Command and Staff Program

ACE Track

Proactive Communication

Replies
186
Voices
96
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. 
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    Monte Potier

    I did find it interesting the percentages of the delivery system and how only 7-10% received is from the content itself and the others (voice and non-verbal) is so much more. I now understand why radio traffic from officers are hard to determine the real understanding of the communication.

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      Joey Prevost

      It makes perfect sense when you think about it. We say so much with just a look, no matter what our words are.

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        Drauzin Kinler

        I agree, may times, I am in deep thought, and people assume that I am upset about something because of my body language. I didn't realize that large of a percentage of your context was lost as a result of body language.

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        Nicole Oakes

        I agree. I have watched people have whole conversations with their eyes and body language. It's beautiful to watch.

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      Lt. Mark Lyons

      I was surprised by the percentages he provided to. But i guess it makes sense when you think about all the times a simple text message or email is misinterpreted or taken out of context.

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      Eduardo Palomares

      I agree Monte. A lot is said via non verbal. It was interesting to hear about being respectful in the face of disrespect. This applies to us visionary leaders when dealing with our people. The message we send by our non verbal actions can have catastrophic unrepairable effects with our people. I will be more mindful of my non verbal communications.

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      I also thought this point was very interesting. This has been an ongoing issue wit a couple of Deputies within our agency. The tone of their voice often changes the message they are trying to portray and dispatch tends to only hear that. Some of the Deputies have a difficult time covering frustration over the radio and things come out over open air that shouldn't. This is why face to face communication is so important sometimes.

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    Mike Brown

    In listening to the Sheriff Ray Bash I too was surprised to learn about the percentages dealing with speech and non verbal behavior. I also practice responding to the meaning and not responding to the word while at home.

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      Jason Porter

      This was interesting to me as well. Body language and inflection in your voice have much more of an impact than the meaning coming out of your mouth. I as well have been trying to work on my body language and inflection when speaking with employees.

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        Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        I work on my body language and inflection when communicating. After seeing the percentage, I will work harder.

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    Joey Prevost

    I found the Dimension-Control Matrix interesting. I think back to those times when I had a situation in what appeared to be quadrant D and think of how I could have worked to move it over to quadrant C.

    I've always been a big believer in non verbals. We can say one thing, but our voice inflections and body language betray our true meaning. I truly believe that they are more than the stated 60% of communication. I also liked Maxim 5, Ground Expectations in Reality. We have to learn how to bypass the words and get to the meaning.

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      Judith Estorge

      Joey,

      I agree in the importance of grounding expectations in reality. If we gain credibility and integrity we can fulfill expectations.

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        chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

        I agree as well knowing that using the elements of communication is a major key point. I feel that all three are needed in order to provide proactive communication to others and the importance of delivering any messages.

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        Henry Dominguez

        I agree, especially when he states that unfulfilled expectations destroy a relationship. The community has unrealistic expectations at times and not taking control and grounding them leave them with unfulfilled expectations now causing distrust with law enforcement.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    The portion of the training that covers the statistics of the Elements of Communication was engaging. This needs to be shared with everyone in this profession. The law enforcement profession needs to focus more on training in the area of communicating effectively. We teach verbal judo in our Academy Classes; however, this is the extent of communication training. The same emphasis should be put on teaching the proper methods of communication that agencies emphasize with firearms training. Communication is an intense subject that can have drastic effects by utilizing the wrong techniques.

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      Dan Wolff

      Drauzin Kinler,
      I agree on your comment of spending more time on the art of communication. The amount of hours we train on the tools on our belt needs to be completed as it is vitally important sometimes life and death. However, the same emphasis on using effective communication needs to be raised. A vast majority of calls in the patrol arena are dealt with using effective communication and de-escalating a situation by words and body language. I still remember at the beginning of being introduced to law enforcement in 1999 and going through verbal judo. More of this needs to be trained and understood.
      Dan

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    Jason Porter

    The three elements of communication and the percentages that go along with those hit home with my position. In corrections I explain to the new deputies that you could have an incident at any given moment just by the way you speak to someone. Keep a professional tone and act with professionalism and things will generally deescalate.

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      ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      I absolutely agree. I have seen first hand on the street, different officers have completely different outcomes with same person just because of their communication processes.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      That is absolutely true Jason, in the correctional field anything can happen in a moment. Teaching our new recruits these elements of communication early will help them develop de-escalating skills.

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    Dan Wolff

    Proactive communication is commonly used on patrol and requires every deputy to practice this form of communication. Bringing peace out of disorder is a constant we must deal with in most of the calls to the public. Using the 3 elements and the 5 maxims is essential to effective communication. On occasion, I have had to answer complaints on a deputy’s demeanor that was not intended the way the citizen complained about. I always make it a point to answer these complaints in person rather than on phone to help in using the 3 elements and showing empathy. My foundation of this came from training years ago that Sheriff Nash mentioned … “Verbal Judo.”

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      Nancy Franklin

      Dan,

      I agree that proactive communication is important in patrol and requires officers to hone this skill in order to be more effective in their interactions.

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    Judith Estorge

    The effective delivery of our message broken down into content (7-10%); our voice (33-40%) and non-verbal communication (50-60%) was interesting. I've learned that my non-verbal communications is quite evident when I'm communicating and often negative and shows my lack of interest in the conversation. I have had to teach myself to remain engaged in conversations.

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      I gained the same thing from this module Judith. I find when some of the guys and girls come to the officer and I'm engrossed in something and they speak, my body language definitely says I'm busy even though I tell them I've got a minute. The message is really I don't have a minute and they see that versus what I've said. Makes me wonder what they didn't say in an effort to keep the conversation short.

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    Nancy Franklin

    Proactive communication is important in both our personal and professional lives. The fundamentals of good communication are found in the three elements identified in this lecture: content, voice, and non-verbal. Although each of these elements play a role in the effectiveness of your communication, it is important to remember that the way you say something is more impactful than what you say. For maximum effectiveness, it is important to articulate your message clearly, be cognizant of the manner in which you are delivering the message and respond to the meaning of what others are communicating rather than reacting to the words they chose.

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      Brian Johnson

      Nancy, I agree with your comments. If you ever listen to effective leaders/communicators, they use simple and short statements to convey their thoughts. Using a story to convey that message is also a very effective communication technique. Brian

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    Brian Johnson

    This was a great module for me personally. I often appear to have body language that suggests that I am upset, but I am really deep in thought or very focused on a specific issue. We all know that our non-verbal and voice inflection hinders or helps our actual message. As leaders, we must always be aware of the social verbal and non-verbal signs that may distort our real message or intent.

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      Clint Patterson

      I agree. I enjoy listening to Sheriff Nash. I, too, have had times where I am in deep thought or very focused on something (command college), and when someone enters my office, they sometimes will say, what are you mad about, or are you ok. This is just a result of my nonverbal and facial expressions, with no intent to seem agitated.

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        Lance Landry

        Clint I enjoy his lectures as well. It is quite obvious he has spent time in the trenches. He always gives valuable insight.

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      Laurie Mecum

      I too come across as being unapproachable at times with my body language. I never realized the percentages were so high as to how much if effects the communication or lack of.

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      Jarod Primicerio

      We often forget this when interacting with our troops. When we truly know someone, they don't have to say a word and just from a short interaction, it is evident when something is wrong.

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    Clint Patterson

    Communication is extremely vital to our profession. The ability to effectively communicate with supervisors and subordinates can strengthen a strong foundation of our character and competency. I feel that this new generation of millennials and generation Z will have a new set of attitudes that will be challenging to communicate with for our older generations. The ability to look past the words, while most likely being videoed, and effectively ground the individuals of these generations may be the easiest way to communicate with them. However, I see the young deputies struggle with this daily because they respond more to the words and not the meanings.

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    Laurie Mecum

    Very good information in this module. Communication is very important everywhere in the agency but really important on the street as well. I know several that can benefit from seeing this lesson. It could save several public complaints

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      David Ehrmann

      Laurie, you are so right. It’s also vital in an interview and interrogation setting. Investigators are less likely to obtain confessions if their verbal and non-verbal communication skills are weak. Like the old saying, you catch more flies with honey.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    The module highlighted the importance of understanding how our voice inflections and nonverbal body language play a crucial part in communication. Definitely an important part of our daily interaction and being cognizant of this will assist us in both our personal and professional lives.

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      Lance Leblanc

      I agree with you, Jarod. The way we communicate by our voice inflections and nonverbal body language often determines if our communication is negative or positive.

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    Lance Leblanc

    After watching the video lecture and I think back on my career where my tone and body language have caused issues. The video is right. It's not always what you say but how you say it. As a young officer, it took me a while to learn that.

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      Brian Lewis

      I agree Lance. It's funny, I had to learn it at all levels I have worked over the years. Seems like I'm still learning.

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    David Ehrmann

    Communication is critical when interacting with people, both with the public and employees within the organization. Sheriff Nash hit the nail on the head when he talked about the three elements of communication, content, voice, and non-verbal. This is something I have struggled with in the past and continue to work on. Like many others, at times, the message I convey may be genuine and clear, but my delivery can cause friction or misunderstanding. This is something I continue to work on today to ensure my message is interpreted in the manner in which it was intended and not overshadowed by the delivery.

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    Brian Lewis

    I have always struggled with my conversations being misperceived and discovered this was based on my delivery. Hearing how Sheriff Nash broke down the three elements of communication and the five maxims, brought some clarity to these issues I have had. It also stresses why we need to communicate in person rather than in text and E-mail. The reader of the texts cannot interpret your tone or non-verbal's.

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      Roanne Sampson

      Brian, this is true. I am careful on how I relay messages through text and e-mails. I also avoid the use of all caps because the receiver might think that I am yelling.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Sheriff Nash's explanation of proactive communication was very understandable. Content, words and body language are the key elements in communicating. If you words and body language does not match, this will lead to miscommunication. When leaders understand the maxims, better communication will take place. Communication is about how you say something and not just the words you say.

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      Rocco Dominic, III

      This is true. your words and body language plays a big part in communication. If your words say one thing but you body language is perceived another way it can lead to confusion. Almost similar to a text message, sometimes what you say in not perceived that way.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    This module was informative in explaining how you effectively communicate and how you or the receiver interprets the communication can determine the outcome of the situation. This module brought back the old motto "it's not what you say but how you say it."

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    Amanda Pertuis

    I enjoyed this module. We stress to our personnel that it's not what you say, but how you say it. We have quite a few that come off as rude because the majority of our communication occurs over the radio and phone. We lose out on the nonverbal.

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      Christian Johnson

      I agree, Amanda.

      We have to be careful of the tone of what we say, especially when on the radio or phone, which is a large part of communicating within our Agency.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      Yes, this is something we can all work on. Deputies and communication specialist conflict so often because of the loss of nonverbal.

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    Christian Johnson

    I have always understood that body language and other non-verbal communication was important, but I had absolutely no idea to what extent.

    This module was eye-opening in that regard and continues to drive home how important communications is to our mission.

    How you communicate with others can lead to a very positive day, or very negative. Let's shoot for positive!

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      Donnie

      This module put the “non-verbals” into perspective for me. A simple teaching tool can be developed for new road officers to help them develop an empathic response to the chaos they will encounter.

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      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      Christian, I agree with you. It amazes me how many non-verbal cues play a part in our communication. I will surely be mindful of what my body is doing while I'm speaking to others from now on.

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      Samantha Reps

      I agree, I know it has been told to us many times about how non-verbal actions hinder our communication but this really put it into perspective in this lesson. Something to definitely pay attention to while interacting.

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    Lance Landry

    Topics covered in Sheriff Nash’s presentation were spot on. Many in LE have failed to master proactive communication skills. I was surprised by the percentages of reception of messages being only 7-10% for content. Definitely shed some light on why certain individuals are better suited in higher stressed environments for de-escalation.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      The use of your delivery or tone of voice coupled with your non-verbals is very important in de-escalating a dangerous situation. The importance of being able to recognize this fact must be taken into consideration. I was also surprised by the percentages as well, but it makes more sense when you think about how you have perceived other messages in the past.

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    Donnie

    Sheriff Ray Nash puts proactive communication into perspective with this lecture. The three elements of communication makes sense and can be used as great teaching tool for young or entry level officers. It makes sense that tele-communicators would have a harder time conveying their message. It would be easy to implement this into our FTO program to develop contact strategies for new and seasoned road deputies.

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      Lieutenant John Champagne

      I agree if we take the time to implement this into our FTO programs, we will give the rookie officer a much-needed tool to build on throughout their career.

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    McKinney

    Sheriff Nash did an excellent job getting his message across on the importance of Proactive Communications. I agree that “Content, Delivery, and Non-verbal” must be aligned with each other for a positive message to be accepted by the receiver. On the reverse side of that, we must also take into consideration how others are sending feedback. I enjoyed the outlook of, “respond to the meaning and do not react to the words.”

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      Burke

      It is interesting to see the percentage of your communication is mainly your non-verbal and delivery rather than your content.

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        Major Stacy Fortenberry

        Im glad to now have some hard numbers to help explain this to some deputies that always seem to aggravate a situation while saying the correct thing.

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    Burke

    Proactive communication with the public is key to the sustainability of an agency. Sheriff Nash did a good job of pulling it all together in an easy perceivable message.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    Sheriff Nash did an excellent job of explaining why proactive communication is key in any law enforcement agency. The part that stood out of for me was the mastering the three elements of communication. Ensuring that content, voice and non verbal's all match. The statics about and percentages were insightful and important to remember when communicating. I also like the point he made about law enforcement a lot of times missing the key element of non verbal through the use of radio communication or technology.

    • Edit

      I am familiar with the 3 elements of communication but I agree it was enlightening when he pointed out the loss of non-verbal in radio communication. Communication is very key to agencies. Often times a situation can be viewed as positive or negative depending on the agencies own communications response to the situation.

  • Edit

    The three elements of communication are key to effective communication. Understanding how influencial tone and non-verbal communication is will help an officer not only communicate better but is also an important survival skill and investigative skill for officers. The most important concept in this module is the relationship between trust and effective / proactive communication. IF the person attempting to communicate does not have the trust of the audience, the message, the inflection, the non-verbal does not matter. This explains why there is very little communication between political parties who doen't trust each other. The same can happen in jurisdictions where there is no trust between law enforcement agencies and their community. I felt the maxims emphasis important aspects of communication. The dimension control matrix is a great tool for evaluating a controlled commincation response for chaotic situations.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    This was an important section; the way you communicate can determine the outcome of the encounter. Although we train on communication, we do not train nearly enough on the way to properly communicate to de-escalate a situation from the start of the encounter.

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      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you, de-escalation techniques should be part of training, especially for new officers.

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        mmoscona@floodauthority.org

        I can see that training as being required by POST in the not to distant future both in academy training and in-service. I'm sure it is going to mandated by a package of law enforcement reform bills.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    Once again we see trust being a key factor in this module. When the agency is in a d quadrant situation having the communities trust will be needed to move the situation into the c quadrant. Trust has to be earned over time before the it hits the fan.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    How you say things is usually far more important then what you are saying. The inflection and tone can change the whole message, for good or bad. This is an important lesson for officers as we frequently have to deliver unpleasant news and the manner in which it is passed on could make a difference in the degree of negative reaction from the recipient.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      It is important to remember you message needs to be important as well. Your 100% correct in the fact the the way it is deliver is crucial. I have seen death notifications, which are never really good to begin, go right and horribly wrong. Usually the horribly wrong was the coarseness with which the message was delivered.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I agree the tone in your voice and how you deliver your message is everything. The tone in your voice depends on how things are going to turn out for the most part.

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        dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

        You can deliver the worst message to someone, but the tone will be received better than the message. You nailed it.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    During the portion on the 5 Maxims of Proactive Communication, Sheriff Nash did an extremely good job on explaining communication especially in the realm of handling calls for service and verbal judo. It’s a class that I went through many moons ago and may not be adequately conveyed or taught to younger officers. A large portion of the citizen complaints I have on deputies involve the way they responded to hostile complainants. Reiterating the point that it was not what they said but how they said it; not that they did not do their jobs, they just seemed very stand-offish. Most of the time they just want to be heard and these issues don’t go any further. The younger officers are normally counselled on the matter and retrained as needed. Usually by explaining that these complainants are not attacking them, but speaking on emotions helps them to understand how to better respond for the future.

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      Royce Starring

      I too went to the verbal judo course and agree that we should began teaching it again. We to have an issue with the way younger officers handle hostile complainant.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    The learning in Module 3 about proactive communication, knowing that you have to understand the elements, the key communication maxims and the control dimensions are all very important in grounding a persons expectations. I do believe the delivery in our message could make a difference on a person's viewpoints and stand points.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    I was surprised when Sheriff Nash said non-verbal body language was 50 to 60% and the content of your message is only 7 to 10%. Out of the three elements of communication, I think your voice sets the tone for positive communication.

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    Chasity Arwood

    Body language, tone of voice, and non-verbal cues are an important part of message delivery. An officer can say the correct words but their body language says something different. This can cause a negative reaction from the recipient.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    If you are or have ever been married, you know all about the delivery of a message versus how the message was delivered. In terms of this aspect in the public safety sense, it can be as equally damaging, if not more, than the example I used. Being able to communicate effectively is key to an organization moving forward in the right direction. The five maxims, as explained by Sheriff Nash, explain why society will often misinterpret the message just by the way you carry yourself. The Dimension-Control Matrix also provides an insightful method of control versus conflict interpretation.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree, How we respond to these messages are important because if it is interpreted wrong, the situation can get more hostile. It's always best to take a breath and think about your words and how you are going to convey the message before you speak.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    The three elements are extremely crucial. I have seen officers that know how to communicate, approach very uncooperative suspects and talk them right into the cuffs. On the other hand, I have witnessed officers come to a perfectly calm scene and have everyone ready to fight in less than a minute. Just because of their three elements.

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      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      I definitely agree with you. Some deputies just have a way of pushing the right buttons just by how they put their message across.

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      I've noticed the same thing. I think so much of it has to do with emotional intelligence and maturity. When I started out in law enforcement, I was definitely the guy who always had people that wanted to fight. After about 5 years, I changed and now, I'm fairly good at talking people into some cuffs.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    I believe the biggest challenge is communication with the officers and the public. People have lost the skill of communication due to technology. People are used to seeing things through text or the internet and have a hard time interpreting the verbal and nonverbal elements. As police officers, it is crucial to stay professional and be empathetic of the citizen's complaints.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      Beau,
      I agree that the use of technology can affect our social skills and particularly, effective communication. There are many times that I find myself trying to communicate with others and I have to re-read my message to see if it will effectively communicate my intent. Sometimes, I know what I am intending to say but without someone experiencing my inflection or any body language it came be perceived as something very different than my true intent.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    I personally have spoken so much it seems like in my essays about communication, but it was different. We are now speaking about the issue with someone talking but the message being misinterpreted or lost in context, because of the delivery. Everyone is so used to texting and email that we struggle with communicating face to face and the things that go along with it such as nonverbal, body language, as well as the tone of voice. I myself would like to work on the delivery and more so how I say things, rather than what I'm saying.

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      Lt. Marlon J Shuff

      I agree. With face-to-face communication, the sender can pick up on the non-verbal cues that let them know their message is understood. When we reduce communication to emailing and texting, we lose that important part of two-way communication.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    I found the percentages of the 3 elements of communication interesting. I plan to use this knowledge from now on in the way i communicate paying special attention to the non-verbal. I think we all already knew the part of it's not what you said but how you said it. I would say probably 70% of complaints that come across my desk could have easily been avoided just if the delivery was better.

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    Royce Starring

    When the lecture first started i thought to myself that this mirrors verbal judo. Having been a verbal judo instructor for my agency a lot of the examples were familiar. The section where he talks about the percentage of content, voice, and non verbal communications and how people receive it determines the outcome of the encounter.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I find it fascinating that our words don't have as much impact as our voice and non-verbal communications. I will have to be mindful of how I'm communicating to not only my co-workers and subordinates, but also to my superiors and family.

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    In looking at this module, I could not agree more with the art of communication. Even as a leader, I have had difficulties making sure the message comes out the right way, regardless if it was a troop or a community member. This is a skill that needs to be practiced and perfected.

    In the world we live in today, communication failures can be misunderstood, and turn into an agency nightmare. In contrast, if we deliver our message in the right way, we can get our story out to the public the way we want it to be told.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      This is true. We have to pay complete attention in our communication so that the true meaning of what we are saying is understood.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree. If we communicate better, we can give a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    This communication module was really good in explaining it is not what we say but how we say it. This is so true in today's world. We may say something knowing what we mean and what we want to get across but the people or person that we are saying it to may perceive it totally different.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    "Often there are breakdowns in communication in the heat of chaos," therefore, when communicating our messages we should be deliberate in not only our content but also our delivery system. We should react to the meaning being communicated, and not necessarily the words being spoken.

    As Sheriff Nash illustrated, in law enforcement proactive communication is vital to our credibility and our success. We can use proactive communication to respond with empathy, ground expectations in reality and better control outcomes. I will try use the phrases illustrated by Sheriff Nash to help me better control my outcomes when communicating within and outside of our agency.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I will also strive to look deeper at the meaning of what is being said when dealing with subordinates and the public. If we can train ourselves to slow down and use empathy our outcomes will be easier reached.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    This lesson on communication was laid out much better than the organizational communication module. I especially took great interest in the context, verbal, and non-verbal elements of proactive communications and the importance of having all 3 of these harmonized to have the desired effect when communicating. Having these broken down into percentages of "meaning" makes it clear why sometimes what we say is misconstrued due to our delivery.

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      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree this module made me aware this can compromise the content of delivery of communication at hand. This can lead to the individual feeling a lack of empathy for the situation at hand.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    This Lecture has taught me that as a leader that to communicate effectively, I must ensure that I understand that all three elements, and utilize them to ensure that there is no misunderstanding, which can jeopardize work relationships around my agency. It also helps me to understand how to adequately address and deal with employee's situations by using the matrix system.

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    Henry Dominguez

    It really surprised me to see how much the delivery has in communication rather than the actual content. Our non verbal signs as well as our tone carry much more weight in communicating that what is actually being said. The grounding statement is a great tool to have in taking control of a situation, " Sir/Ma'am I understand why your upset, but im here now to help, and now that im here, let me tell you exactly what im going to do."

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      We need to teach this grounding communication to all personnel that contact the public. Would help provide a positive image of our agency.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      Yea ive seen it in the field when the rookie has been requested for a Supervisor on scene, which is usually me. With my years of experience ive learned how to communicate with people. Usually i can leave scene shortly after arrival because someone took the time and had the experience to deescalate the situation. A skill the rookie had not quite got right.

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      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      If people use this simple tactic more often, it would certainly save quite a few courtesy complaints.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    Such a very important part of the law enforcement career is to be able to proactively communicate with the public and each other to mitigate emergency or crisis situations. This skill is best for public relations and to lead one another. I enjoyed the part of radio traffic loosing 50-60% of communication ability from not having body language. Show the importance to make sure our content and method of delivery-voice tone is correct.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    "It's not what you say, it's how you say it" has a new meaning to me now. I always knew this to be true, but when it was broken down by context, verbal, and non-verbal communication and the percentages attached to each it became so much clearer and makes more sense. The section about not responding to what is said but to try and understand the emotions makes so much sense. Like Chief Nash said how often do we handle complaints against officers based on how the officer made the complainant feel. Great insight.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    I was really surprised at the percentage ratio between content, voice and non verbal. Ive scene it in action i just was never aware of the percentage break down. This will give me a new outlook when i arrive on scene. Mostly im in a fairly decent mood but have been given comments that my look on my face and body language tell a different story. Very enlightening Module.

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    It should be a wake up call, how little content plays a role in communication. Verbal and no verbal will always be there to help or hurt us. I like this as a reminder of how to talk to someone. I actually just spoke with someone about this and their demeanor when speaking with someone. I also had someone talk to me and remind me when dealing with someone. We know but we forget, at times.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      AGREED!! I mentioned in my post that it was pretty much revelatory how little content does play in communication. Most especially as supervisors, we are the leaders that are expected to communicate effectively. Knowing that my body language is the bulk of the way that I communicate and that my voice is a close second, in terms of importance, allows me to adjust my style, or just better align the message that I wish to convey with the content.

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        Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

        I have a strong body language and I talk with my hands too, so I have to be careful how I delivery the message I'm trying to get across. Over the years I have to adjust my message style and still work on it everyday.

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    I found the percentages of how communication is transmitted was significant. If everyone understood this breakdown, I believe we would have better communication results on a day-to-day basis. As leaders, we need to understand just how important not only what we say but how we say it will affect the outcome.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    The most important thing to take away from this lesson, is that it is not necessarily what you say but the how you say it. i don't believe that we give much thought to our body language when we are having a conversation, but according to this lesson the receiver is paying attention to it more than the words coming out of your mouth.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    This training module is one that I have a great interest in. We put a lot of focus on communication with our new hires during orientation and all throughout their training. We spend a lot of time going over deescalation tactics, conflict resolution and verbal judo. We stress the importance of professional communication and how using proper voice tone, word selection and body language can influence the outcome of every interaction.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    Sheriff Nash early on stated that our job "is to bring peace out of disorder, bring harmony out of disharmony." with the environment our young officers are beginning their careers at a difficult time. It is imperative that we discuss and teach the importance of this. Communication is a key gap to solving issues, as well as avoiding issues with the public, and co-workers alike. If people simply take a breath and show some empathy towards the public, this will buil a better relationship with those that we don't have a good image with. We need to recognize that we can't let those individuals baiting us into a confrontation get the best of us. If they get the reaction they want from us, instead of maintaining professionalism integrity, they win.

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    This module does well to remind us to embrace not overreacting to people we contact during our day to day runs. Some people just expect that their problems will be immediately remedied and that is usually hard to so quickly. In today's world of cameras, hyperbole, and unrealistic drama shows, we are expected to move quickly on situations. When in reality, wisdom and a methodical delivery of service is usually called for. Matrix points are things to consider as well.

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      Michael, you are correct. Sometimes our words are our worst enemy. We get busy and frustrated and forget to leave those feelings behind in our dealings with people. I try to remember that every encounter is a new chance to present the new you.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    The three elements of communication was most enlightening from this module. 1. Content 2. Voice 3. Non-verbals. These three concepts and their definitions and explanations spoke loudly to me as many of us in administration are tempted to focus too much time on the content of what we are saying when, as we have learned here, it is the non-verbals that are most impressed upon others. This is revelatory for those of us that have to both meet individually with others, as well as in group settings!

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    All three elements of communication are important for effective delivery of the content of messages in public safety. Public safety professionals are communicating daily, whether it is the phone, radio, etc., and have to be effective.

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      Deputy Mitchell Gahler

      Effective communication, along with it's delivery is important in order to gain trust and respect in others. When you tell someone that you are going to do something, follow up by doing it. This develops positive and trustworthy relationships which will be remembered for a lifetime.

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      Frank Acuna

      Very true, I can recall several times a dispatcher has made a remark over the radio that was misinterpreted due to their voice and inflection. It can cause tension because it lacks non-verbal cues.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    When I began my career in law enforcement, learning how to read someone’s body language was one of the first things I learned. Proactive communication is known for preventing problems rather than fixing them. Body language and non- verbal communication was important then and just as more important today. Communication is an essential element in an organization.

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    This was an interesting module on communication. Most of these concepts I have known about for quite some time. As a former FTO, I would spend a lot of time explaining how the context of words must match up with the physical body they were coming from. Traffic stops were the greatest teaching tool to prove these concepts to trainees. If you appeared confident while maneuvering through the details of the stop, it placed everyone at ease. If you walked up to a car timidly and muttering, you would get more pushback or attitude from the driver. As Sheriff Nash said, in his five maxims, grounding their expectations, in reality, allows you to control the outcomes.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    In the corrections field of law enforcement, effective communication is key. Being proactive while dealing with offenders, family, attorneys and anyone else you can imagine. We are placed in leadership positions to coach and mentor our officers to build them up to a higher standard. I enjoy listening to Sheriff Nash and believe proactive communication should be part of our new hire training. Teaching the newer recruits the elements of communication early can help them to learn de-escalating techniques before an issue arises.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    In law enforcement, effective communication is the key to success. I enjoyed this module because it verbalized some ways to be a better communicator. I especially liked Maxim 5 by ground expectations in reality you control the outcome. I look back on issues I have had and realize I responded to their words instead of their meaning.

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      Lt. Joseph Flavin

      I too can look back on issues I have had where I responded to the words rather than their meaning. This module was a good reminder that we need to cognizant of all the elements of communication.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    Excellent module by Sheriff Nash. One area I feel that the law enforcement community as a whole could improve in is de-escalation skills. The ability to control a situation by speaking calmly, instead of always thinking that a show of power and authority is the answer, is a much-needed skill. One way to improve our officer's ability is to make communication challenges an integral part of scenario-based training.

    Marlon Shuff

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      Marlon, I definitely agree with you. Especially with the current climate, we find ourselves in. I believe great communication skills and an officer's ability to de-escalate situations can effectively resolve most situations. If all law enforcement concentrated on this I believe that use of force incidents would decrease and trust from the public would increase. An effective communicator can handle most situations.

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      Sergeant James Schueller

      I firmly believe this as well. This is one of the biggest reasons why I support the Crisis Intervention Team concept and training that we have been utilizing since 2007. The de-escalation piece alone has really helped many Deputies and Officers shine in their communication skills, and has shown the power that empathy has in high stress situations. Both are situations where, as you pointed out, power and authority are not the answer.

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    Lt. Joseph Flavin

    When learning about the 3 elements of communication, I was surprised by the percentage breakdown of each; 7-10% based on content, 33-40% based upon our inflection, and 50-60% based on non-verbals. Effective communication has always been a key element in many of the modules and it is further emphasized here. How you say what you say and the your body language have to be in sync.

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      Sergeant Chad Blanchette

      It is certainly easy enough to rely on technology to communicate, but this module certainly did point out the value in the face to face communication.

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    I really took a lot away from this module. Anytime there is a lesson given on effective communication it is a win-win situation. Most downfalls of any organization can be captured in ineffective communication.
    I really learned how important voice and the non-verbal parts of communication can be. I was always really concerned with content. I know that content is important but I never really paid attention to harmonizing both the voice and non-verbal parts of communication. I am going to work on that going forward to assist in my communication skills with the public.

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      Great post. That was also my biggest take away from the module. After being married for 22 years you would think I would have learned this before. Its not always “what my wife” said to me, but “how she said it”. The emphasis on key words is critical.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      I agree completely. Some of this content step on my toes so to speak and made me look in the mirror. Very practical content and ways to make our communication more effective.

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    Sergeant James Schueller

    This was a very good module, and I liked one of Nash's beginning descriptions of Highest Ideal so f Law Enforcement; Harmony out of disharmony. Breaking down the three elements of communication- Content, Voice, and Non Verbals was a refresher of information learned in other courses, but very important to tying in the overall course content so far. It's always a good reminder of how much of our communication actually comes from our non verbals, although depending on the study, I have seen it to be much higher than the 50-60 % as stated here (again, considering the study you are looking at). The 5 Maxims of Proactive Communication were good and each showcased a particular skill. Content was a nice tie in to both Crisis Intervention and Negotiator skills, as there are common themes across all three. The Dimension-Control Matrix is very important to remember, especially when it comes to matters that come out in the media.

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    Deputy Mitchell Gahler

    A key part that I took from this module was in Maxim #5, as we need to be respectful, even in the face of disrespect. There are many times that we are disrespected within our profession and it’s important to stay grounded with control our words and actions. Although at times it may be very difficult, treat people with kindness and respect in order to get better results. Deliver when you tell someone that you’re going to do something. Control the outcome.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    After this lecture, and learning the Maximus of communication, l will be more mindful of responding to what people, specially dealing with subordinates, mean and not the words. This module drove home very important concepts I will practice at work with my subordinates and superiors. Especially when it comes to staying and being respectful in the face of disrespect. We are mature leaders that need to practice emotional Intelligence to combat wrong with right and bad with good. I really enjoy the concepts of verbal, non verbal and content. It is important to practice proactive communications on every encounter of our professional or personal life. Most mission failures are because of a communication breakdown. When communicating with people we must ensure that are words as leaders are in congruence with our actions to foster credibility and develop trust. Always do what you say you are going to do. Don’t ever make promises you can’t keep. Seems pretty basic and easy to do. However, not keeping your promise and not doing what you said you were going to do will invalidate credibility.
    At work l will use more conflict resolution strategies and will be more mindful of my non verbal form of communicating.

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    Frank Acuna

    The three elements of effective communication are essential for a leader to understand and actively work to control. Though what you say is important, the delivery system is more important as your voice and non-verbals can be misinterpreted and nullify your message. Nowadays, many people communicate via text or emails, which lack the ability to provide voice or non-verbal communication. Your message is the focus, and without voice and verbal cues, it can be taken out of context. It is important to deliver important messages in person and be aware that your voice and non-verbal communication is important to correctly portray your message.

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      Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree, this module makes me want to take step back from email when I can. It makes me think about how many times i have read a text message or email and been immediately put off by the content, come to find out later when speaking with the sender that that was in no way shape or form the intended message

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    Samantha Reps

    While talking about the three elements of communication being content, voice and non-verbal, I was a little surprised on the percentage piece in this lesson, 7-10% is based on content while 33-40% is based on your voice and how we relay the message and 50-60% is based on the non-verbal communication.
    While talking about the five maxims of proactive communication, in maxim five, he made the comment "I will be respectful even in the face of disrespect." Something that I will challenge myself on.

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    Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

    My first take away from this module is when Sheriff Nash mentioned harmony and disharmony. I like how he tied these two elements into the importance of proactive communication. Along with discussing harmony his demonstration of inflection upon certain words was a great way to explain how a spoken message can mean many different things depending up on the inflection and tone we use for certain words. This module makes me want to take a step back from email when possible. This module stressed how important nonverbally ques are to the reader and electronic forms don't convey that.

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      Christopher Lowrie

      I agree Ryan. Inflection and tone can change how a message comes across. We need to be careful with our verbal and non-verbal ques when communicating.

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    Sergeant Chad Blanchette

    This module was a great reminder of communication as a whole. With all of the technology available to us, it is certainly easy enough to become dependent on it. This module pointed out the cost of the convenience.

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      Ryan Manguson

      Agreed Chad. It is easy to fall into trap that can be technology when communicating. But as we were reminded in this module, much can be lost in communication though technology. Even with the best technology available, in person communication can be the best way to communicate the true meaning of your message.

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      Sergeant Kelly Lee

      Agreed Chad, I just spoke about the same thing saying we sometimes get frustrated when we are trying to deliver our message across the radio thinking everyone on the other end knows what we are talking about but we need to remember that they are not standing next to us and do not see what we see.

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    Kyle Turner

    This module included pretty straight forward concepts that offer a good reminder of the various forms of communication that you see and experience in every day life. Its a good reminder that as leaders in an organization, working on nonverbal communications is essential.

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    Ryan Manguson

    This was a good module with many great reminders on the concepts of communication. With advances in technology it can, at times, lost on people the importance of in person communications. As pointed out in this module, a lot of the message can be lost when you remove the non-verbal communication cues when using technology.

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      Sergeant Paul Gronholz

      I think we've learned that face to face communication is a necessity in order to be effective communicators. Too often, meanings are lost in translation when they are sent electronically or delivered by someone else. We need to get in front of people and have tough conversations in order to manage conflict and move forward.

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        I agree. I think in this time of pandemic, a lot of face to face communication has been lost but our jobs have been an exception. I do believe that is why we have been able to maintain progress in proactive communication while many in the private sector are losing out.

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      Sergeant Durand Ackman

      It was a great reminder for in person communication. I love technology and probably depend on it too frequently sometimes. The percentages for how the message is interpreted really surprised me and that alone proves the importance of in person communication vs sending an email, text or using the radio.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      Knowing the failure of a leader is through failed communications is essential. Understanding the maxims and the rationale as so little hinges on the content is highly important. Lately, one continually proves the maxims through the complaints filed by citizens.
      With body-worn cameras, we can hear and see the victim or complainant from the officer's standpoint, but the non-verbal actions are the mystery in determining the complaint's nature. Knowing the officers are doing the "right" thing by procedure, the way they deliver or fail to deliver empathy drives the spike in complaints.
      This challenge is difficult to address as many officers do not have a poker face or know what wording is required to promote the proper diffusion of the individual's attitude.

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    Sergeant Kelly Lee

    Great module that lays the foundation for what Proactive Communication is so important. I think lots of times us in law enforcement get frustrated with either dispatch or one of our partners when we are trying to verbalize over the radio of what we need and why we want it. We need to remember that those on the other end are only hearing the request they are not on site with us seeing what we are seeing and understanding the magnitude of what is happening. A section that made me laugh was the part talking about how our body language needs to match what we are actually saying. How many of us work with people that this is two different things for them and they give off two sets of information.

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    Sergeant Paul Gronholz

    This module was a good refresher for what was learned in past modules. One of the concepts that stick with me is one of the final things Sheriff Nash talked about. He said, "Proactive communications is the key element for leadership in the midst of chaos." Being proactive in regards to communications and training is so essential for police officers today. When things go bad, officers don't just rise to the occasion and miraculously things work out, they fall back on their level of training. I take my job very seriously knowing that the training we deliver will potentially save a life, or an officer's career.

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      I agree with Sgt. Gronholz and Sheriff Nash on the importance of being proactive in regards to communications and training. Taking the time to invest in proactive communications with key stake-holders develops trust. LTC Levin pointed out in Module #1 "Military Leadership" that trust is your currency as a leader that you withdraw during times of crisis. Providing your team with the requisite pre-training also pays big dividends when the balloon goes up. It has been shown time and time again that trained staff respond to situations better than untrained staff who tend to "wing-it". While no training is perfect, some training should help the leader put the situation in the right quadrant on the Dimension- Control Matrix.

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    Sergeant Durand Ackman

    Good reminder once again on the importance of good communication. I liked the breakdown of how communication is understood via the content versus the delivery method. The percentages were interesting as I've always known what you say doesn't mean as much as how you say it but vast difference in the percentages still surprised me. The five maxims are good standards to follow and I liked the example he gave for grounding someone's expectations so you can control the outcome.

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      I agree, I had no ideas about the low percentage of the "content" of our message. It makes sense after he explains it. Body language is huge! The simplest look in the eye can have drastically different meanings. And to his point, we are trained to read people, we should all be experts in this area of study.

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      Brad Strouf

      I agree with your last statement. I found the five maxims valuable, especially the fifth. I haven't heard the term "verbal judo" in many years, but it's interesting that is still being applied and has value.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    This was a great demonstration on how was receive communication. Most people get what you didn't say by non-verbal action then what you actual said verbally. This was definitely for me, I am very non-verbal and did not realize how people perceive what you are not saying just by the body language. I will surely check myself on this.

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    One key takeaway from this module was the fact that our proactive communication relies heavily on the voice and nonverbal elements. The content is close to useless without effective voice and nonverbal delivery. The delivery system is vital in effective, proactive communication. After viewing this module, I truly understand why communication in times of chaos are lost or ineffective.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    Truly enjoyed this module, Found this relevant and crucial for every officer and definitely a leader. The 3 elements of effective communication: content, voice, and non-verbal makes perfect sense. Found it interesting that only 7-10% involved content. This explains the impact of face to face interaction versus email, etc. The 5 maxims of effective communication fits perfect into the daily world we operate.

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    Lieutenant Jennifer Hodgman

    This was an interesting lecture on communication, particularly the differing percentages regarding the delivery of the content. I know that going forward when communicating with people, especially subordinates, I will take the time to focus on my voice and body language to ensure I am getting the message across with the correct intentions.

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    Lieutenant Jennifer Hodgman

    I agree with you Timothy on the 5 maxims of effective communication fitting perfectly into the daily world we operate. It requires one to slow down and think about what we say, taking time to make sure we are being empathetic.

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      Maja Donohue

      I agree Lieutenant. We get so caught up in the moment that we forget to think before we speak. Empathy goes a long way, but so does self-awareness. We have to be in the moment and be willing to listen to improve communication with others.

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    I'm glad Sheriff Nash touched on De-escalation. In toady's law enforcement field, the courts have held that we must try some sort of de-escalation. Its a good thing to do and its the right thing to do. Sheriff Nash put into words something I was taught years ago; "If you want people to act calm, then YOU need to act calm". This can be a hard skill, even for the most experienced of officers.

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    I really like Sheriff Nash as an instructor, and he was well suited for teaching a class on communication. It was a very good reminder that the majority of our communication was through body language and aspects related to voice. It's no wonder people stress over text messages and emails. Or the ones that feel the need to wait for someone to like their post. The Five Maxims were also interesting. The two I get the most complaints about from citizens is #2 “not so much what you say and the example he gave for #5 “by grounding their expectations”. Back in the day I've seen officers get back in their car and drive off when someone was giving them a hard time about response time and their world falling apart. What's worse is they learned that from someone else and we didn't teach them how they should have handled the situation. It never hurts to have a reminder that people call us because they have no one else to call (regardless of how they appear when we get their) and our job is to solve problems.

    Good module!

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      Half of communication is the receiver and how they interpret. How many times, to your point, have you received that email or text message and took it completely wrong. How many times have we been the sender of those same messages? Something to think about. The safest rule of thumb is to never communicate in writing something appearing negative or controversial.

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    Maja Donohue

    When I think about proactive communication, I usually think about it in the context of planning ahead, which was covered at the end of this module. But Sheriff Nash also described proactive communication as an interpersonal communication strategy. Being proactive in this context means being self-aware and paying attention to content, voice, and non-verbal communication. It’s always interesting to hear how much of our communication is linked to body language, and I guess that is perhaps why we sometimes fail to communicate effectively. Communication is complex because people are complex, so we must continue to work on this skill to be better leaders.

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      Robert Schei

      I couldn't agree more, you can test the whole nonverbal communication thing at home to see how effective you are communicating. Example: my wife walks into the room that I am watching tv in, she asks excitedly do you like my new outfit? Without looking up from the tv I respond, yeah looks great dear. I get smacked - end of story. Non verbal communication is essential to giving the message you intend.

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    I found Sheriff Nash's Communication Maxims very informative. I could not agree more with his first Maxim regarding leaders taking responsibility for their communications failures. How many times has someone apologized for a communications failure but turned around and did it all over again later on. That person clearly did not learn from their mistake. I think that Maxims #2 and #3 are synonymous with each other.. It all comes down to how you say something and if you can control those non-verbal ques. I have been told that I have a unique gift that allows me to tune out extraneous conversations. probably got this from working in military command posts over the years and it has served me well in law enforcement situations as well. In that context you have to drown out all the other noise/ activity to get your job done. While that sounds good, there is a draw back. When I do it and others are around, my body language makes it appear that I am disinterested in other peoples conversations. I am very conscious of how this appears and work to minimize my body language in those situations. The rubber really meets the road with Maxims #4 and #5 because this is the application piece. Both of these Maxims provide sound advice on how to respond and control the conversation in your favor.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    I enjoyed the lesson about how inflection on different words in a sentence can significantly change the meaning. I need to be careful on how I communicate with others so my message is not misunderstood.

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    Nicole Oakes

    I have been a crisis negotiator for 21 years. The skills discussed in this module apply on a personal and professional level and help with communication on every level.

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    Robert Schei

    Sheriff Nash began this module by stating, "the highest ideal of law enforcement is to bring peace out of disorder, to bring harmony out of disharmony". A great message to begin the proactive communication module. Effective communication should be your greatest and most useful tool in your tool bag.

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      Bringing order from chaos is a skill. I find that keeping myself calm in those high-stress situations is a must! We all know officers who go sky high with emotion at the first sight of a chaotic event. It just stirs the stress up for everyone. I like his point on how radio communication is often ineffective. A high-strung dispatcher can make your heart skip a beat with one simple radio communication. As a good leader, you can bring calm to the situation. And you must.

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    Great module! I think we can all relate pretty well to this topic. How we engage people as police, in the heat of their moment, is the key to ultimate success or failure. I would also say it adds to the stereotype some have for officers, that we're unsympathetic, rude, macho, etc. Younger officers have it the worst in my opinion. As you get older, get married, have kids, etc, your ability to empathize with people you encounter in the duties of your job is much easier. How does a young officer empathize with a domestic call?
    How we say our message and our non-verbal actions says it all. Anyone who has kids knows non-verbal communication all too well! Defuse, empathize and be a help to people. Keep your own emotions in check, that's called maturity and character.

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    I found this module quite interesting. I have always known that communication is important, but I haven't really thought about how ineffective radio transmissions can be at times. Yes, it may allow people to relay a message, but it often creates a lot of issues when their are different tones used in voices and people aren't able to the others body language or facial expressions. We have a lot less issues with face to face conversations in our agency versus e-mail and radio conversations. It seems to be a hot topic often about how someone said something through text or how they had an attitude over the radio. While relaying messages through something besides face to face, it is important for all of us to keep our emotions in line and not say something or use a tone that is inappropriate.

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    So much of the infliction in communication seems to get lost in translation through text messaging these days. I believe that if there is a large probability that some message maybe misunderstood there should be a face to face meeting to confirm the clarity of the communication.

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    Brad Strouf

    While it wasn't too surprising to see the delivery system of communication is more important than the content itself, I was surprised at the percentages attributed to the content. I wouldn't have thought it would be as low as it is. Given this knowledge, I will pay much more attention to the delivery system in my own communications.

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      Andy Opperman

      I wish we would teach more effective communication classes early on in a officers career. Even at the academy level we do not spend enough time teaching officers to become effective communicators. I think heavy training on effective communication for new officers would really reduce officer complaints and help officers better understand a citizen's emotional response to calls for service they are involved in.

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        Sgt. Shawn Wilson

        Agreed. We should not expect our officers to learn this on the job through experience but prepare them by training them to effectively communicate and convey empathy.

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    Andy Opperman

    The 3 elements of communication portion of this module helped to define the importance of practicing emotional intelligence. I cannot tell you how many times I have taken complaints on officers that were simply affected by the officer’s non-verbal cues. Based the fact that 50-60 percent of peoples perceptions are based on how we say things, emotional intelligence and empathy are extremely important. A lot of these communication lessons come from an officer’s time on the job and experiences. The faster we can train young officers to understand the impact of their voice inflection and body language on citizens the better their career will be, and the more effective on calls the officers will be.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    While the math shows the importance of verbal and non-verbal cues, it concerns that human nature leads us to ignore the message. Too often, perceived feelings or emotions cloud the importance of a message. One also observes that often a message with self-explanatory content is misunderstood. People assuming the individual who sent it were in a certain mood based on past actions. This behavior then sends others into emotional responses, and it spreads like cancer. If, in the beginning, one took the emotion and preconceived thoughts of what the messenger "felt" at the time, one can avoid a lot of wasted energy with infighting and anger. Blaming non-verbal or inflections is, to an extent, a scapegoat for the failure of reading comprehension or actively listening.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    When I first hired on one of my weakest points was communication and the majority of complaints received could have been prevented by a better understanding of not getting caught up in the words but understand their meaning by showing a high degree of empathy. Understanding communication and ho wit works as to content, voice and non-verbals will allow us to diffuse the majority of situations.