everything and devoting the time needed to understand what the other person is saying. I am very vocal though, when a person attempts to tell me when this will happen. If I cannot give the necessary attention at that time, I now communicate this.

    • Joey Prevost

      Where I feel like I fall short in taking into account another person's reality. I need to make a better effort to put my own aside in order to see theirs. It is hard to do when you think your way is the only one that makes sense.

      • Denise Boudreaux

        I feel I fall short in taking into consideration the other person's reality also. It is a very hard thing to do. This module was very helpful in helping me understand my shortcomings. I will make every effort to correct this behavior in myself and hope it will make me a better leader.

    • Brian Lewis

      When you have an open door policy, like most of us like to have, you really need to improve your active listening skills. Because if your subordinate doesn't feel as if they are being heard, you can have your door open all the time, but you won't have any visitors. I agree Jason, you have to stop everything and devote the time.

      • Jennifer Hodgman

        I agree with you Brian. Open door policy are a great message but we need to also walk the talk and stand by that policy by actively listening and being present, one contact at a time.

      • Brad Strouf

        That is a valid point. The open door philosophy is only valid if the person sitting behind the desk is worth communicating with. Many open doors are not gone through because the listening and communication skills are lacking.

  • Joey Prevost

    I feel like I personally got a lot out of this module. I learned that it is about identifying a problem and trying to come up with a Win/Win solution. It is not about defeating the other person you are in conflict with or making them bend to your will. Sometimes we have to see the other person's reality and put ours aside by Suspending Frame of Reference.

    • Jason Porter

      Seeing the other's point of view is sometimes difficult. Not that it isn't necessary, even though in your mind you know what is the right way. Theirs might be a better way. That is something I have to work on.

    • Magda Fernandez

      Joey,
      I agree with you about suspending frame of reference. I learned this concept when i went to SLI years ago and i still work on it a lot. It is very easy to see things through our own filters, perceptions and preconceived ideas. It is not fair to the person we are dealing with and makes finding a solution to the issue harder. I agree about issues not being about a you vs. them or defeating them in an issue. It is about finding a happy medium where it is a win win. The challenge is both coming to that agreement and recognition that win win is the goal.

    • Lt. Mark Lyons

      I agree. We train our staff to try to see things from the other persons perspective and to try and understand what issues they may be dealing with. We have had good results so far in getting our staff to buy into the concept. It was a hard obstacle to overcome at first, but over time they were able to see the value .

  • Jason Porter

    This module covered a lot of areas that I need to work on personally. Being an attentive listener is one that I work on daily. Where I work, it is hard to ignore the phone if I am in the middle of a conversation, even though I try, sometimes the phone needs to be answered. I don’t want that to come across as not being attentive or paying attention.

    • Drauzin Kinler

      Jason, these aren't just skills that you need to work on. As I mentioned in my post, the entire organization could benefit from acquiring and utilizing these skills. These are many of the reasons why we have so much of an issue with communicating effectively. It requires that we listen, not judge, etc. in order for the communication to come across properly, and I see where this needs to take place on both sides of the table.

  • Drauzin Kinler

    This module provided many interesting skills that are needed for a leader to lead effectively. If the lessons learned in this module were taught and used throughout the organization, we would not experience many of the cultural issues that we so often see in this profession. The correct way to communicate, actively listen, show empathy, genuineness, respect, and specificity are the golden rules to follow when applying your leadership skills not only at work but in your normal day to day life.

  • Lance Leblanc

    The video lecture did provide some insight into several skills that are needed but Skill #23 confrontation resonated with me. We tend to tear people down and attack them, but "build them up" is definitely a new approach. This something in the future I hope to apply going forward, along with trying to provide constructive feedback.

  • Magda Fernandez

    This was a very interesting module. Made me self-reflect a lot. The video at the end of the Impression management portion was interesting. It caught my attention as to how we see ourselves, how we paint a picture based on how we describe ourselves versus how other people see us and how them paint a picture of us. The biggest take away for me was the concept of suspending judgement and reference. It is a very hard thing to do. It is hard not to start thinking about what the other person is saying and come up with solutions or ideas. Definitely highlighted additional areas for me to improve upon.

    • Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you, I also see areas that I need to improve on. Self-reflection is now something that i do daily.

  • Mike Brown

    The lessons in this module are very long and its is easy for one to lose themselves in attempting to understand everything that is being discussed. I agree with a lot of the info and I have even tried a lot of the things that were discussed.

  • David Cupit

    This is a good lecture and will help with communication skills in my relationships with the members in my organization. The one i would say i am the weakest on is understanding/empathy. I will definitely working hard on this in the near future.

  • Brian Lewis

    One skill that resonated with me was self-disclosure. When I was newly promoted to sergeant, I was blindsided by my wife that she wanted a divorce. Here I was a brand new sergeant, supervising a bunch of new officers on the graveyard shift. They were looking to me for guidance and leadership. They could tell something was wrong because I wasn't engaged. I chose to disclose what I was going through in my personal life. Because I opened up to them, we created a strong sense of trust. Later, when others were going through tough times at home, they approached me for guidance. I have continued to reveal the deeper side of myself, but agree, it must me well timed.

    • Kyle Phillips

      Brian, although a challenging time in your life, you found a way to build trust with your subordinates. With your team members coming to you when they are vulnerable, that continues to show their level of trust and confidence in you as their leader.

  • Chasity Arwood

    I enjoyed this lecture. Being an active listener is something that I need to work on. It is hard to give someone your undivided attention when there are so many other things happening. This is something that i will have make a conscious effort to overcome.

    • Henry Dominguez

      Yes Chasity I agree, it is very difficult to give people your undivided attention, which is something I have difficulty with when trying to get stuff done at work. I sometimes try to get to the point and quickly give advise or my opinion instead of just being an active listener.

    • Judith Estorge

      Chastity,

      I'm familiar with the same issue you described. I have to make a diligent effort to stay focused when listening. I have the habit of thinking ahead of what I'm going to say or tuning a person out if they are too long winded. I've also been known to walk away from a conversation.

    • Laurie Mecum

      I agree, this is also something I need to work on. So many distractions in the office and its not fair to the person trying to get information from me or give me information.

    • Christian Johnson

      I agree, Chastity.

      Listening, truly listening, is something I have to work on as well.

  • Henry Dominguez

    I really liked the Suspending Frame of Reference skill. This is definitely something I need to work on in recognizing that others reality is not necessarily the same as our reality. Just to learn to observe and listen to what is actually going on and not have a knee jerk reaction.

  • Judith Estorge

    There was quite a bit of information to absorb in this module. Skill # 18 drew my attention as the topic of our essay. I liked the analogy of moving the picture frame for suspending frame of reference. Keeping in mind another person's reality that may be different from mine is important. I appreciate the importance of putting others first and practicing emotional self-control.

    • Colby Stewart

      I agree with you it is important for us to put others first and practice emotional self control.

  • Clint Patterson

    I found number #16: Attending to be my number one fault and area that I want to approve on. One of my biggest reasons to improve on attending is because I don’t appreciate it when my supervisors don’t pay genuine attention to me. I have witnessed the entire chain of command from the sheriff down struggle greatly with being attentive and focused in a conversation with subordinates. I, too, admit my guilt in doing this also and plan to improve. A good example is while working on my Command College work, I am constantly interrupted, and I have learned to stop everything, which is difficult, and give 100% of my attention to the concern or question. Remember, we can speak up to 125 words per minute and listen up to 500 words per minute, so our brain fills in the other 375 words, so we need to work hard at not being easily distracted.

    • dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with Clint and I have the same problem. This is something that we preach in negotiations and I find myself doing the same thing.

    • Clint, I think we are all guilty of that. It is funny we hate it so much when it is done to us and then we turn around and do the same thing. I have learned over time if someone wants to talk I leave my environment that I am comfortable in and move us to a neutral location so we have equal footing.

  • Laurie Mecum

    Lots of information in this lecture. I can definitely use some work on Skill 20: Listening. Sometimes I can look right past a person when they are talking and not hear a word they say because I am thinking about 10 other things. Its not fair to the person talking to me. Many times its resulted in having to start a whole conversation over.

    • Amanda Pertuis

      I am guilty of this both professionally and personally! There are several times I have to restart a conversation because I wasn't listening.

  • Colby Stewart

    After completing this module i realized that i need to work on my skill of listening to others and i have found my self interrupting my staff when they explaining things to me and they are wrong about something and i try to give them the correct information before they are done speaking to me. I only do this this my subordinates at work.

    • David Ehrmann

      I think we have all done this a time or two. Sometimes it’s hard to listen to someone, and when they make a statement that we feel needs to be addressed immediately, we interrupt them. If we wait and let them get their entire statement out, we can gather more information and resolve the issue as a whole.

  • Amanda Pertuis

    Very informative module. I enjoyed the opening video with Celeste Headlee, and I love the quote from her sister. The module gave some useful insight and suggestions. I will be working on attending and observing.

  • David Ehrmann

    This module presented a lot of information but good examples of effective communication. Communication is critical within our field, especially for supervisors communicating with subordinates. The key takeaway I learned from this module was to first learn about yourself, what you are doing, and how to improve that before moving on to strengthen communication skills with others.

  • Christian Johnson

    This module was a deluge of information on interpersonal communication.

    While I am taking away a lot from it, my assessing myself at the end highlighted that listening is not a strong point for me. Realizing now how important as it is, and how much it can alter perceptions in conversation, I will work hard to correct it and be a more effective listener.

    I will also work on the questions I ask. That is an area I can improve in as well.

    • Roanne Sampson

      Chris, I have trouble with active listening. I find myself wanting to interrupt the speaker to get my response in. I too need improvement in this area.

    • Rocco Dominic, III

      I too have a problem with active listening. Sometimes interrupting them before they finish their statement. This module has allowed me to see I have a lot more work when it comes to interpersonal communication.

  • Roanne Sampson

    The ten basic rules to communication was interesting. I find myself multi tasking when I should be listening. When listening, you must give a person your undivided attention and not interrupt. I like how Marshall Goodman discusses in Leadership is a Contact Sport how individuals can be better leaders (act, listen, think, thank, respond, involve, change and follow up). Leaders also need to be image mangers and recognize our reality.

    • Royce Starring

      This is a bad habit that we all do. We do not listen to understand but listen for a place to interrupt.

  • Rocco Dominic, III

    This module has made me realize I need a lot more work on my interpersonal communication and conflict management. During conversations I tend to interject my comments instead of suspending my frame of reference. I need to do more active listening.

    • Lance Landry

      Rocco, I too came across with the same realization. It was never done maliciously, but done so I could get back to my work as quickly as possible. This is definitely a huge area where I can improve.

    • Agreed as well, anyone who believes that we all have it "figured" out is playing with fools gold. As we grow in our careers, we constantly adapt and change how we interact with our coworkers and the general public we serve. Conversely, being assertive, yet understanding of other view points helps to make us better LEO's and leaders. When we can integrate our life skills and communication skills to enhance our careers and people we serve, it helps to be more transparent and understanding.

    • Elliot Grace

      I agree Rocco, I usually have my mind already made when I’m involved in a conflict and my opinion is the one that matters. I will have to work on taking a step back, be more engaged, remove the frame and look to see what else I’m missing.

  • Royce Starring

    These skills are all equally important to interpersonal communication. The section that covered listening was the one i feel is seldom used. Most people think that they are listening but they are not. They are really listening for place to interrupt. The lesson covered that you should fight the urge to ask questions which is very importing.

    • Donnie

      I posted on the same topic. It’s really a weak spot for me. I tend to interject my opinion or solution before the person I am talking to is finished with their explanation. I also tend to think of other things I need to do that day versus genuinely paying attention. I believe I have a way to fix that though.

  • Lance Landry

    I learned quite a bit about interpersonal communication with this module. More importantly, I learned the areas where I need to improve. Specifically in the skill of listening, I find myself sometimes cutting other persons short or interrupting to interject my point or solution. It was never done, in my previous opinion, maliciously. I would attempt to head off the issue and solve/handle it as quickly as possible in an effort to get back to my responsibilities, as quickly as possible. After this module I can see how the persons that I was engaged with can interpret this as me not caring, or worse not interested in what they had to say.

  • Donnie

    After watching the module, I now have another set of tools to put in my leadership toolbox. The lecture on “listening” certainly caught my attention as I know I am a weak listener. My mind tends to wander when people are explaining things to me. It’s not because it doesn’t interest me or because I’m not concerned, it’s that I’m thinking of all the things I need to get accomplished. I feel like this module has given me ideas to change my own behavior and put their needs before mine. Maybe if I took notes, they could finish explaining their issue and I could recall the questions I need to ask. I will now be able to show that I genuinely care about their issue.

    • Burke

      Active listening is a hard concept to grasp for most officers. It is one I find myself constantly struggling with. I need to work on listening and not listening to respond.

      • Major Stacy Fortenberry

        I think it was easier when I was a shift Sgt. Besides the portable radio the only other electronic gadget was a pager. Now we are bombarded with information and distractions.

      • Lieutenant John Champagne

        I agree with this. Listening is what I need to work on the most. I tend to want to respond and push my viewpoint. I feel this is the biggest issue with most LEO when it comes to communication.

  • Burke

    This module really made me think about listening. Am I actively listening or am I listening to respond. Type A personalities have a hard time really listening to another officers views. We tend to want to interject our on beliefs into a topic. Finding that balance of instilling your beliefs and really taking another's viewpoint takes emotional intelligence to another level.

    • jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I also enjoyed the lecture on listening and gained some insight particularly in the area of actively listening. Sometimes I find it difficult to just sit there and listen and not interject my own opinion or experiences about a topic. I will definitely be using the suggested formats discussed in the strategy of active listening.

    • clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      I agree. Actively listening does not come naturally to me. It is a skill that I have had to really work on and still work on each and every day. I find that when I do this correctly, I have a much better discussion and outcome with my team.

      • mmoscona@floodauthority.org

        I think you are right. Active listening can be tough for police officers because we always want to be "in charge" of the situation and thus want to interject our opinions and thoughts into all conversations.

  • McKinney

    There were many valuable skills discussed in this module. The one skill that stood out to me the most was listening. I remember coming through the ranks as a young officer, and there were a lot of questions I had. I remember those first-line supervisors using active listening, and that always spoke volume with me where I gained much respect for them. Now, I have moved forward in a first-line supervisor role, and I find myself incorporating active listening, which affords the younger members to work through their thoughts and must of the time they're discovering a solution to their question.

    • steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree, in the past I had a supervisor that did not perform any of these skills well and I knew I did not want to repeat the same mistakes.

  • Major Stacy Fortenberry

    Several areas were brought up that I need to practice. Attending and listening seems one most of us have issues with. When I was a front line supervisor I think I did a better job in these areas than I do now. While I can make excuses, that's all they are is excuses, not reasons. Everyone deserves my attention and me to respect them enough to pull my chair away from my desk, face them and listen to them.

    • McKinney

      I agreed with your discussion statement and liked how you added, “Everyone deserves my attention and me to respect them enough to pull my chair away from my desk, face them and listen to them.” Regardless of how many obstacles we are presented throughout the day, we must find the time to stop what we are doing and listen to others.

    • Samantha Reps

      I agree, staff comes to supervisors for a reason, at least we can do is give them our full attention. It is a huge thing in staff's eyes.

  • Lieutenant John Champagne

    This module showed me I need to work in the areas of Listening and Attending. I have always found it tough to listen for an extended period without asserting my viewpoint in the conversation. I realize I need to be patient, listen, and be open to other perspectives. Who knows this may change my viewpoint on an issue.

    • cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      My thoughts exactly John. I tend to interrupt people before they finish talking. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut and listen until the other person is finished talking. It is hard for me to do. It is definitely something I need to work on.

  • jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    To be honest this module was a little more difficult for me to follow and was similar to the previous module. I do and did enjoy the examples that Dr. Anderson uses to help explain each skill in practice. The one skill I paid the most attention to was the skill of Impression Management. It helped me realize that I need to be more deliberant in my impression on other people and be mindful of my non verbal messages. I want to ensure that I am creating the image in the mind of others that I want them to have of me.

    • michael-beck@lpso.net

      Good points on non-verbal communication. Attentive listening has always been one of my pet peeves of supervisors. I used to have a supervisor, and still do, who multitasks while speaking with you on all matters. This person's non-verbal communication to me was that whatever I had to say was not as important as what they were doing. It was one of the things I most disliked and promised myself I would never do. I try my best to actively listen to whatever it being said. Not only listen to respond, but listen to understand.

  • chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In module 8, it was good to learn about interpersonal communication, because it's something that I will be able to utilize within my organization. I learned that when people come into a university-level course and do the first assessment they would show signs of communication problems, regardless of what level of education.

    • true that we all learn to talk as babies, but we never actually learn to communicate. There is so much more to sharing ideas and meaning than subject-verb agreement. Communication is a vital skill for leaders and I am happy to have this as part of this course.

    • anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      Agreed, I think all leaders should take a course that would help identify their levels of communication.

  • I found the introduction entertaining but also informative. I enjoyed the ten rules of conversation and will be using her Buddha paraphrase if your mouth is open you are not learning. Communication is hard to start with. When we attempt communication along with conflict management the stakes get higher and the skills are challenged with emotion. I found the skills of suspending frame of reference, listening, and responding with understanding to be especially critical. This module enabled me to look at each skill independently and identify areas I can improve and strengthen. I look forward to improving my abilities as a leader and seeing my employees grow and prosper from my improvements.

    • wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree with seeing my employees grow. In the end, all these skills, as well as the others mentioned in the presentation are essential and can build teaming while growing effective employees and leaders.

  • cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    Listening is the skill I need to work on the most. During the module the 18 second rule was discussed. It takes the average person 18 seconds to interrupt the person they are supposed to be listening to. That really hit home with me. I get impatient and tend to interrupt people. I will definitely work on this in the future. This module opened my ears to try and be a better listener.

    • mtroscla@tulane.edu

      Sadly, I now realize that I do this with some regularity. The silver lining is now that I have identified the behavior I can modify it and move forward.

    • guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      I'm the same way. I think as police officers we all do this. Probably has something to do with want to be in control of every situation.

      • Mitchell Gahler

        I agree with you that we tend to get complacent and treat each situation with control instead of actively listening. Sometimes, we get told the same story over and over and can almost predict the outcome. Each person deserves our undivided attention, whether we know the outcome or not.

  • michael-beck@lpso.net

    This module gave me good tools for speaking with and resolving issues not only with my employees and peers, but the public and my family as well. I have already implemented these some of these techniques at work and home, but never had an actual name or formal training for or on these skills I just came about them haphazardly. The segment on questioning really made me think about asking my children how I could be a better father for them and my wife how I could be a better husband. It also made me want to ask my deputies how I could better lead them. Additionally, I began to recount some of the past encounters I had, which had both negative and positive outcomes, and how it is I could have done better and work to improve them. As was stated in one of the videos, the more I practice the skills learned herein, the better I will become at them.

    • sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      Like yourself, I have used the above skills without knowing their names and categories. I know i need to work harder on suspending my frame of reference and stepping out, seeing the other persons reality.

  • mtroscla@tulane.edu

    Before one uses confrontation as a method for conflict resolution you would want to be fairly sure of your assessment of the persons personality and how that may be received. Some people simply do not have the emotional intelligence to accept criticism of any kind and confrontation could inflame an already tumultuous interaction.

    • cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      Yes conflict resolution is a big part of being a leader so it is important to do it right.

  • I feel as a leader this skill set will help me assist in solving more problems with my team of people. I am also planning on working through my own issue of suspending my frame of reference to I can listen better, communicate better, and be a better leader.

    As a leader, we also fail to see things through another lens, skill #17 was a vital skill for me to brush up. I sometimes forget my kids are older, and we are more self-sufficient than others who may need help.

    In general, communication skills are always are weakest links. We have to work hard on our communication and conflict management to make us a stronger leader and to assist our troops. This was a great refresher for me to listen to.

  • guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    So many skills. I can see where some of these would be difficult for police officers to use as many of them go against what has been engrained in us for so long. But I do think they are useful. I realized that I really need to work on my attending. Thinking back, I realized how many times I have someone in my office with my back to them, doing something like sending and email or other work. I really need to pay attention more and to let them know they have my full attention. Something I will be working on from this point forward.

  • sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    Skill 18- Suspending Frame of Reference, I know will be the most challenging skill set to improve on in my personal and work life. As being a Supervisor in some capacity for as long as i have, I feel like I've heard all possible excuses one is able to give. I admit to having in the past of passing judgement while over the phone with subordinates. These modules have definitely given me tools on way to improve myself and my ability to communicate.

  • cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    This module helped me to understand the different communication styles with others. It is not easy to just listen and not put our opinions into a conversation. This is important to listen to the person that we are having the conversation with and truly pay attention to what they are saying.

    • Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I believe we do this in part because we know what should and needs to be done to fix an issue, but if we slowdown and actively listen we may learn that they have already reached that outcome and were just looking for vindication on there actions. When we truly listen it also provides a sense of respect and acceptance to the person speaking.

  • Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    The previous lesson along with this one has given us great information on not only improving our leadership roles but improving overall life skills. I do not think much thought is put into most of these skills on a daily basis unless it is brought up as an issue when you are deficient in that skill. I now know what areas I can start improving on knowing what skills build up to the next and what path I wish to be on. The ultimate goal through this develop would be to have a strong base but also be proficient through all skill levels.

  • steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    A lot of great information through out this module and room for improvements especially in Image and Impression Management. I did enjoy reviewing the ones I learned in the past and look to refine even better. Also, understanding how they relate and work off of each other is beneficial to improve as a leader.

  • ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    I really enjoyed the skill 12: Positive Mental Attitude. I believe in this very strongly. Your mind controls everything if you think positive and use setbacks to your advantage, there is no limit to your possibilities.

    • Adam Gonzalez

      I couldn't help but notice that you articulated using setbacks to your advantage. I to have found great reward in turning setbacks into strengths that have come back to bless my life, both professionally and personally. Setbacks are a way to identify needed improvement which then affords opportunity to show dedication and advancement. Growth, after all, is what we are all striving for!

  • anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    This lecture has given me insights on how to evaluate myself as a leader and the traits it takes to be an effective leader. As a leader, we oftentimes act out what we witness as followers early in our career and presume this to be good leadership traits. But lectures like this one helps us identify our weak areas and how to strengthen them.

  • dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    It is hard, especially for new officers, to suspend their frame of reference while on duty, merely because of a one thing. Experience could cause them to fail at this, early on though. I believe that the more experience and time in public service, the better officers become at being great at suspending their frame of reference.

  • dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    I fond myself self-reflecting throughout this module. Attending would probably be the one that stuck out the most to me. I am guilty of not giving my undivided attention at all times. Although I think I'm good at multitasking, I can understand where the person would see this as me being disinterested or thinking that I don't think what they are speaking about is important.

    • blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I find that I also sometimes do the same things. I am multitasking and thinking about how I want to do something, while the other person is still speaking to me. I hear what they are saying. I am just not giving them my full attention that they deserve. Attending is another skill that I need to improve on.

      • I can agree with you. While I try to give someone my undivided attention, it always seem that there is another distraction, whether it be a text message, phone call, or a report that I have to get submitted. After watching this module, I realized that I take more care when conducting an interview, in a controlled environment, than I do when stops by my office to talk. That is the change that I need to make.

    • cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      In the hustle and bustle of our everyday workings, I find myself sometimes doing the same thing. I realize when I am not fully attentive people notice and are less likely to be the first ones to engage in conversation again, unless necessary.

  • blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    The suspending frame of reference is challenging for officers. I remember when I first began my career, supervisors would tell me to handle the call as quickly as possible so you can be available if another call comes out. These skills were not a source of information to us at the time. By knowing these skills and how to use them effectively, will make us great leaders.

    • I remember being a young patrolman and being called out by veterans for taking too long on what they deemed basic calls. I was instructed to handle calls as fast and effective as possible because we were under staffed, overworked and would be back to the same address soon enough. This mentality is extremely harmful to young officers and if they are provided with the understanding of frame of reference it would provide them with an accelerated path to leadership.

  • I found this module to very informative. As was discussed, most law enforcement officers are used to a more direct version of confrontation and challenging. "Do this or get out." This has been the rule for the majority of time that I have been in the profession. I do not know how some older officers would react to this, having been in that culture for so long.

    The part of the module, that I thought should have been more in depth, was listening. I know that many have taken multiple classes on active listening, but I feel this is a skill that we need to reinforce as much as possible. Whether it be as an officer o patrol, in an interview, interrogation, supervisor meeting or dealing with a significant other, I believe it is worth it.

  • This module provided several useful skills to help us better understand ourselves and display our body language to others. The skill of attending is one that I feel seasoned officers tend to neglect. We often handle disturbances at residences that we frequently visit the same every time instead of treating each as a new call for service. I also found the skill of suspending frame of reference crucial and one that we as leaders need to focus on more. This module has been helpful for me in my growth as a leader at my agency.

  • cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    Reviewing this module on Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management helps reiterate the importance of flexing our emotional intelligence by active listening, attentiveness, suspending our frame of reference, and responding appropriately to build trust, genuineness and credibility to work together with people (within and outside of our agencies) to find effective solutions.

    I have experienced how being able to suspend my frame of reference has strengthened by ability to help and understand others points of view. Occasionally, I will receive a call or come in contact with someone who is disgruntled and just wants to be heard. If I am effective in suspending my frame of reference and try to understand their reality, then I am able to usually help diffuse the situation, build rapport with them and better help them. Many times, I say things like “I know you want to speak to a certain person but they are not available right now. I understand that you are upset/frustrated/angry. I want to help you but in order for me to do so, I need you to please calm down and give me some information.” If they feel I am being genuine, they are more willing to speak with me in a calm manner and allow me to control the conversation enough to obtain the information I need.

  • clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    This module was packed with good information and important skills. There are several areas that I feel confident in my abilities such as observiing and self disclosing. There are several others that I know I need to work to improve. Listening and attending is a struggle for me most of the time. I want to pay attention to everyone but I am pulled in so many directions and have such a demand on my time that I am too quick to respond instead of just listening. This was a helpful reminder.

    • dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with you. We are oftentimes overwhelmed by the demands of our positions and the tasks we are assigned. I too have the tendency to give quick responses and not to listen.

  • During the lecture, I was reminded of the importance of being assertive. I feel that I have difficulty being assertive because I did not use the skill of responding and assertiveness together. I now understand that if I use the skills together, I may be more successful at having a two-way conversation.

  • dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    Of all the skills listed in this module, I think the skill of listening is one that we tend to use incorrectly. Often times, we interrupt people when they are talking instead of taking the time to actively listen to what someone is saying. We tend to not resist the urge to interrupt people when they are speaking.

    • dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

      yes i do the same. i cant help it, give me the information and let me talk.

    • Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      I do agree, this to is a skill that i need to work on. I find myself interrupting people more often than I realize. This is something that i will work on and try getting this habit corrected.

  • dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    After hearing the active listening portion of this module i realize that i need the most work in this section. If the person does not get the information across fast enough i will cut them off and interject in the conversation, limiting the information they are trying to convey. I have to make sure that i stay attentive and not cut them off.

  • Adam Gonzalez

    Responding with understanding is one of the main centerpieces of information that impressed me. I think this is especially true in supervisory roles, but when you have subordinates come to you and ask you a question that they probably already know the answer to, I often times find myself thinking that this is a time where the employee really just wants to be heard. I am almost tempted to state something to the effect of identifying that the employee really just wants to be heard and get some things off of their chest, not necessarily having a legitimate question. I am learning that in moments of these times, and though I feel as if I am giving more than what my job description requires :), I need to first listen and then respond with understanding. This was a valuable lesson and reminder for me.

    • Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      Yes, I have come to understand we as leaders must also be open more like family and genuinely show concern. It helps to build better relationships and work environment.

    • Thomas Martin

      I agree Adam that all people want sometimes is just to be heard. Many times when a staff member brings an issue to an administrator, they know what they are fixing to say won’t change their current position or the outcome. Typically once they convey their message and “get it off their chest,” they accept what was originally decided on before they came into your office. We must listen first, ask questions to clarify, and deliver our response using good two way communication.

  • Lt. Mark Lyons

    I really enjoyed this training module. Our agency tries to include training on this very topic to our staff as often as we can during annual in-service training. Some of the things we focus on is getting our staff to try and see things from the other persons perspective. To be aware of their body language and tone of voice. We stress the importance of active listening and maintaining control over their emotions.

    While watching this training video, I was able to find a lot of new material that we can use to update/improve our training manuals.

  • This video is comprehensive and brings up the closing for the 1st cluster that we had previously. The material is especially relevant today for teaching empathy and compassion towards people we encounter. The ability to work wit people from all walks of life, both at work and the public helps to develop a rapport with our citizens. The base skills for these videos should be implemented in POST academies as a training tool to assist officers with command presence and how to speak with people we encounter. Also, leaders can learn to manage different sets of people we interact with during your careers.

  • mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    I found that the skill of "active listening" may be the most challenging to me. I think I tend to interject my thoughts and opinions into a conversation instead of "listening" and learning from what the other person is saying. I realize now, how important these interpersonal skills are to being not only an effective leader at work but also a better all around person.

    • I am in the same boat. Often times I have caught myself interrupting others to get my point across. I need to become a more effective listener and let others complete their train of thought. Sometimes I think I do this because I might forget my point I am thinking about at the time. Other times it might be a sense that I want others to think of me as knowledgeable. I have been working on this extremely hard.

  • wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    This module was filled with great information. I Learn as leader, you want to earn respect with your employees. If you are a respected leader, then you will gain the credibility of your employees and the right to influence them to gain their trust.

  • Dr. Terry Anderson's skill again are a road map for being a quality human. As he goes through them I ticked of a list of them that I really needed to put more work into. Suspending frame of reference, responding with understanding, and attending are the big three that I know I can be the most guilty of violating.

    • Chad Blanchette

      Spot on. HUMANITY. It seems like we as a nation have lost all humanity. Going back to the golden rule of treating others as you would like to be treated.

  • Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    After watching this module, I thought about how I should work on my communication skills on a daily basis. Everyone is different and you won't be successful if you can't recognize their personalities and how to communicate with them as an individual. Some people respond well to direct constructive criticism and some don't. Effective communication is an important skill that will help you to be a better leader.

  • Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management

    In this module interpersonal communication is discussed. A method that I prefer to use professionally and in my personal life. Face to face communication gives me the opportunity to watch individuals body language, facial expressions, and gestures, when reacting to a conversation. Although, realizing how important this method is, I do need to work on my skills to enhance this method and help me to communicate better.

  • Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    Another very good module. The skills discussed in this module are essential attributes of a good leader and apply to our everyday interactions with other people. Daily, we have to communicate with fellow officers, subordinates, supervisors, parish residents, and members of other law enforcement agencies, to fame a few. In my opinion, when dealing with individuals out on the street, the ability to use these "soft skills," in some cases, may prevent us from having to use our "hard skills."

    • Joseph Flavin

      Now more than ever it's important for officers to have the ability to use these "soft skills." Like you said, we interact with people everyday and having these skills is essential to being a good leader.

    • James Schueller

      I really agree with you on the use of soft skills helping/preventing us from having to use our hard skills. Now more than ever (social media, defund the police, etc...) taking that extra time to practice talking to people rather than relying on hard tactics (when situation allows, of course) shows the public the talent and skills we have. The problem with hard tactics is that when they are used first, a lot of times they are driven by emotion and are hard to de-escalate ourselves when needed, and lead to a 3-5 second clip destroying a career and leading to more distrust from the public. There are definitely times when we must act first and talk later and that should never be taken away, but there's a lot to be said for the old Golden Rule...

  • Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    In the interpersonal communication and conflict management skills module, Dr. Terry Anderson thoughtfully identified and explained the 12 skills leaders can utilize to improve their interpersonal communication skills personally and professionally. These skills provided insight into how leaders can effectively communicate with the public and fellow co-workers.

  • I really enjoyed the video from Celeste Headlee on ten ways to have a better conversation. I really focused on her point about not competing, that the conversation is not about you. Often times I have noticed myself relating to others in conversation by saying things like "I had that same thing happen." I realized after watching her video that others are not bringing up those points to see if I have had the same experiences they are bringing it up because it has affected them in some way. I need to be a better listener and ask more questions than trying to bring up my own experiences in these types of conversations.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Sheriff. I find myself doing the same thing and, sometimes, pontificating. Not because I have something more meaningful to say but perhaps I don’t filter my crowd as I should. I know there are people that I can chat very freely with, as my talking is usually more comical rantings. And there are others that I shouldn’t be so freely speaking with. People bring things up to me for good reason and I need to be a better listener and stop worrying about “fixing” what people are bringing me (which is a whole second problem set!) and just be present to listen.

    • Like Sheriff Jahner, I associated with the Headlee video as well. I found myself wondering if I did some of the 10 things she mentioned. I have frequently used open ended questions while communicating. I find this helpful when working with someone to solve a problem. Sometimes the person really wants you to solve the problem for them and make things easy but I try to use those moments as broadening opportunities. If I don't know the answer to a question or situation I will say so. On the flip side, I have to catch myself sometimes because I can repeat myself and there are times when I know I should be more to the point (brief). Headlee's #1 recommendation for success was listening. The following presentation by Dr. Anderson set the stage to do just that.

    • Ryan Manguson

      I agree with your points. Thinking back, I took have found myself in conversation where I should have been a better listener and done less talking. Celeste makes a great point about remembering the conversation is not about me. The feeling to interject personal stories come and go and to let them go as the conversation isn't about you.

    • Eduardo Palomares

      Absolutely Sheriff. Oftentimes our brings work so fast and instead of listening we are talking. Celeste put things in a better perspective for me in terms of how l communicate. I am guilty of doing the things she said diminish our ability to communicate effectively. We tend to compare our situations seeking validation or empathy. We need to understand that others reach out to us because they want someone to listen. Great point!!

  • Mitchell Gahler

    In this module, Anderson identified 12 interpersonal communication and conflict management skills that can applied when interacting with people on a daily basis. One of the main objectives in this module is to, “understand your own natural style of communication with others.” Sometimes we have to actively listen in order to fully understand how a person feels, not only by their speech, but by observing their body language. We can’t rush to judgement until we actively understand all the information involved in the conversation. A key point I took from the module were the four parts of listening. Hearing, interpretation, evaluation, and responding. These are skills that I will implement during my interactions with others in order to communicate effectively, as they deserve my undivided attention.

  • Joseph Flavin

    Being able to effectively communicate with other is a key limit in being a leader for your organization. The 12 skills learned in this module provide insight and detail the skills necessary to manage conflict through interpersonal communication. Being a good listener will help you better understand the conflict while providing useful information from the conflicted party that will better help you resolve the conflict. Empathy is an important trait to have when applying all of these skills. I try to exhibit empathy in all my encounters not only professionally but in my personal life as well.

  • James Schueller

    This was an interesting module for me as I used to teach Interpersonal Communication when I worked in our Detention Center, and I now teach De-escalation for our CIT program, which is a big piece of conflict management. The 12 skills outlined here are all important components not just for conflict management, but great skills for any supervisor in dealing with and managing their staff. In addition, I enjoyed Celeste Headlee's "10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation" segment. All of her points made are important, but I think one we (people) tend to miss the mark on is #6- Don't equate your experience with theirs. I think too often we try to use that "I know how you feel because I..." as a way to relate, when in reality it can take away or make the person feel minimized. Empathy has its place, but there are times where it can't be about us at all, just the other person. I think one way to sum this all up is really the Golden Rule- treat others how you yourself want to be treated.

    • Paul Gronholz

      I picked up a lot from her presentation as well Jim. I liked #9 and 10. Don't listen to reply, listen to understand. Too often people aren't truly listening, they're just waiting for their turn to talk next so they can make their point. I also find that it is important to be succinct. This is terrible of me, but for whatever reason I find myself surrounded by people who like to hear themselves talk and drone on and on. A couple of minutes into the conversation I'm looking for a way out rather than giving them my full attention.

  • These next 12 skills are just as vital as the first and reminded me, again, that I have a lot of work to do. I actually had to chuckle in the middle of the module as in the introduction piece, with Celeste Hedlee, we are told to “forget” all the stuff we know about listening and later in the module Dr. Anderson references some of the things we were told to forget. There are so many ways to effectively communicate and what matters most is the relationship we have, or that we want to have, with those whom we are communicating with. Personally, my favorite skills I learned more about in this module were questioning (I will be trying that with my kids for sure), responding with understanding; making sure this isn’t a “competition” but rather a validation of another’s feelings, and challenging; really examining what the six sources of influence are in a given situation in order to get to the root cause of the conflict to make a more impactful resolution to the conflict.

    • Eduardo Palomares

      Hello Jake up that’s a great point. I have to agree with you 100%. I also feel I have a lot of work to do in these areas. After reviewing the skills in this lecture, l realized that Celeste was absolutely right. In my opinion, l tend to display a selective memory and forgot to validate my people’s. This has to stop. I think you are on the right track about practice the skills of questioning, responding and understanding.

  • This module was very powerful. Much like Module #7, the skills presented built on each other and included all previously discussed skills. I have seen first hand the what happens to an employee and a team if a leader is deficient in these skills. I agree with Dr. Anderson that these are critical skills for first line leaders and managers especially in their coach/ mentor role. Prior to this presentation, I had never considered that if a leader learns and properly employees these skills they can be easily transferred/ taught to others. There were two skills that are sometimes underestimated by leaders. In Skill #14 (Image management) Dr. Anderson states that the leader must be aware and affirm their own positive self image/ worth. The inserted video in this section highlights some key concepts about authentic presence that some leaders forget.. these include how and when to command a room, how to leverage their power and managing expectations. like the speaker in the video said, "you don't get a vote about how others see you but you do can manage it". The last skill is Observing (Skill #17). The ability to perceive others in such a manner that you can detect a persons facial expressions, gestures, body posture, energy level etc. is critical to connecting to your subordinates and avoiding assumptions. When you know your staff, you can easily spot when something is not right. The approach "Hey I notice this... is everything ok?" can have a powerful positive impact on a staff member. The keys to this whole process is mutual respect and honest communications.

  • Kyle Phillips

    This module reminded me of the power of being a good listener. Often times, we do rush toward judgement and offer our suggestions without even hearing what we are being told. I'm surely not the only one who has been in the middle of a conversation with a supervisor, peer, friend or spouse and felt like what I was saying wasn't be heard. I know for certain that I have been that person and realize now how I can continue to improve and the steps that I have to take to become a better listener.

    • Maja Donohue

      I need to be a better listener too. I often catch myself trying to fix things and wanting to move on to the next problem without taking the time to actually stop and listen to the message. One thing that’s worked well for me is to turn away from my computer screen when someone wants to talk so that I can physically face them. Now I realize I also need to give them my full attention, let them finish speaking, and ask clarifying questions to ensure I understand the whole message.

  • Ryan Manguson

    This was another good module with the 12 additional skills from Dr. Anderson. I also really enjoyed the Ted Talk with Celeste Headlee on 10 ways to have a better conversations. I think in the digital world we live in these days the 10 ways are more important that ever. With smartphone, smart watches, and just about smart everything. We find our attention pulled in everyway but to the person right in front of us. Celeste's point to be present and actually listen is always a good reminder for all of us.

    • Christopher Lowrie

      I agree. Giving people full attention and not trying to multitask is key to effective communication. That is becoming more difficult as our society depends on digital communication (as I type this) versus spoken word. Although invented to communicate, cellphones might end up killing effective communication.

    • Durand Ackman

      I agree about the digital world. It is changing everything. I was talking to a buddy not long ago who was at a bar on trivia night so cell phones were not allowed. He said it was weird because he looked around the bar and actually say people's eyeballs. My kids tell me there is often students in class spending the entire time on their smart phone. If the smart phone is taken away they then turn to the graphing calculator that they've programmed games into. People just don't know how to pay attention and listen to others anymore. The digital world is definitely changing life as we know it.

  • Eduardo Palomares

    The 12 Skills in this module made a huge impact on me. Celeste alluded to not equating your experience to someone you are talking to. Additionally, Celeste made a great point when she said not to use conversations with people as an opportunity to “sell” ourselves. Oftentimes we lose sight of it and we talk to too, which hinders our ability to capture valuable information from the people we are having a conversation with. I agree with her that we are not listening to each other nowadays. As leaders and supervisors it is vital that we take the time to listen to our people when they talk to us. Giving them our undivided attention sends a positive massage and makes us more effectively communicators. It’s all about them!

    The skills in this module interconnect with the previously discussed skills. As leaders we must strive to build these skills to become better at our trade. Being aware of how we communicate and actually listening to our employees can make a difference between a productive and unproductive employee. It is crucial for public safety leaders to develop these skills and work on them daily. I will make sure to work on developing these skills and will share with my people so they can also become better communicators. The goal is not only to improve at the individual level but also as an organization. After all for me “Every Officer is Leader!”

  • Chad Blanchette

    The big takeaways that I have from this module are: 1. Truly listen. 2. Be engaged 3. Show people that you care. If people believe that you don’t care about them, it is likely they will reciprocate this feeling towards you and the organization.

    • Ryan Lodermeier

      I like the way summed it up Chad. Body language is one thing that all police officers pay attention to weather out on the street or in the office

  • Christopher Lowrie

    I enjoyed the Ted Talk by Celeste Headlee. Her tips will help me become a better communicator. Rule number 5-if you don't know something then say you don't know, is important. Too many times people will not humble themselves and admit they don't know something. Usually telling people misinformation is more damaging than withholding information you do not know.

  • Durand Ackman

    The short video with Celeste Headlee had a couple of great points I think anybody can use to improve their communication. First and foremost, we need to get better at listening. I'm glad she emphasized that as being the most important. Quite often people aren't truly listening they seem to just be waiting for their turn to talk. I chuckled when she mentioned we need to actually admit when we don't know. It can be difficult to admit we don't know but I tend to give more respect to those people that can admit to not knowing instead of making something up trying to look knowledgeable.

    • Robert Schei

      My favorite point was being in the moment. Quit the distractions, put the devices down and actually be in the moment. It is comical how when you start doing that your mind will try to drift, you need to stay engaged and it takes focus.

    • Jacqueline Dahms

      Isn't that the truth. As leaders we like to put our input into a lot of things. There are many times I don't know the answer. What I find funny is I often tell staff when dealing with inmates is to "fake it until you make it". I'm usually referring to their confidence but realize now that they could be saying something that isn't true.

  • Paul Gronholz

    I really enjoyed the first portion of this module with Celeste Headlee. She provided us with some easy techniques to prove that we are completely in tune with the conversation we're having. I find myself at times trying to multi-task or thinking about something else. Many times, I'll be speaking with someone and then another person will walk into the conversation or walk by and I'll react to it. I don't mean to be disrespectful but it certainly should be viewed that way. When I'm in a conversation, I need to be totally engaged and not easily side-tracked.

    • Gregory Hutchins

      Celeste's video was one of the better ones as a stage setter for the cluster 2 lesson. Taking her mechanisms to interview individuals was a simple process to understand yet more challenging to execute in our profession. As with the lesson plan, an underlying thought is we must slow down. Knowing we listen twice as fast as we can talk is why we need to slow down. While there are hundreds of tasks to do daily, calls seem to continue to stack up; if we slow down, we create the required empathy and understanding to help others, especially our subordinates.

  • Jennifer Hodgman

    As other, I enjoyed the first part of this module but also the remaining lessons on the 2nd skill clusters. As a supervisor, I struggle with being present with employees during office meetings and often find myself thinking of other tasks or things that need to be completed when I'm done. I have to challenge myself to be more present in supervision and focus on the person I am meeting with.

    • Matthew Menard

      I agree. I often have to make a concerted effort to silence my phone, turn off my radio and turn off my computer screens. I find this greatly increases my ability to focus solely on the person I'm speaking with.

  • Maja Donohue

    Good communication skills are developed over time and require effort and lots of practice. Most people continue to communicate ineffectively even when they are aware that they should do better. But how can we blame them? Dr. Anderson acknowledged that there are very few opportunities to learn these skills in an academic setting and learning good communication skills in the workplace is virtually unheard of. It is up to us to figure out how to get better. The 12 skills that were discussed in this module are a good roadmap and can definitely help us identify where we need to improve. I realize that communication is not something that can improve with one class or one conversation, but we have to start somewhere. This module expanded my understanding of good communication and I took notes on things that I need to work on. I will encourage my staff to take the class as well.

    • Kelly Lee

      Good points Maja, these skills we desperately need to learn and follow don't just appear overnight. They can and will take a long time to develop. We as supervisors and peers owe it to each other to learn and utilize them in order to create the best working environment that we can.

  • Ryan Lodermeier

    This module made me take a step back and remember to actively listen to other persons when communicating. All too often I find myself formulating a response even before the other person has finished communicating their point of view. This inevitably takes away from my ability to listen and hear them.
    I appreciate the frame of reference portion covered as well. This portion allowed me to visualize critical points of conversation.

    • I think we all do the same thing Ryan. Mostly because we want to show them we have an answer, since that was part of the way were taught to handle conversations early on. Even knowing that I need to be an attentive listener, I still find it difficult not to let your mind wonder, question, cast judgement too soon, or at times ask, REALLY"?

  • Samantha Reps

    Listening and fully attention are two completely different things. How often I catch myself not fully engaging in the conversation. If staff ask for my time the least I can do is disengage myself from all of the outside distractions and fully engage myself in the conversation, they deserve that. Taking the time to follow up with educated responses from the conversation is a must. These twelve steps are great stepping stones in communication in the workplace or at home.

    • Cynthia Estrup

      I agree with you, it has become increasing difficult to do this as we are so connected with our computer screen dinging, our phones notifying us, and even our watches are tied into all these different notifications. When one of our team members comes in to talk with us, we have to work harder to shut off all the other noise and focus on them.

  • Robert Schei

    Suspending frame of reference can be extraordinarily challenging in our line of work but ensuring that we are focusing on the facts and not making assumptions is vital. Our experiences with the world tend to be negative and over time if you are not careful everyone will look like a perpetrator and not a good human being. You must check your emotions at the door, listen attentively to people and check the facts prior to making a decision is a great place to start but not easy especially when time is short.

    • Matt Wieland

      I agree that the idea of suspending your frame of reference is a crucial skill for law enforcement to learn and practice, especially for those that have been doing this job for a long time. One of the biggest mistakes I see officers making is to apply what they know from previous similar calls to the one they are dealing with now, even if the players are completely different people. Supervisors also should be practicing this when coaching and correcting staff, each employee and scenario is different and we should go into each contact with an open mind.

    • Andy Opperman

      Spot on Robert, not only do we need to focus on positive communication, but I really think mindset for officers sets the tone for how a police call is going to go. It can help adjust the officers frame of reference. An officer with a positive mindset is going to be a much more effective communicator. We can all think of officers or supervisors in our career that show up on your calls and the tension immediately rises.

    • Timothy Sandlin

      Excellent point. its difficult to step back and put aside yourself and focus on viewing the situation from the other person's perspective. Too often, we fill in gaps with our assumptions that end up being false or distortions of the reality.

    • Marshall Carmouche

      Robert, while I agree with you completely on the importance of not making assumption, The doctor said "reality is only what is perceived to be". Should we not be able to tell the difference between a perception and reality? Putting away any prejudice or bias, realty should not be a question. Perception leaves a lot to interpretation. Interpretation leaves many questions unanswered.

  • Cynthia Estrup

    It has been my experience, that all people want to feel as if what they are saying maters and that they are really being heard. This is most effectively accomplished, not just by active listening, but by ensuring your body language is also engaged and receptive. Using these skills can actively defuse an elevated situation, both in the field and within the department. To really hear what someone is saying, also means that you are checking your own individual biases and not letting them redirect the words someone is actually trying to say. This can be a difficult balance to ensure someone feels heard and to not sound too "fluffy bunny" while doing it.

  • Jarvis Mayfield

    Listening is the most important skill in this lesson I think. To be a person with good advise you have to be a great listener. One has to listen to the concerns of a person to be able to meet the needs.

  • I immediately wondered if "Suspending Frame of Reference" is something that can be addressed in the academy or FTO stage. It seems we in Law Enforcement are drastically behind in this way of thinking. It seems to be just as or more important than any other skill developed.

    • Agreed. The ability to see things from another's perspective can help improve communication and solve so many of the disputes that cops get called to mediate.

  • Kelly Lee

    Not to speak for the other on here but I think at one point or another we have all been guilty of several of Celeste Headlee's top 10 do's and don'ts. I know myself that I certainly have been guilty of #1) Don't multi-task and #9) Listen!. We all get caught up in our busy every day lives whether it be at home or work and when needed by others in our lives to listen, we don't give that other person a fair chance and our undivided attention. It takes a conversation like this to make us really realize how damaging this behavior can be to the person doing the talking. I really like the way she concluded with such an upbeat positive message saying, "Open your mind, shut your mouth and be prepared to be amazed!"

  • Matt Wieland

    I think the 2 skills I can work on the most is Attending and Listening. These skills are crucial to making people feel they are important and that their voice is heard. With all that we have to do in a fast paced world, it is a common mistake for someone to look at their computer or phone when someone is talking to them, but as soon as you do that, you immediately tell the speaker that they are no longer important enough for 100% of your attention. Actively listening is another skill that I see deficient in myself and many in law enforcement. All too often we are too focused on coming up with the next good question to ask or making sure we ask all the questions we feel we "need" to ask. This causes us to miss the intended meaning of the person's message. The idea that we should be listening to hear instead of listening to respond is crucial. I think the single most important take-away from this lecture is the idea of suspending our frame of reference. All too often we go into a situation with judgement, emotion, and advice. Consciously clearing our minds before we proceed with a conversation is a great skill I am going to work on.

    • Good point on making them "feel important." It's easy to lose focus on the important things in everyday life, the people. These lessons aren't just good for work but home life too. Judgment and emotion are biggies too. This is where fact-finding, patience, and emotional intelligence all come in. Good points.

  • Andy Opperman

    So many of these skills are regularly overlooked in our day to day supervision of officers and communication with them. Celeste Headlee'sTED Talk on the 10 ways to have a better conversation was very informative and really made me think about how I act when I communicate. Not multitasking while speaking with someone is a must. When someone is not in the present and not giving you their undivided attention, the conversation is lost. I also thought her point about going with the flow, and letting your thoughts go was important. So many times, I catch myself listening to someone, and an idea pops into my head related to their conversation, but now I am thinking about what I want to say instead of listening. I'm guessing my wife could agree with that last statement! Dr. Anderson does a great job breaking down every skill and modeling it during the training module. I think most of us believe these are very simple skills, yet we struggle with these basic functions daily. I know I struggle with the ability to be attending to people when they are talking to me. It’s not that I don't care but my mind is a hundred miles per hour in 10 different directions. As a leader I hope to work on being in the present while speaking with my people. My work will still be there when the conversation is over. I also think that by repeating back what the other party is saying in the conversation can really help you with focus. It really makes you listen so you can clarify what a person is saying. I thought to myself how much the environment can really change our ability to handle conversation. Police officers can be on a crazy, chaotic scene and handle confrontation extremely well but when you put them in a social setting with certain peers, they lose the ability to communicate respect and let the emotions get the best of them sometimes.

  • Jacqueline Dahms

    This module is full of great information on communication. I think the one skill I need to work on the most would be listening. I catch myself so often coming up with an idea, or my own story which takes away from what they are trying to tell me. I’m better at attending but I constantly fight the urge to talk and this is really taking away from what I could truly be offering. I also enjoyed the skill of challenging. I think too often we ask the wrong questions which prevents us from actually improving as leaders. For myself, as a leader, I would find it difficult to be challenged only because I would be afraid to hurt my subordinate with the truth. Realizing now, I’m not doing any good if I can’t.

    • One mouth, two ears is often my go-to statement. Listening is a hard one for sure, at least active listening. I find that I sometimes don't give full attention to a speaker who is talking. I attribute this to becoming bored with the conversation. I have to remember to respect the person and their time.

    • Major Willie Stewart

      Jacqueline, I had to learn who to listen first before I speak. I would allow someone to start speaking and think I know what they were about to say then I cut them off and answer them. Only to find out sometimes that was not what they were talking about. LOL

  • I am in agreement with many others on this module, we probably all fail at many of the skills discussed. Skill 13 I found to be a bit comical, we all know "that" person who won't shut up and talks almost nonstop about themselves. As discussed, too much or inappropriate disclosure is a problem. What those types of people are forgetting is skill 16, attending. The relationship built with people is important, especially employees. There's that fine balance too that we can likely all relate to in skill 19, questioning. I know my kids have appreciated their dad's profession in this skill. Where are you going, who are you going with, when will you be home?
    There were some really good points made here that will aid us all in becoming better in our leadership roles. The key I think is to find a good balance in ourselves and tread lightly at times.

  • Major Willie Stewart

    Respect is truly something that I have taken with me throughout my career. They say respect is earned not given but if you talk to someone without respecting them then you have just turned the situation around. I believe in respect in everything I do. I can respond to a call where the subject is very agitated. If I talk to them with great respect that may make my job much easier to deal with them.

    • I agree that respect goes a long way. If you treat others on calls or in the jail as if you are superior to them, I have learned that you often have more problems with them. The tone and attitude also have a lot to do with it and keeping calm is the best way to avoid agitating someone that is already upset over something that happened.

    • Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      I agree, the use of positive, respectful inter-personal communication can immediately de-escalate a dynamic situation for a patrol or corrections officer. Trying to take a denigrate a person by speaking to them in a degrading manner does not produce any positive results.

    • Travis Linskens

      I agree. Respect is the easiest and most important thing we can offer a person. It dictates the outcome in every interaction we have professionally and personally.

  • This lesson made me really think about how much "tunnel vision" we may have as officers going into a potentially intense situation. We are trained to react to what we see, and often don't have time to slow down and take a step back to not react out of emotion, but rather out of thinking and getting all sides of the story. We have to make split second decisions that could potentially mean life or death for us or others. I think it important to focus on working on skills to have a different frame of mind other than the one that we already make our assumptions about with people or the situation itself. I think that being assertive and having effective communication will also help any circumstances and hopefully prevent things from getting worse. We have a challenging job to get done and doing it the best that we can and always is improving just be important to all of us.

  • Brad Strouf

    The points on "frame of reference" are crucial to legitimate communication. I find that we, as law enforcement, oftentimes have difficulty in suspending. We learn to rely on our perceptions and references to keep ourselves and others safe and it is difficult, to say the least, to suspend the frame of reference when we have become accustomed to relying on it.

    • Sergeant Michael Prachel

      Exactly. We are taught early on at the academy, from FTO’s, and veteran officers about past experiences and incidents to learn from. As we mature, we use past experiences to help us make decisions, often times for our safety, and rely on these to make us a better cop. Therefore, it’s difficult to sometimes have to suspend those frames of reference to think with a “clear mind.” More often than not when dealing with a situation, we have encountered a similar person or call that we will relate to – and we rely on those past calls. When in a situation where we should be suspending that frame of reference, staying focused when our observations are becoming distorted are key.

  • More good information, but I felt like I would never get to the end. A lot of good skills to build on in an area I'm not particularly great at. I think I did a better job with this topic when I was a sergeant than how I do now. I feel like I would do better holding a needed conversation in an I/I room where there's no desk phone, smart phone, computer, people "grab-assing" and everything else that seems to be a distraction. I always find myself thinking about how I am going to respond or figure out someway to relate to whatever we are talking about. Or the conversation starts getting long and I start thinking about things I need to do. If the module holds to be true, I've obviously been doing it wrong. Jed feel free to jump in here anytime and agree.

    I did enjoy the intro by Celeste Headlee. She seems to have the speaking part mastered. Her ten ways to have a better conversation summed up this module nicely. And I thought the Australia Chief of the Army did a great job confronting the entire Army.

  • Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Listening; A mentor of mine told me a saying that his father had told him; " I gave you two ears and only one month; you should be listening twice as much as speaking". When I apply this to the "attending" principle by offering undivided attention, I have found personnel to feel appreciated and empowered in their jobs. This module broke down a conversation and how we can have more effective, positive communicator with our personnel.

  • This module is much more of a deeper dive into the nuts and bolts that play a part in conflict management. This contrasts with Sheriff Nash's boiled down and direct approach to the topic. As a knuckle dragger, I preferred Sheriff Nash's approach. It was concise, easy to follow, and remember. I totally agreed with highlighting listening. So many time, people just want to be heard. Just letting my deputies vent about their frustrations helps improve morale and respect.

    • Nicole Oakes

      I totally agree! So many times people just want to vent and be heard. By re-enforcing their positives and send them out to perform with confidence can be a career changer.

  • The confrontation skill was not anything that I thought it would be. Having a confrontation with someone, someone would think that this might not be a positive situation. But knowing now that by brining some positive reinforcement along in your tool belt this can turn into a positive engagement.

  • Timothy Sandlin

    This module gave more great information on developing yourself. It covered many skills that are so very important with interacting with others as a leader. Whether it be observing, listening, attending, suspending your frame of reference, questioning, effectively confronting, responding with understanding, assertiveness, challenging, self-disclosure, self-monitoring to manage your image, or creating a good impression with those you interact. These are all skills that take constant care to develop and improve. They are perishable if not cultivated and taken care of along the way. Good information.

    • Ronald Smith

      Timothy
      I have been to many military and law enforcement training over the years and even some college courses that use the phrase Active Listening, the 24 skills listed in the last two lessons are a great breakdown of active listening. Utilizing self-awareness to showcase everything involved in being able to hear what is said is a good way to see how important really listening is.

  • Nicole Oakes

    Again it comes down to emotional intelligence and self control. These concepts are not going away. They are a great tool that can be used again and again. Active listening skills are so important when we are dealing with conflict and those that need to be heard. Great module.

    • Jerrod Sheffield

      Nicole,
      I completely agree that emotional intelligence and self-control play a part in this. Listening is a hard concept to bare sometimes but in doing so, allows us to respond more efficiently and will yield better results in the end.

  • Gregory Hutchins

    As cluster 2 works on developing or refining one's approach to interpersonal communication and conflict, the most significant challenge is the last one, challenging and conflict management. As shown in the examples, individuals dissatisfied with an inability to promote tend to carry much resentment and, over time, become less effective.
    When these individuals reach out for feedback to improve, the standard response of "you are doing well, it is just competitive, keep trying, and it will work out" is a terrible answer of a leader. Leaders need to have the internal fortitude to be open and honest with a candidate or with subordinates they manage. Failing to provide honest and constructive feedback is essential in getting them engaged in the organization's mission. The additional section on the performance improvement through analysis of personnel jackets and direct mentoring for promotions is a great tool to engage subordinates in their professional growth and success.

  • Matthew Menard

    Of the skills spoken about, I enjoyed the one on confrontation most. I fully believe that when there is an issue it needs to be addressed in a timely manner. If you allow someone to continue with negative or unwanted behavior for too long, it becomes more engrained in them and is harder to change or stop. These behaviors also have a way of beginning to change the culture of an agency and will affect those around the problem employee.

  • Ronald Smith

    This lesson was a deep dive into how to listen. Creating a belief system that involves being self-aware of your own skill as a person or leader trusted to have the emotional intelligence to facilitate solving conflict. The ability to set aside your own experiences or Suspending your Frame of Reference will take some doing. We all know from experience what works and how things should be done. The amount of practice it is going to take to change from being the answer to listening to people and asking the right open-ended questions to steer them to their own answer is enormous, fortunately, or unfortunately, we in law enforcement know people are going to make mistakes. We can use those mistakes to be attending and respond with understanding. We tell these young people how much fun it was to be a new officer back in the day and the war stories are filled with all the things they are in trouble for today.

  • Marshall Carmouche

    I think most of these skills would be beneficial for me as a front line supervisor to use and sharpen. The main take away for me is that communication, again, is key to resolving and/or managing conflict. I liked the area of learning discussed on listening. Hearing someone is not the same as listening. Listening is a process. Another takeaway would be that we always have room for personal growth, especially as leaders. I do not agree with Dr. Anderson's take that "reality is only what is perceived to be". Is this where we are headed as a society? not being able to differentiate between perception and reality. We don't get to create our own reality! We may not like or agree with what is reality. That doesn't permit us to make it perception.

  • Sergeant Michael Prachel

    These skill sets described in this module can only benefit every officer aspiring to become a better leader, as well as enhance their capabilities of communicating with the public. Of the skills, “Suspending Frame of Reference” is the most challenging in my mind. A strong foundation of being patient and kind, exhibiting respect to others, will help this skill develop. Law enforcement officers are quick to judge often, as they have most likely dealt with (one way or another) a very similar individual or incident they can relate to. Thus, they may fall back on that incident and not give their complete attention to the event occurring now. I feel we can do a better job at holding back those premature judgements and stay focused when your observations are being distorted from past experiences.

  • Thomas Martin

    Mrs. Headlee stated we don't listen to understand, we listen to reply. This statement and the information in Skill 20 made me think about my interactions with staff members over the years. Early on in my career I was short with coworkers and was perceived as gruff and something other than a team player. I would listen to my supervisors long enough to give them an adequate response and immediately return to the work at hand. My evaluations reflected this and I began to work on hearing instead of listening. My two way communication improved and within a short time I was promoted to assistant supervisor. Today I still “hear people out” and make the time for others needing to voice their concerns and issues. Listening will always be a valuable skill and in my opinion, one of the most important a leader can possess.

  • Travis Linskens

    This was an interesting module that offers a great deal of perspective to help with communication in both personal and professional relationships. I can honestly say the one that I have the most difficulty with is self-disclosure. If I don’t know someone outside of the department or can relate to them I have a challenging time disclosing anything on a personal level. This is something I will definitely need to work on.

    • Eric Sathers

      I think the challenge of self-disclosure is one shared by many in law enforcement. We are often times very protected in how we share information with others; this is likely due to our inability to easily trust.

  • Steve Mahoney

    I liked in this module how they defined assertiveness. I believe too many times when we are assertive we are stern, direct, and overbearing,. We are so focused on trying to get our point across that we lose effective communication. I like how he says to be patient, kind, and in ad in an understanding manner. The encourages the 2 way communication when you assert and then wait and listen for the response

    • Scott Crawford

      After watching this lecture, I believe I`m not as assertive as I need to be. Great lecture to give us skills to work on.

    • Buck Wilkins

      I have several officers that need to learn this module. Some try too hard to get their point across and it looks and sounds like they are being loud and rude.

    • Robert Vinson

      Yes, I believe the distinction between assertiveness and aggressiveness is important, as well as the tone and manner in which the message is being delivered.

  • Paul Brignac III

    During this lesson the idea of considering another persons reality stood out to me. I do not believe that I have given this enough consideration in the past. One instance that comes to mind is a firearms class I taught where all of the students seemed more nervous than usual. I assumed this was a result of the students age and lack of experience. After several days I found out that the students were all told that their jobs depended on them passing, and that if they did not, they would be fired. To the students in this class, their reality was that failing the class meant loosing their job. When I realized this was the case, its was easy to see why they were so nervous.

  • Scott Crawford

    I really enjoyed the section on Observing Skills. I`ve spent my entire career in corrections, and I have always said, that the first 3 or 4 times an offender tells you something, you should consider it to be a lie. I really am interested in attending classes on interviews/ interrogations for honing my skills.

    • Kaiana Knight

      I enjoyed this section as well because I also work in corrections, and you learn a lot just from observing.

  • Eric Sathers

    I found the suspending frame of reference skill to be very interesting. This is a skill that becomes even more important to utilize after you've been on the job for a while. I often see seasoned officers, who might be experiencing early stages of burnout, engaged in making snap judgments, reacting emotionally (typically anger/disdain), writing other people off, and making assumptions. By making a concerted, mindful effort to suspend our own frames of reference, we can do a lot to take new perspectives on situations. In turn, our interactions with members of the community will improve.

    • Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree. This is difficult to do and I have worked for supervisors who have a hard time doing this. When you approach a situation with a pre-planned repose or your own assumptions, it can be perceived as negative by the individual. As leaders we need to remain objective and take all the facts and perceptions into consideration before making a decision.

    • I totally agree with this. It like the more exposure we get as officers to people the more cynical and distrusting of people we become. This road mindset can easily, and unfortunately often does, creep into our professional and person relationships. We must constantly remind ourselves not everyone is like the people on the street, and try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Stephanie Hollinghead

      I agree. But this is difficult to do after a while. It is difficult to withhold emotions and premature judgments, but it is attainable. In order to suspend the frame of reference, it requires understanding and a mindful and intentional approach.

  • Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    I enjoyed the information on assertiveness and confrontation. These are two areas that I feel I can improve in. It is important to build trusting relationships with staff for when the use of these skills is required. It is good to use tact in these situations and address the behavior not the persons character. It is important to identify the issue in a respectful, constructive manner and then move on to how to improve or clearly set expectations for moving forward.

  • I enjoyed the section on suspending the frame of reference, although I think it can be difficult based on our career paths. It's easy to say we are going to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they're not lying for example. However, doing so will often result in us being proven wrong and we get salty about it after a while. This leads up to assume everyone is a liar and does not bode well for future interpersonal communication. We can work on this and try to apply it in a more broad sense, but it's hard to do this if we constantly are provided reasons not to do so. I don't think it's an important skill though, and prevents us from making emotion premature decisions in a lot of case. I think it's one of those things where we must accept it is for the greater good, even if we get burned by it from time to time.

  • Buck Wilkins

    After learning about the 12 Interpersonal Communication and conflict management skills I feel that we can all enhance our leadership performance in attending. This is a skill I believe everyone needs to work on. I know I have often caught myself not giving someone all of my attention when they are speaking with me, because as an officer I am constantly scanning the area checking my six, It's something we all do even when other officers are around. Most people want and expect our attention to be focused on them.

  • Stan Felts

    While I really enjoyed this module, there was something said by Dr. Anderson which I would like to address. He said, "It is important to remember reality is only what it is perceived to be." This is incorrect, unless, of course, the doctor has a different definition of reality than is common to society. Reality, by definition, is what is real or the state of things as they actually are, not how an individual perceives them. While people can have different experiences, and they do perceive things differently, this does not then mean they have their own personal realities; it would be like saying people have their own truths. If everyone can have their own personal reality (not just perceived), then there would be no reality, but only perception.

    • Kenneth Davis

      Stan- I think as leaders we have to realize that, although reality is just that= reality...the perception of our actions and what we represent as a law enforcement group also falls prey to perceptions. What I have seen, especially in the last 5 years, is that the old adage "politics is perception" has weaved its way into policing as well. In other words, the public's perception of who we are and what we do is the environment in which we have to operate. This is because expectations are inherent from the public's perceptions of us and our mission.

      Best and stay safe-

      Ken

  • Robert Vinson

    Celeste Headlee's 10 Rules for Listening were really valuable to me. Especially the first, "Don't Multitask." It made me think back to many occasions I've been trying to work on an email or report while simultaneously listening to a conversation. I can see where this made it appear I did not value the individual or what was being said.

    • Derek Champagne

      As someone who did the same thing, I have now changed the way I handle this issue. I now give my Officers my full attention when they come into my office to speak with me. I've also started to notice when others multitask when speaking with me and how it makes me feel.

    • Chris Crawford

      I totally agree especially if the person is present with you while having the conversation. Its disrespectful and very dismissive. And any attempts to turn that around with someone will be vey difficult.

    • Andrew Peyton

      I too am guilty of doing this. I think it is just a nature of habit. Always trying to get something done. Unfortunately, we miss out on information being shared. Additionally, the person we are talking to feels we are uninterested in the conversation or that their complaint or need is of little importance to us. This is definitely something I need to work on and recognize when I am doing it.

  • Kenneth Davis

    Lee (2021) offers a clear delineation of ten rules for talking and listening. In a review of these rules, it is evident that good manners are the order of the day…or conversation. The rules are sage, to be sure. However, one of these posits stands out above the remainder.

    The tenet that deals with not equating our experiences with another’s was interesting and sound. In numerous conversations, I have witnessed folks derail productive discussion by trying to turn the focus of the communication to themselves or a personal agenda. This is dangerous and shuts folks down during what should be productive activities. Active listening requires many things, but most specifically, and simply, a willingness to listen. Re-focusing conversations that are meant to be productive, talking when one should be listening contravenes the goal of clear communication.

    References

    Lee, C.H. Interpersonal communication and conflict management. Module # 8, Week # 3. National Command and Staff College.

  • Derek Champagne

    One of the things I used to do was multitask while holding a conversation with people. Through those conversations I would throughout the occasional “yeah” or “oh wow”, but was I really listening to the person. Sometimes it's hard to have conversations with people who share nothing in common with you. I have been making an effort when having conversations, to put my phone down and actually focus on what is being said and this has allowed me to be more engaged in the conversation.

  • Kaiana Knight

    Overall, I think that this was a very informative module. I really enjoyed the section on questioning and listening. I think as a leader it is important that we listen to our team. I agree that a good listener is grounded and centered and gives their undivided attention. Active listening does convey respect, and it also encourages people to disclose more than just questioning them. I feel that it's important the way you question someone on your team, and that you should use open ended questions as mentioned in the module.

    • Kevin Balser

      I agree that as leaders we have to be great listener's and listen to everyone. Being able to process and analyze all of the information is crucial to our success.

  • Brent Olson

    While only one of the skills was "listening," it was amazing to me how many of the other skills incorporated some degree of listening. I personally feel that listening is probably the hardest skill to learn and then implement. As police officers, we have a natural tendency to want to ask clarifying questions, ask many questions, and keep a conversation on track to garner specific information. It many times is a direct requirement of our job and is necessary. It is then very difficult to shift gears and practice active listening in other aspects of the same job. It is hard to go from leading the conversation with a witness or a victim to allowing a subordinate to lead the conversation and provide information at their rate and in their own way. The two types of gathering information could not be farther apartment. I make it a point to practice active listening techniques however realize this is an area where I will always have a need to continue to learn and practice.

    • Burt Hazeltine

      Most of the items in this module require us to listen and pay attention to what and how they are saying it. If we would take the time and actually listen more, and not just hear, we could avoid many problems. I am as guilty as anyone for having someone talking to me and I am doing three other things. I hear the words they are saying but not listening or attending.

      • Kent Ray

        I am terrible about getting focused on an issue and then not listening to what others have to say. I have to make a concerted effort to work on these skills, which will help me at work and in my private life.

  • Jay Callaghan

    Very informative lecture on valuable skill sets we as leaders need to constantly be aware of and improve upon. It has been my experience, that some leaders have the best intentions but their actions appear to be "checking the box". Being intentional, genuine, and having an understanding of how your behavior impacts others leads to credibility and trust....impression management.

    • Ronald Springer

      Jay,
      Check the box training is such a waste. It is a waste of time, money, and one of the most frustrating things a department can do. Unfortunately we still have some in my agency. But thankfully it is being phased away and our training is becoming more and more adaptive and innovative. That is thanks to many of our administration attending this program and learning from it as well as the connections made here.

  • Ronald Springer

    This module added to lessons I have had on listening. I have been told over and over how that one skill can make all the difference since I was in JROTC in high school. So when they covered Skill number 20 Listening, (Anderson, 2017) it only added and reinforced it. As my good friend and mentor from high school Sergeant Charles Washington said to me and still reminds me, “There is a difference from hearing and listening. And boy I don’t need you to hear anything I say but you better listen when I talk if you know what’s good for ya.” Sergeant Washington taught leadership at my high school and was retired from the US Air Force. He was also one of the first true leaders I remember meeting. After this module it only reinforces so many of his lessons and highlights so much of the way he carried himself and treated us his students. I can now recognize how hard it must have been to deal with all of us teenagers and our raging hormones but still keep us focused. He challenged us and treated us as young men and women so that we would live up to his treatment. He definitely had a lot of these skills described in module 7 and module 8.

  • Chris Crawford

    There were so many great points in the module. It reminded me of what I heard long ago, listen more than you talk. And sometimes its not what you say, its how you say it. Also to always keep in mind that you are talking to another human being, who has feeling and doesn't want to be misunderstood. when having a conversation with someone, give that person your undivided attention whenever possible. To do otherwise is disrespectful and dismissive. Attempts to repair the damage caused by this will not be an easy task.

    • Darryl Richardson

      Chris, I agree there are a lot of great points in this module. I remember my father telling me that same statement a few years ago when I first got promoted to Corporal. I struggle with giving everyone my undivided attention sometimes. There has been times when I have been thinking of tasks that needed to be completed before the end of the shift instead of actually listening to the person I was having the conversation with.

    • I always tell my kids, its' not what you say; its' how you say it. We have to remember and understand, individuals hear the tone of our voice before our words. When you think about it, you can speak to someone in a "meek" tone and degrade them. That individual will not acknowledge or realize you're degrading them; due to the words you use and your tone. As leaders we have to conscious of the words and tone we use with our subordinates. Just like texts, our words can be misunderstood.

  • Burt Hazeltine

    There is a lot of good information in this module. Many of the skills are connected and they connect to the skills in the last cluster. It will take some practice, but if the skills in these clusters are put together, I could be a more effective communicator and leader. The practice of listening is one that I often neglect. I am trying to muti-task, so I don't give the conversation the attention it deserves. I need to start with attending and observing and will put me in the right frame of mind to actually listen.

    • Brian Smith

      Listening is often the most overlooked form of communicating. The accessibility of devices of distraction (i.e. smart phones) has exponentially separated the speaker from the listener. My wife tells me to put my phone or tablet down many times because merely having it in my hands can send a negative message. We must all be more aware of how we listen: Eye contact, minimal encouragers, paraphrasing, etc. Good luck on your endeavor to become a better listener!

  • Kevin Balser

    I believe that I am an assertive leader. However, this module has certainly made me re-think how I approach the situation by listening intently, being in control of my emotions, using the frame of reference to react in a positive manner and prevent any provoking or unnecessary escalation on my part or potentially causing the other party to respond negatively.

  • Darryl Richardson

    This module had lots of good information and really good examples. There are a few of the skills that I need to work on in order to become a better leader. Skill 20: Listening is one important skill that I need to get better at. I sometimes have peers or subordinates talking to me and I am don’t let them finish their statements before I respond or interject what I feel needs to be said. By doing this I could be hurting the confidence of my younger deputies. I also don't always give my full attention during conversations, due to thinking of other tasks that need to be completed. By doing this, I am not be an effective communicator.

    • Kimberley Baugh

      Darryl, I feel listening is a downfall for me. It is something I have to improve in order to be a good leader.

  • Andrew Peyton

    I found this module to be very informative. Each skill has a strong base in listening skills and many of the examples shown remind me of basic interview and interrogation courses. The instructor goes into body language clues and appropriate ways to sit including the distance one should be. In addition, the instructor talks about when to ask questions and ensuring it is the right time. These skills can be utilized in multiple ways, not just through leadership.

    • Jared Yancy

      I agree, Andrew! This module teaches us interview and interrogation skills, which are the foundation for listening. These are basic police skills and skills that should be implemented daily. A person's tone creates the outcome of any situation, whether positive or negative. As police officers, we can deter much use of force incidents based on the tones we use in certain incidents. Great post, sir!

  • Great module...Very good and strong points in reference to non-verbal communication. Attentive listening has always been one of my pet peeves when it came to individuals I'm speaking to; especially in a leadership role. I dislike when a supervisor is listening, and all of a sudden starts to multitask; while you're speaking. This non-verbal communication gave me the impression; that whatever I had to say was not important. It was one of the things I most disliked and would never do.

    • David Mascaro

      I agree. I strive to stop what I'm doing and actively listen to my personnel when they step into my office with an issue, whether it be work related or a personal problem. This can sometimes be frustrating especially when I'm on a deadline, however I take a breath and make a point to give them my full attention. I want them to know that they're important.

  • David Mascaro

    This module provided insight into one of the biggest factors as to why officers "get it wrong" when dealing with calls for service and leaving a somewhat dissatisfied citizen. The segment of Dr. Terry Anderson's lecture on "Suspending Frame of Reference: The Key to the Golden Rule was very interesting and explained this often overlooked skill set. When responding to a call for service and meeting with a complainant, victim, witness, officers often misjudge or misunderstand the situation because they cannot separate what they believe happened or occurred from what is actually being communicated to them. They are hearing, but not listening because they have failed to suspend the frame of reference and actually listen to what is being said. (Anderson, 2021). This is vital in all aspects of successful two-way communication whether it be suspect interviews, meetings with team members regarding missed deadlines, or dealing with conflicts within your agency.

    • Zach Roberts

      David,
      Great job on mentioning how this module provided insight as to how and why officers get it wrong. You also point out how officers tend to talk more than they listen. I can not tell you how many times when listening to this module I thought to myself the amount of reports and complaints I have taken that would not have existed if the officer listened more than he or she spoke. Very well written post.

  • Brian Smith

    When I teach De-Escalation techniques, much of these skills are brought into the conversation. This unit provided good insight on how to effectively communicate. Frame of reference is such an important topic that I relate to civilian staff I teach. When we meet people, many of whom are upset with our authority in one way or another, it is vital to recognize they are being influenced by factors that we rarely are aware of initially. Where I may see someone upset with me because I am telling them not to smoke in our parks, they may be struggling with nicotine addiction and/or withdrawals. My frame of reference is to not break the law, while theirs is to minimize their desire to not smoke, while trying to respect the new law. Basically, get rid of assumptions when speaking with others may break down unnecessary barriers.

    • Donald Vigil

      Brian, as a verbal de-escalation instructor myself, I think you are spot on. Something that always sticks with me is from retired Chief Harry Dolan who emphasizes that it's important to listen to the meaning and not just the words of an emotionally charged person.

    • Zach Roberts

      Brian,
      You are absolutely correct. I also teach de-escalation techniques and immediately thought of how much these skills are apart of de-escalation techniques. I live how you mention how if you get rid of assumptions, you can break down unnecessary barriers. This is a awesome way to look at this and better understand how you can better handle things.

  • Jose Alvarenga

    These 12 skills are essential to make sure you have a balanced not only at work but also in your personal life. Having new hires learn more about these skills will probably benefit each department. Although working on these skills is a lifelong journey, new hires will know from the beginning of their carrier what to expect and how to improve. This should also be implemented in yearly training as a reminder that self-awareness and doing a self-evaluation to find skills needed to improve is a constant learning goal and essential to be an effective leader5.

    • Jared Paul

      Jose,

      I think that this is a great idea to introduce new hires to these 12 skills. I think it would benefit any agency or organization to train their employees on this.

    • Jeff Byrne

      Very much agree, Jose. Even starting in the academy would be beneficial, but if unable to incorporate there, introducing in orientation of their FTO program would be huge!

  • Jared Paul

    I enjoyed these next 12 skill sets for interpersonal communication. There was a lot of great examples and techniques listed in this module that I can definitely see using when talking with my officers. For me, a personal struggle is active listening. I have been told by people that I often times don't give my undivided attention. I have made a conscious effort to improve this and truly focus on what the individual is telling me. I also found the section on questioning interesting and II think that can help me when handling conflicts within the agency. Being able to ask the right questions to bring perspective and insight into the conversation.

  • Jeff Byrne

    These 12 skill sets were very valuable to me and very timely in my career. I move from homicide to IA on 8/2 and this particular module was very helpful to me as I make that move. Every one of the skills sets, combined with cluster #1, will benefit me greatly in my next assignment. I found the frame of reference, being an great active listener and utilizing the "challenging" skills to look for untapped potential very beneficial.

  • Donald Vigil

    I found Celeste Headlee's Ted Talk on 10 ways to have a better conversation to be quite interesting. She made some points that I definitely to need work on. Points such as being present, setting aside personal opinions and equating one's own experiences. Oftentimes, I find myself inpatient and will interrupt to make a point or to move the conversation on. This Ted Talk opened my eyes and made me see yet another area that I need to improve upon.

    • Andrew Ashton

      Don I agree. When Celeste was talking about poor listening habits like interrupting and sharing opinions at inappropriate times all I could do was shake my head and smile. I obviously have a lot to work on.

      • Curtis Summerlin

        Donald and Andrew,
        I feel that Celeste was speaking to me personally during her talk. I am guilty of most of her points. I have an issue trying to multitask most of the time as well as attempting to equate my personal experiences to someone else. I will be busy for a long time attempting to improve.

  • Zach Roberts

    This module was informative but also very interesting. The section regarding questioning and listening was very interesting. Understanding that as a leader the importance of listening and understanding the issues and needs of your staff and those you lead. Active listening is important as it shows the person you are interested in what they have to say and are taking it serious. I think it's important to understand the difference in questioning and accusing. Making accusations and questioning someone are two different things and understanding the importance can be the difference in someones employment.

  • Andrew Ashton

    The second set of skills really built upon the twelve previous. Understanding frame of reference was very interesting and insightful. I was able to reflect back on many an occasion be it in patrol or when supervising that I should have stepped outside my frame as a better outcome could have occurred. This module gave me a lot to think about and apply to myself as a leader, husband, and father.

  • Glenn Hartenstein

    I just finished reviewing this module "Interpersonal Communication and Conflict". These skills build upon the previous 12 discussed in the last module. After reviewing all of the skills, listening is definitely the most difficult for me. I always find myself thinking of other things when I listen to others. I always have to put a lot of effort to listen to others and not interrupt. This is a valuable skill and very important with communication and being a leader. This was a very informative module.

    • Joey Brown

      Glenn, you are absolutely correct. Active listening is the most influential tool we have to connect with another individual.

    • Kimberley Baugh

      Glenn, I have to agree. Listening for me is also something I need to improve. Interrupting is a big thing and I have really focus and not speak. Sometimes you have to listen and absorb.

    • Rodney Kirchharr

      Learning what we lack in interpersonal communication skills is hard to me. I don't like to believe I lack in anything, but when it is laid out in a presentation like this it is very easy to pick out where my weaknesses are.

    • Matt Lindsey

      Glenn,

      I totally agree. I have to make a conscious effort to fight my mind wandering or thinking about my response while others are speaking. It is critical to focus on what others are saying and this is also a skill I need to improve.

  • Joey Brown

    The module on Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management was very educational. From experience, it is vital that a leader investigates the situation before making an assumption about a situation. It is important to identify the true facts of a problem and create a win-win solution. As as leader, we have to observe the other person’s reality and put ours away. It is very seldom that we will share the same reality.

    • Joey- Your statements are so true. A person's perceived reality is not yours and we as leaders need to know that. We need to consider others' points of view and their feelings when making decision. We need to create solutions to problems that are a win-win for both sides.

  • Jerrod Sheffield

    I found this lecture to be very informational as it related to the suspending frame of reference. It highlighted things throughout my career that I messed up through the lines of communication and immediately went into a totally different frame of reference when the situation did not necessarily dictate that. I found that people do perceive things differently than we do and we should be able to communicate well enough to recognize that and we should not jump to a conclusion before someone has had the opportunity to fully explain the circumstances. Listening to everything they are saying is vitally important. We should practice suspending our frame of reference as it will certainly yield better results.

    • Dustin Burlison

      Your right, Jerrod. Some supervisors get quite a workout because they jump to conclusions so often instead of trying to put themselves in the shoes of whoever they feel was wrong.

    • Steven Mahan

      Jerrod, Its true and we've all been judged by a leader above us at some point unfairly or without just reasoning. When I began my law enforcement career I was much older than my outward appearance and was treated differently by older rank who sometimes didn't perceive my life experience as beneficial.

  • Curtis Summerlin

    This module had a lot on information worthy of reflection. I particularly liked the TEDx on 10 ways to have a better conversation. Active listening and not multitasking are just a couple things that I must work on. In this profession, we spend years developing the ability to multitask to keep pace with all that is going on around us. Having to stop and concentrate on one subject or individual is almost unheard of. It almost seems to go against my nature at this point but it is worth the effort. If I can control the urge to multitask, I can improve my attending skills and make sure that I am giving others my undivided attention that they deserve.

    • Tyler Thomas

      Any Tedx Talk has been worth the watch, especially this one. Multitasking is the hardest for me. Stopping and concentrating on the subject or individual is critical. It is difficult but it can be done.

  • Tyler Thomas

    There is a lot to unpack in the last two modules. Does anyone else find it crazy how these skills aren't focused on until college and that really depends on the degree you're seeking? These last two modules could be a week long or even two week class be themselves. These skills are important but yet they get overlooked at various point in our lives. I will likely be reviewing these notes for a long time. I think suspending your frame of reference is one I have been working on recently. It has really helped with conversations I have had recently with supervisors.

    • Trent Johnson

      Tyler,

      Yes, this was a lot to unpack, and these life skills could and should be a high school course for beginning with juniors and the being completed in the senior year. Sending 18 year olds out into the world with this skill set could, at least theoretically have a massive impact on the way they grow into their own and move into the workforce and adult relationships.

  • Trent Johnson

    There was a lot of information in this module, but I think what struck me the most was the examples given for Skills 23 and 24 which involved the chiefs in their respective department meeting with their leaders and in one instance just the sergeants who were essentially hazing the younger officers. The heads of the organizations seeing the issues and potential for challenging their officers, and being willing to simultaneously praise, challenge and discipline as necessary is what we should all strive to accomplish as leaders.

  • This was a great module. The 12 skills learned in this module provide insight and details the skills necessary to manage conflict through interpersonal communication. Being an effective communicator is key to be a great leader. These 12 skills will greatly help me with being a highly skilled emotionally intelligent leader. During the lecture, I found myself reflecting on how I deal with conflict and how I need to sharpen my own skills to be a better leader.

  • Dustin Burlison

    These 12 additional steps were very informative. Skill 14, Image Management, is the one that resonated the most with me. Taking the time to ensure others have a positive image of me is not something I have gone to great lengths for. Now that I understand its importance I will work to make sure I make the best impression possible, while staying true to myself.

    • Adam Kronstedt

      Skill 14 also resonated with me. I am often working on no less than 6 projects at one time, and my desk shows it (cluttered). I don't want folks to think my brain is so cluttered that I can't effectively listen to them. I am trying to organize my work to enhance my image to look more organized than it currently does.

  • Stephanie Hollinghead

    Communication is a skill that I am constantly trying to improve. I have learned that we all receive information differently. It is not just “what” we communicate but “how” we communicate it, verbally and non-verbally that can send the right and wrong message. This module covered a great deal of information about skills used to confront issues while using interpersonal communication. As leaders, we must learn these skills and practice them in order to resolve and manage conflict within our agency. We as leaders have to stop what we are doing and actively listen to what the other person is saying. We must engage in effective communication to understand the message. Communication is a two-way street. It takes both parties to understand and resolve conflict.

  • Kimberley Baugh

    Communication is the key to leadership. For me, Skill #20 Listening is a weakness for me. We have to be able to be able to listen and not interrupt. I realized how this is a major issue for me. It is something I realize that just happens. I have to make myself focus on what is being said instead of responding before the other person is finished speaking.

    • Adam Kronstedt

      I'm also guilty of this. We oftentimes wait for the other person to finish talking just so we can get out points out too. All the while, we aren't actually hearing what they're saying.

      • Kecia Charles

        It’s a skill that most need to improve. Usually we are listening to respond not to truly listen. We feel we have to get our point across. Several times win my personal life, I have placed my hand over my mouth to keep me from interrupting and letting the person complete their statement.

    • Jeff Spruill

      I have an employee who is SO BAD at this. It's like she cannot listen without interrupting. The biggest problem is that in meeting, I can look around the room and se how this habit is effecting other people and how it is shutting down conversation. I want her to notice this as well, so that she will be aware of the effect her habit has on others. She's a very nice person, and I think if i can help her understand how this bad habit of interrupting is effecting relationships in the room, it may help her to control it.

  • Steven Mahan

    What I took from this lesson was the need for better interpersonal communication. Communication is the underlying theme for this training throughout the modules, and I broke it down to being self-aware of the impression others have of the leader. The leader should not pre-judging the person they’re communicating with and should listen actively to determine their personal needs. Some communication will be to express the leader’s needs and should be done in a manner that will be assertive yet reflect an understanding of the person being communicated with of what is needed.

  • Adam Kronstedt

    I particularly gained awareness through the "Attending" skill explanation. I am definitely one who needs to strengthen this communication skill. I need to be aware of what my body language says to the people who come to me. Giving everyone my undivided attention is my goal for when folks come to me with issues, questions, or comments. I know I appreciate when those I come to to communicate something with give me their full attention. I certainly notice when someone seems preoccupied with another issue.

  • Jared Yancy

    This module focused on many things that law enforcement officers use every day. The speaker says that reality is only what it is perceived to be. Meaning everyone's perception of things can be completely different. Perceptions can be wrong and very judgmental. As police officer's we have to make sure we are training our minds to make the right decision and not always be so quick to judge a situation based on past experiences. Perception is everything, and it can be the difference between a lawsuit and control over any incident.

    • Dan Sharp

      Absolutely Jared, I totally agree. I see officers jump to conclusions where they think they know what is going on because they have assumptions about an area or a group of people only to find out they were totally off on what really occurred. I also think this goes along with really listening to people on calls. We can assume we know what they are experiencing, feeling or have just witnessed. We tend to listen to about half because we know or think we know what happened because we've seen this before or have an assumption about that person. If we slow down, step outside our frame of reference and listen we would provide better service to that person and the community.

  • Rodney Kirchharr

    This module was very helpful to me in the responding with understanding skill. While I understand the concept I have always struggled with this and tend more to focus on responding to handle the situation instead of letting the person know that I understand what their issue is or what they are saying. When we use the skills that are laid out for us in this module I think that we will all have better relationships with our people.

    • Rodney, it sounds like your on the right track where you are actively listening to problems. I’ve found it helpful for me to develop relationships beforehand where when an issue arises, we can honestly talk through the problem where the team member can find their own solutions with very little input from me. I’ve found this to be a great way to influence and develop subordinates.

  • Jeff Spruill

    Over the last year, I have really been working on the attending skill. This really became a focus for me after I had a lieutenant who would call me out anytime I didn't seem to be giving him my full attention. We had a good relationship, so he wasn't afraid to point it out if he came in to talk to me but I kept typing on the computer or checking my cell phone. One day he said to me, "I'm amazed by how smart you are, but it's like you don't a !@#$." It's possible that he just needed my full attention more than others, but I knew that it was also possible that I made other people feel this way too, and they just didn't feel comfortable speaking so openly as he does. I got the message though, and have made a much more concerted effort to control my body language. I have set up my desk so that if someone comes in to speak, I have to physically turn away from my computer and toward the person. I likewise put my cellphone on the side desk so it's out of my site. I'm trying to be very intentional about showing people that they have my full attention, because I want them to know that I care about them and that what they're saying matters to me.

  • Deana Hinton

    Assertiveness and confrontation often get confused. I appreciated how both were addressed and tips provided showing they can be used together in a healthy and positive fashion. The wording, "I appreciate___ that you provide the team. However, I have seen you ___" is very compelling. Value is established and then an opportunity for growth is presented rather then a beat down. It is clear there is an issue but a sense of cooperation and goal of success is also thrown out there. Sometimes folks don't realize how damaging a certain behavior is until someone flat out tells them. Allowing ownership of the behavior in a positive environment seems much more effective in achieving the change that is desired.

    • George Schmerer

      Your point on assertiveness and confrontation often get confused it is especially important to understand the difference and developed the skills to have an assertive conversation without confrontation. Being clear and direct on issues often can help people seek potential destructive attitudes and behaviors from a different lens. Changing the way we as supervisors have a difficult conversation with others can dramatically change the effectiveness of that conversation.

  • Matt Lindsey

    The listening skill is one I challenge myself to improve at. Hearing people is easy but actively listening and allowing them to finish is important. Often I find myself thinking about what I am going to say in response or allowing my mind to wander instead of actively listening. This is a skill I can improve both at work and home. My wife and children have pointed out my failure at fighting the urge to give advice before they have finished their thoughts on more than one occasion!

    • Michael McLain

      I agree Matt, we all have room for improvement when it comes to listening. I think most of us suffer from trying to think of the next question to stay ahead of the "game".

    • Jeremy Harrison

      Matt,
      I believe I fall into some of the same traps you do on the listening spectrum. When it comes to listening without giving advice, I think of that commercial “It’s not about the nail.” Even though we may think the answer is clear, people just want us to listen to them. I really want to be a good listener, but it is not easy. We have a ton of work on our plate, ideas we want to provide, and very little time to truly listen. I want to be committed to making the time to listen. The things I work on will get done at some point but building relationships is not something I will always have the opportunity to do if I fail to listen to the people around me.

      Jeremy

  • Dan Sharp

    I have to agree with many of the comments already made. The skill of listening is so important and one I need to improve on. We are so busy with the many administrative tasks we must complete and have those in our mind and what we need to get done instead of actively listening. I often find myself cutting the person off to give a response or a quick solution so I can get back to the pile of work on my desk. I find myself doing the same thing at home because I'm actually thinking about everything I need to get done around the farm instead of actively listening to family members who are trying to talk to me.

  • Kent Ray

    My big take away from this module is that we as a profession are not deliberate about training the skills needed for interpersonal communication and conflict management. Again, we get caught up on training the subjects and skills that are required for certification and those that our agencies prioritize, while we just hope for the best with the interpersonal skills that individuals bring to the job. It looks like we need to add specific interpersonal skills and conflict management training at various stages in career development training beginning at the academy level.

  • George Schmerer

    This module on Interpersonal Communication & Conflict Management was especially helpful. It gave me a practical and clear set of tools that can be applied to the very conversation. These twelve skills build upon the skills from the previous module. The skills of active listening without any preconceived judgment incorporate many of the skills mentioned in the module including but not limited to attending, observing, suspending frame of reference, asking questions, and responding with understanding. I can see how developing these skills can assist me in having a more productive conversation especially if the subject is a difficult one.

  • Michael McLain

    I completely agree when it says to communicate high levels of respect for the worth of others when confronting them. When talking to a victim, suspect, or my kids, I explain respect is a two-way street. I then ask for them to allow me the opportunity to show them respect as they return the favor

  • Jeremy Harrison

    After completing this module, I have realized there are times I am good at the listening skill but also times I am not good at the listening skill. I have been paying closer attention to my behaviors when I am meeting with people to determine if I am truly listening. I appreciated what Celeste Headlee said in her Ted Talk when she told the audience if they are truly listening, they do not have to worry about utilizing listening cues like making eye contact. The listening cues come naturally when we are actually listening. There are times I am truly listening in conversations but all to often I am not giving my undivided attention. For instance, I may have someone pop into my office to ask a question and I may continue typing or reading while they ask their question. Now, I could put up better boundaries when I am busy but generally, what I am doing can wait. I need to turn, face the person, and really focus on what they are telling me. I want to be a good listener because everyone deserves undivided attention when they are trying to explain something to me.

    • Tommy “Chris” Weeks

      You just described perfectly what I feel my issues are as it pertains to listening. This has made me aware of where I am deficient and has given me the tools to correct it.

  • Andrew Weber

    I find it interesting that as an interviewer who has done many interviews, I too struggle with communication at times. I feel like when I have to do it, I do fine. But there are other times when I don't want to do it. I talk with victims/suspects at work. And then I have to deal with problems my employees are having. Sometimes it just gets overwhelming. Learning this material is good for me to allow me to do more self reflection to understand what I have to do to get better in those areas where i am weak. I do understand that at times, confrontation is a must, but I would rather not do it. I know the importance of taking the first step in alleviating a problem, but taking that first step can be hard.
    Some of the material I have learned during the course of my life. It is a good reminder to hear these things again to reinforce the ideas. Active listening and responding with understanding are two of the things I have already learned and used at work.

  • Devon Dabney

    I can definitely use some work on Skill 20: Listening. When someone is talking to you, it is easy to be distracted when there is other things going on around you. This module has allowed me to see I have a lot more work when it comes to interpersonal communication.

    • Lawrence Dearing

      I agree with you, Devon. I particularly enjoyed the statement that a good listener is grounded and centered, gives undivided attention, and temporarily suspends emotions, advice, and prejudgments. We have all been guilty of thinking about our point or reply in a conversation rather than actually listening to what is being conveyed to us. I think we could all use some work in this area!

  • Todd Walden

    Attending, Listening, and Observing without judgment..... All skills that could use improvement.

  • Chris Fontenot

    As promised, many skill sets are discussed in this lesson that are building on one another. I could pick several skill I want to improve on and with grounding I’ll give it a good run. But for this discussion , Image management stands out as the single most skill I want to be more conscious of. At times I may want to have too much fun within the group an see where in serious situations the effects of that may interfere.

  • Interpersonal communication and conflict management: Laying the groundwork beforehand as a leader in the form of communication, trust, respect, and a genuine caring attitude is a great way to “feed forward” when a conflict arises. In that way we have the built-in rapport where we can use the conflict as an opportunity for positive feedback and to develop a mutual plan for resolution. This seems to me to be a natural approach that I have used in the past with success when you can influence the person that they share in the root problem.

    In learning how not to lead (very powerful life lessons), the skills discussed in this lecture would have been extremely powerful to my first line supervisors when I was a young public safety official. The “my way or the highway” model was the engrained culture at the time (and still is to an extent) that has influenced many of my peers creating a cycle of ineffective leadership. I inherently knew this was the wrong way to lead and when promoted to leadership, discarded this model in favor of developing relationships with my charges.

    As far as specific lesson learned, I would look to Assertiveness. I find my self being less assertive with passive subordinates which could lead to them remaining uninvolved. I need to redouble my efforts there in trying to influence them to be more engaged.

  • Tommy “Chris” Weeks

    I found this module to be very beneficial, especially in the areas of Image Management and Listening. I feel as if I do a good job with "Active Listening" to the point I hear everything that is said and can formulate a response, my body language or the fact I am working on other things during a conversation could be read differently by others.

  • Lawrence Dearing

    The opening video by Celeste Headlee was a great guide to having a meaningful and fulfilling conversation. In today’s fast-paced and stressful world, her tips were a great reminder to slow down and listen. Some of the beneficial skills I learned in this module included Attending, or simply giving attention to others, and Observing, which is so important in our field because we are required to recognize body language in order to remain safe and to be able to relate and speak to people who don’t always want to talk to us. I also liked the segment on Suspending Frame of Reference. I had never thought of “putting myself in someone else’s place” quite like that. Of course, I learned a lot from the Listening segment. You’d think after 28 years of marriage, I’d have that one down, but I still took a lot from that segment.

    • Mitchell Lofton

      I also found the TedTalk video, ten ways to have a better conversation, fascinating and caused me to reflect on my habits. For example, I think we are all guilty of trying to talk or control the conversation at times when in reality, we need to listen. In addition, I am guilty of multitasking to the point that I have the television on for background noise and distractions, even when reading a book.

      • Walter Banks

        I agree we are all guilty of trying to talk or control the conversation at times. As a result of this study area, I have shut down several discussions with my wife because I realized I was doing everything we were instructed not to do.

  • Mitchell Lofton

    There was so much information in this module that it is hard to single out anything. However, Dr. Anderson does an excellent job breaking down each skill in his lectures. Listening is probably the most significant area I need to work on. I usually have so many things happening at once that I am easily distracted, especially if the conversation is going nowhere fast. I found it very interesting that it was stated in the module that we can listen more quickly than others can speak, which causes us to lose attention.

    • Joe Don Cunningham

      I too find it hard to listen and lose interest rather quickly. I need to work on how better to listen and understand.

  • Walter Banks

    After the lectures on interpersonal communication and conflict management, I can't stop reviewing my communication with coworkers friends, and family members. I have prided myself on my listening skill, now I see that I have a lot of work to do. suspending frame of reference is definitely an area I have to improve.

    • Jason Doucet

      I agree with you Walter, I have reflected on many occasions that could have gone either better or worse where I lacked in some of the skill sets provided.

    • Kevin Carnley

      I agree with you after this module I discovered that I could do better in my communications with others. I especially want to focus on being a better listener.

  • Lance Richards

    After reviewing this module and reflecting on my own personal interactions, I've noticed I could use some improvement in my communication skills. This module has identified some areas that are difficult to encounter and provided ways to help. The conflict management area of this module was very enlightening as this is something law enforcement deals with daily.

    • Jeremy Pitchford

      Session #015

      I also have trouble with my listening skills sometimes. I am aware of the issue, but it is good to be reminded sometimes so that I can reflect on it more often.

  • Kecia Charles

    This module is designed to help us fine tune our communication skills. I take pride in my active listening skills. I frequently use checks to ensure I am understand what the person is saying. If I don’t understand, I seek clarification. I also like to use open ended questions.

  • Jimmie Stack

    This module of interpersonal skills combined with the previous module showed me that I need to work on developing my communication skills. Specifically in reference to assertiveness, after studying the topic I have seen that I can come off too strong when communicating with people. I challenged my self to learn what triggers me and how to effectively manage being to assertive in order to have effective communication moving forward.

  • Jason Doucet

    This module was really insightful and learned a lot about myself. I realized that I do utilize the suspending frame of reference and it has worked out for me over the years. It is really key to use all forms of communication given in this module to really become effective toward others in daily life.

    • Joseph Spadoni

      Jason, I also realized that I utilize the suspending frame of reference skill and it has worked for me too throughout my career.

  • Joe Don Cunningham

    In this module, I see where I already do some of the methods that are described. I also see where I need to do a lot more work on how to handle conflict management. I have to learn to listen better, because if it something that I am not interested in or not something that is important at the time, I find I lose interest quickly. This module has shown me some ways that I can use to help me with that.

    • Paul Smith

      I think that as leaders if we learn how to listen, we will become better at conflict management and also observe the problem before it gets out of hand.

  • Kevin Carnley

    I found this module very informative. I realized that I need to improve on my listen skills by being more focused on the conversation. I have began to take notice of how I am listening to others and how I format questions in response to the information they are providing. The area on assertiveness I find helpful. I have always found it interesting that officers are very assertive in the field but when dealing with subordinates and coworkers they are a lot less assertive.

  • Paul Smith

    I liked this lesson because I feel that some of the skills in this lesson were not ever taught. When looking at these skills I feel that this would help and improve everyday life both at work and in my personal life. The one skill that has been stressed not only in law enforcement but also in the military is active listening. I think when you add some of the other skill sets you can really understand your subordinates.

  • Jeremy Pitchford

    Session #015

    I need to work on attending when I am listening to others. I often find myself getting distracted. I hope that learning from this module will remind me to remove distractions when I am listening to others in the future.

    • Cedric Gray

      It is impossible to always be completely attentive. Our minds wander, our phones ring, and we get hunger pains in the middle of conversations. I became increasingly aware I had poor attending skills and have managed to improve, but it requires constant attention like the other skills.

  • Cedric Gray

    Off all the skills in this lesson, I believe suspending frame of reference is the most difficult to maintain. It requires constant attention of what others are trying to communicate and, in a sense, removing ourselves from what we hear.

  • Joseph Spadoni

    Joseph Spadoni Jr.
    Session #15

    I learned that throughout my career I have been using the “suspending frame of reference” skill without knowing I was doing so as hearing this term in this lecture is the first time I’ve ever heard it. It made me reflect on myself and realize that when dealing with subordinates or members of the public I withheld emotions and premature judgments.

  • Elliot Grace

    The module had some very good tips with developing on how to be a more effective listener, which is an “easier said than done” task. The skills offered a variety of tools to use to develop a higher level of emotional intelligence. I enjoyed the lecture and found it to be beneficial. My biggest take away from the module was how to listen to people as if they were providing me with a gift and to be genuine during the interaction.

    • Jarrett Holcombe

      I agree, being an effective listener is an area that I believe most of us need to improve in. Consciously working to be engaged and attentive while communicating with others in a professional environment such as law enforcement is an increasingly difficult task. The distractions and the varying priority levels of those distractions make it difficult for sure, but taking the time to facilitate an area with less distractions present has been very beneficial for me.

  • The impression management skill, how others see you, is critical. As I talked to supervisors and subordinates, I asked myself if they were interested in the conversation based on their body actions. I find myself constantly working on my actions not to display a disconnection. Learning to speak effectively and articulately is another good quality. Another good tip is to keep things brief. Keeping others interested in a topic may require you to bring up the issue later so as not to bore anyone. If I hear something again later, I will remember they previously talked about it, and I can engage with that. This will also show you did listen to them.

  • Chad Parker

    I wish I could have went through this module years ago. I have failed at many of these over my time as an LEO. I know now how to better communicate, especially with conflict, to try and deescalate and solve problems. There were so many good tactics used in this module. I will be training my people some of these steps so that they can manage conflict with their people when they become supervisors.

    • Jason Wade

      Chad, I agree with you completely as well. I know I have attended many leadership skills classes and have heard parts of these concepts before. But usually it is not all in the same lesson and you have to understand how to piece them together from different topics as needed. I do believe that this should almost be more a part of basic academy to help new officers communicate better and work better together.

  • Jarrett Holcombe

    I have always found communication fascinating. Specifically, nonverbal communication is complex, confusing, dynamic, subtle, and simplistic all at once. Our ability as leaders to read and convey nonverbal cues and innuendo is paramount to effective communication and positive workplace culture development. Paired with this, is our ability to manage how we are perceived amongst others, our commitment to being present in each interaction with others, and how well we can convey our own messages for others to understand. When we grasp a solid understanding and application of these skills, we must also be able to effectively remove our own assumptions and perceptions of the events or situations at hand to make lasting decisions or solutions that are most effective for our organizations as a whole. This module was a great breakdown of this cluster of skills and how we as leaders, must understand and apply them.

    • Daniel Hudson

      I'm right there with you, Jarrett. Communication is a vast and challenging thing to grasp. Yet, it directly affects the outcome of our daily interactions in our personal and professional lives, and this module gives me some new ways to handle situations moving forward.

  • Daniel Hudson

    I found Skill 23, "Confrontation," to be something almost everyone in law enforcement can relate to. In the example, a new Police Chief is faced with a group of Sergeants who operate in the "good ol' boy" frame of mind. They demoralize younger members, show favoritism, and set in their ways. Although the new Chief identified the issue, set clear expectations, and explained that he expected a change of behavior or discipline would follow, some complied. Unfortunately, some were not willing to change and were terminated.

    We have either been the salty Sergeants, the young officer, the leader who will not confront, or the one who steps ups and handles business. Confrontation is uncomfortable, but it is a part of supervision.

    • Patrick Brandle

      I agree with you and have seen this occurrence firsthand. I am sure most of us have. Fortunately, the good ol' boy system has become less common and less accepted in today's law enforcement. I credit this to more accountability and training in departments. We are evolving with the times. Some traditions must stay in place such as the brotherhood and sisterhood that gives us all a sense of family and common ground. Teamwork.

  • Patrick Brandle

    During this module's introduction video, Celeste Headlee talked about learning to speak and listen. I enjoyed the subject and knew I was guilty of all of the ten points she made. A couple of the points she made hit home thought and are a good reminder for me. She said, "Everyone you meet knows something you don't, if you don't know, say you don't know, all experiences are individual, and it's not about you, and number own LISTEN!" These were great reminders and humbling at the same time.

    • Mitch Nelson

      I enjoyed Celeste's portion as well. She made some good points and kudos for the self reflection Patrick. I for one hate to not have an answer for something. Over the years I have had to learn that it's ok to say "I don't know" and either find the answer or point the person in the direction of the answer.

    • Patrick Hall

      I too agree, many times we have to just listen before we speak. This will ensure that what we say is tailored to the audience or the person that we are communicating with; what are words if they have no meaning.

  • Mitch Nelson

    I found the marriage/relationship assessment question interesting. "On a 10 point scale, how would you rate our relationship and why? What could I change to become a 10 for you?" I equate this to writing an evaluation for your employee or teaching firearms.

    Tell your employees what they can do to get that top eval score or to become a 100 shooter. Of course remind them that instant change is great, but it is hard to not fall back on old habits as time ellipses.

  • Patrick Hall

    This was a very interesting module which Mr. Anderson discussed the next 12 skills or the 12 interpersonal communication and conflict management skill that I know I will use on a daily basis when I interact with other people. I was drawn to the "Understanding your own natural style of communication with others." We must know our own self first so that we can know our weaknesses and strengths; this will enhance our ability to effectively communicate to others. I know I will use the tools of active listening and body language observation to get a better understanding of the person that I am communicating with to ensure I am receiving and transmitting the correct message.

  • Jason Wade

    The Golden Rule is a concept and tactic that people in today do not seem to be able to utilize as much as in the days gone past. When we see in social media and by each other, more and more people are applying their own beliefs, judgements, and understandings before trying to hear what is actually going on or to get at least a fair chance for a good trade of information. In the workplace I have started to see this as well, where rumor, conjecture, or lying is seen as more credible and people will act out on rather than hear from credible sources or at least suspend your own frames to at least hear communication.