- Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module. Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
- After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them.
Effective communication is one of the most important skills that any individual can possess, both within an organization and when interacting with the public. Sheriff Nash’s mention of the three elements of communication - content, voice, and non-verbal - is particularly noteworthy. Unfortunately, many people struggle with effectively conveying their message in a way that does not create friction or misunderstanding. It is an ongoing process, but by being aware of the different elements of communication and continuing to practice them will help us stay on the positive side of the communication exchange.
I am 100% on board with this lecture by Sheriff Nash. Non verbal communication was a big takeaway for me I can remember several times a person was saying one thing with their mouth and something totally different with their body language. We as supervisors have to ensure our communications are harmonized so the true content is not lost in translation.
The three elements of communication are important for all of us to understand and remember in our professional and personal lives. 7-10% of communication is based content, 33-40% is based on voice, and 50-60% is based on non-verbal - statistics to consider when interacting not only with citizens and the public, but with our peers as well.
That's a valid point to remember when dealing with each other as well as subordinates. Our attitude sets the tempo for the organization.
Sheriff Nash's recommendation from Maxim five is communication gold. "Sir, I understand why you are upset. But I am here to help. Now that I am here, I am going to tell you exactly how I will help". Respond to the meaning, not the message. These are tools I will share with every officer.
These were great lessons. I intend to share these also.
In listening to the lecture I found the differential between what we hear and what we see to be fairly dramatic and higher in the percentages than I would have thought. When what say only hits 7-10% in comparison to the deliver mechanism levels was hard to understand at first. But I started to replay some emotional conversations I have had with employees and found that the actions and movements of the person either helped me to understand their stressors or what was making them emotional.
I made sense after he explained it, but without the examples, I was surprised by the statistics he attached to this. This module has a tremendous amount of value to leaders and non-ranking officers.
Communication internally and externally is big to me. Understanding the “value” and “weight” of the words we choose is critical to how effective we are. Paired with our tone and body language (harmonized), has in my experience been the difference is understanding and clarity. I agree with the five maxims named by Sheriff Nash. In my experience, 100% of the time, maxims two and four make or break the conversation. The speed in which we recognize, find common understanding, and express an empathetic response directly correlates to our successes at managing chaos.
The way we communicate to each other determines the outcome of the situation. We have all heard the dispatcher, supervisor, etc., explain something to us and they seem aggravated, uninterested, or discussed. How is that supposed to make us feel? I believe we mimic what we hear in most cases. If the communicator is “off”, than they message will be “off”. We need to make sure that we communicate in a professional way so that it’s not misinterpreted or misunderstood. We wouldn’t want our subordinates to do a bad job or misrepresent something wrong because of what we said.
Chad, in reading your response I was hit with an idea that was about supervisors communicating directives I pass down to the troops. There are times I have to send them the check the box types of training or mandatory reminders, not because they do not know but due to regulations we have to do the deed. I have pictured the mechanism that the sergeants performed the roll call training and I would have to bet that the delivery system was as uninterested as the message thereby doubling down on the negative receipt of the message.
I like maximum #4, "Respond to their meaning, not what they are saying." Too many times officers take a citizen venting personal. Most of the time they are just upset with the situation they are in or the badge you are wearing, not the individual.
100% agree. Too often I have seen it become personal to the officers around me. While our profession requires personal investment to be successful, we must remember that we represent the rule of law in our professional interactions. This means when we are accosted and demonized, it is the badge and uniform that is being accosted and demonized and not the person wearing it. (This is extremely difficult to accept and adapt to I know).
A key takeaway for me is to remember "it's not so much what you say, but how you say it," as (Nash, 2017) stated. It is easy within our profession to become cynical or jaded, and our communication may suffer as a result. Therefore, we must be proactive in ensuring that our communication will be received as we intended.
I agree with you 100% Daniel. If we are not careful, these communication faults can and will carry over into our personal lives too.
Sherrif Nash stated there are three elements of a leader, character, competency, and communication is what distinguishes a good leader. The ability to communicate, to communicate a vision, to communicate directives, to take charge of a situation with their ability to pass on information. I felt this was a good measuring stick of what is required to be a leader. There was a lot of good content in this block about communication and the importance of using all three aspects of content, vocal and non-verbal. Everything was on point.
I liked the concept of harmonizing your message with your voice and non-verbals. I think it is easy for law enforcement to display frustration in their non-verbal communication, especially if a situation is with someone who is difficult to communicate with or is a person who is a "frequent flyer". Understanding that your delivery system makes up over 90% of our communication can help us work on how effectively we deliver the message.
Matt, you are on point with your observation. The three elements of communication put to use at one time are the key to proper communication and experience doing so sure helps.
In this module I found most interesting was during section six (6) covering the three (3) elements of communication and the percentages associated with each of the delivery systems. 7-10% is received from the content or the message of what we say or what we are trying to communicate, 33-40% from the voice - how we use our voice (inflection, pace, etc..) in our delivery, and lastly, 50-60% of Non-verbal such as your body language, gestures and facial expressions. With all these variable s to process, it is easy to understand how communication can or do get misunderstood or the intent of the message lost.
Nash stated # 4 of the 5 Maxims: "respond to the meaning, do not react to the words.” This will forever be one of the most extensive problem areas we deal with in communication. At home or work, explaining our thoughts in a process where the other person understands what we are thinking is extremely difficult. If it’s not said in the right tone, with the correct body language, or at the right time, people’s egos will always get in the way, and people will react to the meaning they feel, not what you think. This is our main challenge.
Having great communications skills are essential for everyone to build successful relationships, especially in the field of law enforcement. The dialect and delivery can build or destroy relationships during interactions. Sheriff Nash has a great way of explaining the importance of proactive communication. I enjoyed this module!!
I enjoyed this modules a s well as you did. Possessing great communication skill is the key in our profession. We must take the time to ensure that our message is delivered correctly and well as received correctly from top down and back up from bottom to the top. It is our responsibility to make sure that what we say or trying to say is properly communicated.
This content in the module is very important today, with so much communication done by emails and social media. It is essential to consider how the message will be received. I have seen people react to an email negatively simply by their interpretations of the tone of the email.
Between emails at work and texting your spouse, we have all seen misunderstanding at its best through these. We rely too much on communication through this process and neglect face to face. Many people don't want to deal with having to answer to the other person with constant feedback at that time. Emails and texts allow people to figure out what they want to say even though it still comes out wrong, and you don't have words to make someone understand what you are saying the way it's being thought of in your mind.
Managing by email is becoming more popular. Unfortunately, misinterpretation regularly happens within these non-verbal types. Leaders have to take the time to have face-to-face contact.
The content of this lecture was more specific than other training I have had in this subject. Most training in communication seems to deal with verbal and non-verbal cues in potentially high-stress situations. More emphasis should be placed on simply understanding the meaning behind what someone is saying, as suggested in the lecture.
Joseph Spadoni, Jr.
I enjoyed the lecture by Sheriff Ray Nash. Of all the modules discussing communication his way of teaching set with me the most. As leaders, we need to be able to communicate during times of chaos. We must do as Sheriff Nash stated, “bring peace out of disorder, bring harmony out of disharmony.” Sheriff Nash’s lecture on the three elements of communication with content, voice, and nonverbal particularly stood out to me. The content of the message we deliver with voice and nonverbal body language can speak volumes. It can bring a hostile situation down or can bring a calm situation to an agitated state quickly.
Another take on communication and its effects it can have on individuals. Controlling our ability to communicate through chaos is essential to being effective in that situation. Sheriff Nash does a great job going through the ins and outs of communication in law enforcement and the crippling effects it can have on a situation.
Most of have seen volatile situations involving a large number of officers and poor communication leading to delaying the intended outcomes. After such incidents where communication was excellent, many openly expressed relief that those in charge clear understood the situations and clearly communicated was to resolution. Clear communication with situational understanding has a deep impact on team members.
I like the idea of controlling the outcome of a situation. It is a great tool for not only LEO's in the field but also supervisors passing along information to staff.
This was a great lesson on how to effectively communicate during chaos. I have learned this in the military through several leadership classes. I always pick up new and exciting information every time. This is what I try to teach some of the rookie officers because they tend to wear their feeling on their shoulders.
One of the first lessons I learned in law enforcement was not to take the anger directed at me to heart. On a complaint, officers are there to start an investigation, not an argument. People are in crisis and don't know what to do.
I agree. As law enforcement we need to be able to deescalate the situations to better understand what has happened.
It's hard to not have an emotional reaction when people are yelling at you. This becomes easier as we become older and wiser.
I agree and often have to catch myself in situation to keep from reacting negatively.
This was a very good lecture by Sheriff Nash. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the Verbal Judo training early in my career. The five maxims are a reminder of that training. Maxim #4, "Respond to their meaning, do not react to their words." is the one most difficult to follow. Those egos get in the way and make it hard not to react.
This module plays into what was taught in I&I (Interview and Integration). Listen to the words and watch the body language. You will be able to learn to read between the lines and gain insight into what they are neglecting to tell you.
Sheriff Nash spoke of the five maxims of proactive communication. I have heard many of these throughout my career, with some variation in wording but overall holding the same meaning. Maxim four stated, “Respond to their meaning, do not react to their words. I worked for a Lieutenant that told everyone, “Do not get emotionally attached.” Which is saying the same thing. Anger is often directed at a situation and not the officer; this is a message we must convey to our people.
Face to face communication is more effective than text or email. Much is lost though translation with text and emails.
Kecia, I agree. All too often we fall into technology to deliver our messages where they can be misconstrued. I think face to face communication can't be beat with the delivery of a message by allowing our the content of our message be heard with our voice and nonverbal body language.
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 voice non-verbal is quite evident when I'm communicating and is often perceived as being negative and shows my lack of interest in the conversation. I have had to teach myself to remain engaged in conversations.
I found these percentages interesting as well. When officers come to my office, and I am working on something, I don’t always stop and give them my undivided attention. My non-verbal language unintentionally tells them I am uninterested or do not feel what they are saying is important. I will focus on changing my behavior.
This is something I struggle with as well and even though I am hearing what is being said, the appearances are what ultimately matter to the speaker.
I agree and I believe we often give off more non-verbal clues than we think. Especially when we may be dealing with an array of different things at once.
This module shows that to communicate with others must be done with the best outcome in mind. In a volatile situation, your way of communicating can deescalate the situation or cause it to spiral out of control. You should always remember you method of communication could make you or break you.
I agree. I sometimes find myself doing the same things. I must also work to do better.
This was a really informative module, and I particularly learned mush from the Dimension-Control matrix. I will utilize those lessons in the future in planning responses to situations. I also liked the section about responding to the meaning, rather than reacting to peoples' words, with empathy. We have verbal judo training at my agency as well, but this module had deeper insight.
I like Sheriff Nash and his delivery of the lesson. This solidifies everything he discussed, and I can tell you that it was received well. The percentage of what we are trying to convey in terms of body language and tone and delivery was eye opening.
Sometimes I forget how critical nonverbal cues are when dealing with someone.
Proactive Communication: An underlying theme throughout the course, developing trust through communicating. This is the fuel that drives positive relationships. However, this module introduced some staggering stats when you consider your “delivery system”, that is, your voice tone and nonverbal gestures.
Regarding “respond to the meaning of the words and not the words themselves” is salient advice. How many times have you yourself or have you seen another LEO respond to the words and not the meaning? This quickly becomes an adversarial encounter where no one wins. The LEO becomes personally involved in the situation and is no longer seen as an objective arbitrator or someone who can help. This will set you up for conflict with the alleged victim. Like Sheriff Nash said, this is amateur hour. As important as this topic is, it receives very little attention throughout a LEO’s career when compared to firearms proficiency and basic survival skills. If it did receive more attention, I think LEO’s use of force would be drastically reduced because if you’re not part of the solution, your part of the problem.
Maxim number 2 showed the importance of your message delivery. When communicating with people we must make sure that our words as leaders are in congruence with our actions to develop credibility and trust.
I am grateful for the explanation Nash gave on grounding expectations. In my section, we've recently been working on methods for communicating with victims of crimes, in large part because our leadership team recognized that people had very different expectations of what our investigators do than reality. We've been trying to develop ways to tell citizens how investigations work. It's been interesting that there has been more resistance to these processes than I would have expected. Our culture has somehow been so guarded that it feels threatening to people to communicate more. For that reason, I'm looking forward to passing on this section of this module to help better explain the importance of communicating with our victims. . .so that we are better grounding their expectations in reality.
Proactive communication is such an important element in what we do as leaders. Unfortunately, there are too many times we attempt to lead through email, directives, or some other written form. We must spend more time getting in front of our officers in person or creating a video where they can hear our voice, see our face, and understand our hearts. We are not perfect, and we have our faults. It is good for our officers to see us make mistakes from time to time. Additionally, when we speak with our officers in person, it develops relationships and trust. When we have a trusting relationship, they will help us not fail and will better understand when we do things to help them not fail. When our officers understand our desires, the purpose behind our directives, and can interact during the delivery phase, messaging will become clearer. I believe this could occur merely through a culture shift, but I am confident it will create more effective message delivery.
I thought the Dimension Matrix was a great example of how to break down situations and develop a response. Our agency has recently implemented ways of getting out in front of chaotic situations by being transparent. Instead of allowing the media to spin it the way they want to when they break the story, we break the story through our media department. This is done through social media and news releases. I believe this has been successful in moving Quadrant D situations into Quadrant C.
That is a great example with the media, Dan, and one I will use in the future. I, too, thought the section on the Dimension matrix was particularly helpful and it will be a useful tool for me to analyze situations in the future.
The five maxims of proactive communication presented sound principles for effective communication. Maxim number four, "Respond to their meaning, do not react to their words", stood out to me. As a young officer, I definitely gave the amateur officer's response. It is important to help officers understand this and make sure I apply this maxim when dealing with community members and members of the department. Sometimes, officers bring issues to me and may speak with their emotions. It is important I don't only react to the words they say, but I must remain professional and help to address the situation appropriately. If I respond as the amateur officer described in this module, I fail to build trust and develop stronger relationships with those I am communicating with.
I believe I have had, and maybe still occasionally have some of those amateur responses. I highlighted something the lecturer said in that we will always respond with respect. I have always laughed when people say they will not respect someone when the other person respects them. My response has always been that somebody has to show respect first. I agree we must create a culture where our innate response is to show respect to others even when they do not deserve it. This of course goes back to being a meek person who is not easily offended. I hope moving forward more of us can step away from our amateur responses and instead live in a culture of respect.
Jeremy, I agree with you entirely with emphasizing for our people that someone has to start the respecting. At the end of the day, we are the ones being paid to, so we should be the ones to start. The way I've explained this to officers, though, is that we hired you because you are better than most people. Because of that, we are expected to behave better than them too. It doesn't matter whether or not they "Deserve" to be treated with respect and dignity. We treat people with these because of who we are, not because of who they are.
Good point. I agree.
I knew that tone and body language made up a large component to communication, but i did not realize it was that much. I also did not realize that you should focus more on the meaning than what was said, as I tend to focus on that with my employees. That changes today. I believe in person communication is better than phone or text. It is amazing how you can almost see what they are saying when they are saying it.
I also prefer in person communication. Sometimes there are misunderstandings based solely on someone misinterpreting the way something was communicated because they were unable to capture verbal and non-verbal cues.
I agree. I'm a talker so I much prefer to communicate face to face. Verbal communication is more effective than written.
Face to face conversations minimize the risk of miscommunication and it develops better work relationships.
Devon, I agree, have had many text and e-males that were misunderstood.
I have often seen way too often when a normal situation takes a turn for the worst solely based on the officer's attitude. We must also keep in mind our body non-verbal actions as well as our tone of voice.
Absolutely, I too have seen this many times. I have several young officers on my shift now and they are still trying to figure this out.
I remember figuring this out the hard way for myself too. We need to be more deliberate about teaching how to avoid this in the academy and field training.
I found the five maxims of proactive communication very informative. Working in our investigations division for several years I learned that non-verbal communication is critical during an interview or interrogation. This modality of communication carries over into every aspect of how we communicate internally and externally. I know I have been on the receiving end of having a discussion with my supervisor over something I said. I remember feeling lost in this conversation, but I knew my intent, but the receiver got a different message. I try to be more intentional when the conversation is critical, to match my content, voice, and body language to deliver a consistent message.
I never realized the magnitude our delivery has on our intended communication. However, as I thought about past experiences of poor outcomes, I realized it was exactly due to a poor or careless delivery of my thoughts. This created a situation where I had to backtrack and really work hard to fix the situation. Unfortunately, trust was damaged and it took time to repair it. Careful, thoughtful communication could have saved me a ton of time and could have built a stronger relationship.
This module talks about proactive communication and how we should work to control how we use communication to better our agency. By working on the way that we communicate with our people and our community, verbal and non-verbal, we can set ourselves up for situations that come in the future. When we have good relationships due to the ability to effectively communicate then we can navigate through crises easier in the future.
This module teaches us that words can control or create complete kayos in certain situations. I have found that in my career as a police officer, words can affect others and the way they respond to conflict. People are easily offended when words come from an authority-type figure. You can have the best delivery in any incident, but people immediately get defensive because you are an authority figure. When speaking to people in an incident, we should show compassion and respond based on the incident at hand. We should also remember that we can de-escalate the problem, not escalate it.
I also appreciate the decision-control matrix discussed by Sheriff Nash. It outlines how when an organization should respond to an incident based on where it fell within the matrix. If an issue was of low control and low dimension, typically this would not have a significant impact on the organization. Conversely, a situation was is low control but high dimension will have a significant impact on the organization and it is incubated on the organization to get the right message out the first time.
I liked Sheriff Nash’s five maxims of communication, and they were common sense and easy to follow. To me, it fits with the three elements of communication. Such as maxim one said, “failure to clearly communicate is a leadership failure.” That maxim ultimately summed up why the content of the message, voice, and non-verbal communication is so important.
That is true Mahan! Failure to communicate clearly communicate is a leadership failure. When you are a leader, one of the foundations is communicating effectively! Leaders are not perfect but a true leader adapts and overcomes any situation.
This module re-enforces that our actions do not support our words, people will believe our actions. This is difficult for many of us to master, but ulimately if you want our message to be heard we have to make sure our body language and tone of voice convey it correctly.
Dustin, I hate to disagree, but I felt this module said actions do support the words. Non-verbal cues can be in your actions.
I found this lecture to be very interesting. I know that the delivery of message is very important, as I sometimes struggle with mine, however I was surprised at the statistics presented in the elements of communication. I also found the 5 Maxims to be very helpful. Maxim number 4 is very true and very relevant and probably one of the hardest ones to master. Many people find it hard not to take things personally especially when they are fatigued and on the 13th hour of their 10-hour shift. I think it provides good re-direction of focus to help when dealing that type of person.
One of the things I found interesting and valuable in this module was the Dimension Control Matrix. I thought of several situations where I could have moved situations from Quad D to C. This is something I will think about in the future and refer to when needed. Another area in this lesson I can relate to is the power of non-verbal’s and how important it is for us to be mindful of our body language. I found it interesting that they are only 60% of communication. I anticipated a higher percentage.
This module explained the three levels of communication, which are: content, voice, and no-verbal. I truly believe how important this is. When interacting with others you have to pay attention to your tone and inflection as well as your non-verbal cues. The content of what you are saying can seriously be misinterpreted if you project the wrong tone and non-verbal cues. I liked the information provided about the five maxims of proactive communication. This just re-enforces you have to have good communication when interacting with others, whether that be the public or within the agency.
This module that Sheriff Nash provided was very informative and valuable. I really enjoyed the examples he provided to help explain the importance of being Proactive in communicating. I feel he is totally correct when he stated that effective communication is based upon relationships and those relationships should be formed before a crisis arises. We as leaders must invest time in building strong relationships internally and externally. So, citizens and employees will trust what we say and understand that we have their best interest in mind.
You're right Johnathan. Building trust, thereby building relationships, help us communicate so much more effectively in times of crisis because people know us. Even if our tone or body language is off from our message, our relationships will help the receiver see through that during a crisis and understand what we are trying to see.
Jonathan - The fact that communication and relationships come down to trust continues to reinforce the fact that trust is one of the most important things that leaders can have and work on. Every module seems to talk about the fact that trust is vitally important to leadership.
The module outlined how the power of life and death lives in our tongue. During my career, I have worked with guys that still have hurt feelings today over something that was said years ago that could not be taken back. This lesson was a good reminder to “think” before we “speak” so we don’t say something that we will live to regret for the rest of our lives.
Joey, you are correct. I have also witnessed during my career how people will hold grudges for years over something that was said. It is a good reminder to think before we speak.
Joey, i completely agree with you. I have worked with those same people who harbor resentment for what was said many years ago. Because someone did not think about the words they used and how they delivered the message, it created a divide in the organization and changed relationships forever.
I think it has been well established that non-verbals and the delivery as a whole greatly affect the message, but the five maxims provided good insight into some of the "why" we need to communicate in a proactive manner. The Control-Dimension Matrix was a helpful new way to look at crisis within an agency, as was the understanding that command need to mostly stay out of A and B. I personally I have a bad habit of interjecting myself where I may not always need to.
Trent, great post. The Matrix does assist in placing a situation in perspective.
This module outlines pro-active communication and provides what is needed to ensure that we clearly communicate what is needed so that others understand the information we are trying to provide. The 3 elements of Communication are very true and are equally important in the effective delivery of the content in our message.
This module is a good reminder of the importance of being able to not react to what people are saying. I think that proactive communication skills fall within emotional intelligence. It is important to bypass your emotions when someone is upset or yelling at you. It is also a great reminder of the weight contrast between verbal and non-verbal communication. The common phrase Chief Nash hit on over the module was, "It's not what you say, but how you say it." Sometimes I find myself giving different messages via body-language or tone then the words that I am actually saying.
I think you are on the money in reference to being able to bypass your emotions as a sign of emotional intelligence during confrontations. Also, I think it is reflective of control our self impressions when we recognize that our body language and tone do not reflect our words. Even if it isn't anger or frustration, but just being tired at the end of the day, yet our words tell someone something positive, they won't receive it as such if our delivery says we are too tired to actually care.
I have to agree with you Jared. I find that I have to readjust myself when someone has gotten so emotional and begins to get upset when speaking to me. It is something I am working on. I really enjoyed the information Chief Nash was able to share from this module. I found it very informative.
I found this module interesting. I was surprised to learn that 50-60% percent of effective communication is based on non-verbal cues. I would have guessed content was the most important. In regards to crisis situations, I have to agree with the instructor, communication is key to success. I've been involved in many crisis situations throughout my career, and the leaders who were able to communicate with patience, control, and understanding of the situation were always the most successful.
I was surprised at the percentages too. I knew non-verbal cues were important during a conversation, but I did not realize they held that much weight. I also agree with the statement of communication is key to success. I mentioned in my post that this type of communication falls right into emotional intelligence, which you have given a great example of with the crisis situations.
How the message is being delivered can make or break an interaction with somebody. "Use of Voice not Force" by Fred Jones on YouTube is a great video that I feel relates to this module. It's all about how we communicate and everyone must understand how body language, your voice, and the content effects the message being delivered.
The 5 maxims of proactive communication are great items to remember. It drives home the point that people have tried to relay to me for years reference to non-verbal cues. Body language is very important to what is being said at any given time. It is something I must work hard to improve.
I feel like this module took us back to emotional intelligence again. As being self aware is a primary aspect of good communication. Being able to be empathetic and genuine will usually go a long way with the public and our co workers. We are working in an era of police distrust currently that is propagated by poor communication skills, be it it in the moment or the aftermath with Police Chiefs and how they have addressed the public and media alike.
I feel the same way. Definitely takes you back to emotional intelligence and makes you think about that. Being empathetic and genuine has been mentioned many times over the various modules.
I’ve been teaching these fundamentals for years. It is taken directly from Dr. Thomspon’s training on De-Escalation, or as he liked to say, “Verbal Judo” – often with a whoosh and swift movement of his arms for emphasis!
The concept of Dimension-Control is good to understand, but it would have been more helpful, in my opinion, to go into greater depth on this concept and how agencies can work through various situations using this chart as a basis. The information this week, was a bit weak.
I found this module to be a good reminder of the importance of practicing verbal de-escalation skills in all interactions as well as the impact that non-verbal communication can have. As a de-escalation instructor, one of the hardest ideas to instill in officers (as well as myself at times) is the ability to filter out the emotions and to find the meaning of what is being said. This is especially hard to accomplish in chaotic and emotionally charged events.
I agree Donald that de-escalation or verbal judo is an officers best weapon at times. I think all of us can reflect on an incident where we had to use this tactic be it with the public or our own partner on the street.
I agree and can reflect on many incidents where verbal judo de-escalated a situation. This is a great skill to learn.
I really enjoyed this module by Nash. I knew that the tone and non-verbals of delivering the message had more meaning but I did not realize how much. For myself, I work hard on my tone to not sound condescending or overbearing. The delivery definitely has an impact on believability. I have an officer that cannot wrap her head around why the tone of her voice on the radio sounds so negative. Everyone knows what type of mood she’s in depending on how she sounds.
Unfortunately, I think we all have at least one officer that falls into this category. Maybe worse than that is the emotionally charged dispatcher who airs calls that tend to elevate the heart rate of officers.
This module does a great job of describing and explaining the importance of the three elements of communication. I see many new officers come in and struggle with being able to communicate effectively. Whether that be verbal, non verbal or through writing. I make it a clear point each time to explain to them that majority of this job is being able to communicate efficiently and effectively.
I found it very interesting that content makes up so little in our communication with people. Keeping this in mind and how much body language and voice tone account for the delivery of the message, I need to constantly be aware of that because I wear my emotions on my sleeve. This was a good module for me to remind me of these specific elements in communication.
Doing a little self reflecting after this module, and I have realized for quite some time, that there are times when I do not communicate effectively and a lot of that is based on the fact that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. My body language, which is critical in how the message I am trying to deliver is perceived, definitely does not match the message at times. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in all that is going on in my world (work, home, etc.), I have to remind myself that our people are our most important asset and I need to focus on their messaging so I can better understand their meaning in order to be able to effectively respond. Organizationally, this module is all about impact versus intent. And having a grounded, well established relationship with internal and external partners is the only saving grace in the event of a crisis, because it will be that trust, that empathy, which will allow room for forgiveness and growth when mistakes are made.
I, too, wear my emotions on my sleeve, Jonathan. Something I constantly have to be aware of in my communication with people. Knowing that 50-60 percent of communication comes from non-verbal indicators is even more of a reason to be cognizant of my body language.
Sheriff Nash described the three elements of communication as building on one another to achieve greater effectiveness. It certainly is true that your inflection of how you say something can change how it is interpreted. Proof of this is ever present with today's texting communication. Text doesn't allow the non-verbal or the voice inflection to be observed by the reader, sometimes causing a misunderstanding about the meaning of what was written. Keeping the 5 maxims of communication in mind and using the three elements of communication correctly will surely lead to becoming a more proficient proactive communicator.
This module was very informative and Ray Nash did an excellent job, in my opinion of accurately describing the 5 Maxims of Proactive Communication and the Dimension Control Matrix (2017). I believe that the greatest communication challenge for public safety professionals is not understanding and properly applying the 5 Maxims of Proactive Communication. When an officer, whether in the patrol division, traffic enforcement, or criminal investigations interacts with someone, they are the face of the agency and often times the focus of that persons' emotional reaction to the cause of the interaction. This could be a home burglary, a traffic violation, or the victim of a violent crime. The importance of proactive communication is properly identifying what is truly being communicated and responding appropriately. The Dimension Control Matrix ((Barton, 1993), is a great tool for dissecting and properly evaluating chaotic situations in order to respond appropriately and get the situation back into a highly controllable state.
Many time when communicating it is not just the content but the delivery which is important. When communicating we must always pay attention to body language and tone. The delivery of the message you are communicating dictates the reception of the message. improper delivery of communication can make the message be misconstrued.
I agree. The presence of officer worn body cameras is really pointing this flaw out in interactions with the public. I believe that more attention in the form of training and mentoring could correct this.
Communication is vital when interacting with individuals; both on and off the job. This is something I have been struggling with for a long time and an area I need to improve in. Sheriff Nash made an amazing point; when he elaborated on the three elements of communication. Many times the message I'm trying to get across is genuine, but is misunderstood because of my delivery.
The BP Oil Spill video, just like the "who's on first skit," are both made for entertainment but when presented during a course on communication, have a much deeper meaning. These skits demonstrate the importance of clear communications and the chaos that can be created if the message is not clear.
Wait…. That was not a real interview?!? I’m bummed!
True, it did pinpoint the importance of communicating a clear message. Still, I gotta wonder if someone, somewhere had those real thoughts but never had the nerve to express them out loud.
The way you speak to someone can have an impact on how the encounter goes. We don't spend nearly enough time training how to communicate effectively to de-escalate a problem from the start. It is always important to think, "It’s not what you say, but how you say it". I also did not realize how important body language and non-verbal communication was.
Darryl, my point exactly, law enforcement doesn’t spend enough time teaching and training LEO’s in effective communication strategies. Imagine if law enforcement spent the same amount of time training on proactive communication concepts as we do in firearms and basic survival skills? This would probably minimize our use of force encounters tremendously. Watching cop shows, YouTube encounters, and bodycam footage bears out the need for additional training in effective communication strategies. When I hear family, friends, and neighbors speak negatively about law enforcement, it’s usually about how they were treated (spoken to).
The ability to communicate and to take charge of a situation thru effective proactive communication is powerful. It is important for law enforcement officers to effectively use the three basic elements of communication as discussed by Sheriff Ray Nash which is being able to deliver the content of your message, the use of your voice through inflection, and non-verbal gesturing.
Well put. to many time it s the delivery not the message that causes conflict. If a message is not properly delivered it can be misconstrued or cause someone to not be receptive of wat you are trying to convey.
Sheriff Nash made some very good points in this module. The 5 maxims of effective communication are truths that we, as leaders need to make sure we keep in mind as we relay information to our subordinates. The first two maxims were the ones that I feel are the most important. "Failure to clearly communicate is a leadership failure" and "it's not so much what you say as how you say it." are vitally important for leaders to remember.
I agree. Body language/non-verbal clues and how we say things are extremely important. Often, ideas and concepts or direction is lost because of how we deliver the message. Non-verbal is extremely important as well. When someone is displaying body signs and non-verbal clues that they are not interested in something, it is hard for us to be interested in the same thing or take the direction serious.
Agreed. I've been working on this myself. Often when I ask staff to come see me they view it negatively, I believed it had to be negative. I often rehearse how I want to come across and how I should say things if I am going to have a bad conversation but want to also motivate/inspire change. I have been the creator and the victim of failing to communicate and its not fun in trying to recover.
Burt, I agree with you. Those two maxims are so important when interacting with others.
Until recently we have not really trained on the way to properly communicate to de-escalate a situation. The delivery of your message can determine the way the encounter unfolds.
The two maxims that stood out to me the most were: Failure to communicate is a leadership failure, and it is not so much what you say but how you say it. All of the maxims were invaluable, but those two seemed especially poignant.
These were the two that stuck out to me as well. If we can remember these two as we communicate as leaders we can drastically improve our communication.
I enjoyed the explanation of the five maxims of proactive communication. Sheriff Nash explained and demonstrated very well how the nonverbal communication and the voice inflection can reinforce the message or completely subvert it. We use this every day when we have to present new policies and missions that we either agree with or don’t. It is our responsibility as leaders to still present the policy as one that we agree with even if we don’t because our personnel and ourselves will still be responsible for following it.
Nash, R. (2017). Proactive communication. Module 3, Weeks 7 & 8. National Command and Staff College.
The 5 maxims were broken down and explained very well, but the one that has, and always resonates with me is, its not what you say but how you say it. So simple yet powerful.
I thought the same thing when I heard Sheriff Nash explain that maxim and it certainly has truth to it. We should really understand how we say things to people so that it is not interpreted incorrectly.
I really enjoyed this module. It provided a lot of useful information. I agree with every element of communication that was discussed during the lesson. You must deliver a message in an effective manner. I think many times when communicating with people body language and facial expression will determine how that message is received. Most importantly, the tone in which someone speak when communicating. I have been in situations where the tone in which I was spoken to made me not receive the actual message. When I deliver a message to my team, I make sure to be confident when speaking and stand upright with a good posture. No one will pay attention to someone that is unsure of what they are saying.
I agree with your assessment. Controlling my facial expressions is one of my greatest challenges. I am very expressive and use a lot of nonverbal cues when I speak. Often my face will tell the people I am speaking with what my thoughts are before I have the time to control it or speak.
Kaiana, I did not realize how important body language and non-verbal communication was. Standing upright with a good posture and being confident when addressing my personnel is something that I need to work on.
Sheriff Nash (2021) discusses several Maxims of Communication. His initial Maxim posits leaders must be responsible for any mishandled or misunderstood communications. We must own any failures. As leaders, we must also be accountable as to how we communicate. Controlling non-verbal cues is also important to consider. Intonation is as important as body language when trying to get our message out. The majority of communication rests in these two realms. Controlling our response to frustrating situations, while grounding our responses in reality, is also key
These Maxims are significant guidelines in how to engage in communication both within the agency and externally. If managed correctly., it can be a huge plus in building trust and transparency
Nash, R. (2021). Proactive communication. Module # 3, Week # 4. National Command and Staff College.
These are all fantastic points. I especially like how you touched on non verbal cues and the importance of how we deliver our message.
"Its not what you say but how you say it". So true, but in our line of work our "delivery system" is really at the forefront of our daily interactions with the public. Our profession puts at the nexus of chaotic events in people's lives and it can be difficult for us not to take it personal from time to time. We as leaders, need to be mindful of this and set a good example for our officers.
Jay, I agree. The message is often lost by the person's delivery and done.
This module was very interesting, and very educational. I enjoyed the discussion on disharmony between the content and the delivery. Sometimes my verbal actions do not match the message i am trying to convey.
Personally, I enjoy reading others' comments when there is self reflection. It takes a lot of work to work on effective communication. The higher on the ladder you climb, the more important this will be and I continue to learn and work on that myself...and I still make mistakes. There isn't room for ambiguity; messaging must be clear but also delivered so it impacts people in the way it was intentioned, particularly with those we are charged in leading.
I think this lesson did a great job of reemphasizing the importance of something we should already know. Sheriff Nash reminded us of the age old adage "it's not what we say it's how we say it." This couldn't be more true of a statement. As a supervisor, I have taken countless complaints on officers via phone or in person that dealt with anger over a verbal interaction. Just about every time, it had nothing to do with what they said. It was all about the tone and body language that the message was delivered with. They usually result in me taking the time to provide explanation and understanding as to the actions of the officers as to what actions were taken or not taken during the incident or investigation. It is hard at times working with the younger generation officers to get them to understand the concept of the non-verbal's.
This module really resonates with me. Sheriff Nash has a unique way of communicating. His sharing of experiences regarding the Maxims really does bring a new and interesting perspective to the table. I have always sought to improve both professionally and personally with my communication skills. It is always a work in progress, but hearing how other folks are able to get it done always reinvigorates my plans of action.
Best and stay safe-
Agreed. I try to instill in my people what I learned the hard way; its not what you say but how you say it. Simple but effective.
This module was interesting module and it highlights for me the need to have more focused training on communication skills for an entire agency.
I agree with you Travis I think more training is the key to success.
I very much enjoyed the maxim and the real word examples that Nash detailed, specially Maxim number 2. I have heard this my entire life, starting from a child when my parents would constantly remind me that it's not what I said, but how I said it. The tone, inflection, and often body language are so important to communication.
In this module we learned about the 3 elements of effective communication: content, voice, and non-verbal. In law enforcement we have to be able to communicate to do our jobs. Your message needs to be clear to avoid any ambiguity. Your voice and non-verbals is your delivery system. This is your body language when talking to someone. All in all, law enforcement officers must utilize all 3 of the elements to be effective communicators.
Great Module, found it very interesting and informative. I believe we need to focus more on direct communications. The use of email and text messaging has caused so many of us to not practice this form of communication.
I agree that email and text messages are used too much and we need more face to face communication.
Great Module, found it very interesting and informative. I was surprised at the percentages given for effective communication I certainly would have thought the content would have been much higher.
I found the research and statistics given on communication very interesting as well. I knew they were important, but now I can see just how important each was.
I enjoyed the information on the "Dimension-Control Matrix" and how it can be used to evaluate the seriousness of a situation. A key element of resolving any situation is effective communication. I also liked the information given regarding reacting to the meaning of the message rather than the words. Working in the Jail setting, this is something I see on a regular basis. Inmates can be upset about a variety of things outside of their control. Being able to ground their expectations and deliver those expectations does help to diffuse most situations.
Same here. When dealing with inmates it`s a completely different ball game. I find myself dealing with an offender, then in 30 minutes I`m speaking to the wife, girlfriend or his mother next. Usually a bit of empathy and telling the whole story to the inmate`s family usually quells the situation
This module is crucial because it captures the essence of why interpersonal communication is so important. Every officer must be aware that their everyday actions, including their communication skills, make a huge impact on the way the community views law enforcement and our ability to do our jobs effectively. De-escalation is probably the most commonly discussed topic in law enforcement right now and proactive communication skills are key in making that happen.
Today’s leaders should be of high character and integrity. These virtues are essential in our profession, especially while living in this current digital age. We can showcase our level of both to our subordinates and the community with effective and proactive communication.
I absolutely agree! Character and integrity is a valuable asset that can never be taken away from you.
I really liked the part explaining its not what we say but how we say it. I think too many times things get lost in communication as we are depended on the digital age with text and emails. This leaves it up the the interpretation of the receiver. The message that was meant o be delivers could take on the wrong meaning as we aren't able to see the visual non verbal clues and tone of the message
This lesson is a refresher for years of communication, de-escalation, and verbal judo training. We train with scenarios in order to win the day, our training includes communications in critical times. What it does not include is the supervisor or staff role once the issue has come to a head. The Dimension-Control matrix brought up memories of disasters from Quadrant D. We are still here but it takes a while for the black eye to heal.
This module’s information was interesting enough, but being instructed by Sheriff Nash made it that much better. An interesting comment right away in the lecture was about chaotic events, such as an officer involved shooting, and how communication goes down. If we can remain professional, utilize a strong and professional delivery system, we can try to bring peace to chaos.
I agree. Staying calm is crucial in maintaining some sense of order during chaos and can help others remain calm.
I also enjoyed the lecture about chaotic events with the OIS. Very powerful!
I agree, during chaotic events communication is vital. The messages we are trying to convey are often misunderstood due to our delivery. Often times that is a product or result of our emotions at the time.
I believe that this lesson was well supplemented by the speaker exhibiting the qualities he spoke of. I find that the Sheriff does a good job of using non-verbal communication while speaking.
This module too, along with the previous on organizational communications, confused me. I guess one takeaway from this module is from one of the maxims Sheriff Nash explained. "respond to their meaning. Do not react to their words." Too often, I find myself doing the exact opposite. We should be listening to people completely understand what they are attempting to communicate to us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think that the person you are communicating with will largely dictate what part of the communication process is most influential. For example, a logical, analytical-minded person may be more in tune with the actual content and meaning, whereas an emotion-based person may pick up on the tone of voice, etc.
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.
I agree. Even with covid and zoom meetings i think so much is getting lost in the translations. I hope soon we are able to go back to face to face meetings
We have become a species that finds itself more comfortable staring down at devices, rather than looking forward to connect with someone by use of interpersonal communication. Many times the message is misunderstood due to texting and calling, rather than sitting face to face. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s sad that we can send a picture across the room to someone to share a thousand words, but we fail to manage uttering a 500 words to have a genuine conversation. The use of proactive communication is one of the most important topics we can cover in a leadership class as it sets us up for success.
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.
Great point made. I think it is quite beneficial for all involved if there is tension over the radio, to try to meet face-to-face and talk about it. If an in person meeting can be made, a complete delivery system of communication can help smooth things over.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I picked up on the self-awareness too, do you think maybe some of this stuff is sinking in. I also caught as officers we have to deflect the volume and tone to keep from having our hot buttons pushed. Never argue with a fool onlookers won't know the difference, (Mark Twain)
I agree Maja. Communication can easily be misinterpreted and misunderstood. I think we must all work on the skill of communicating in order to be a better leader, and also to have better followers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I agree. The percentages were eye opening and definitely have given me a different perspective moving forward.
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.
Paul, that was what stuck with me too. Being proactive with our communication.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I agree Kyle. This module hit home in the area of non- verbal ques for me. It is something I must practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The percentage did surprise me too. I did not realize that it had gotten that high.
If more people were infomred of the percentages i guarantee you would hear a difference in the radio traffic from certain individals at each agency. I agree with how this also affects the tone of the issue we are dispatched to handle. Just getting out of the unit displaying the correct body language can make a huge difference.
"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.
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.
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."
We need to teach this grounding communication to all personnel that contact the public. Would help provide a positive image of our agency.
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.
If people use this simple tactic more often, it would certainly save quite a few courtesy complaints.
In the Communications Department, we often stress the importance of the five maxims of proactive communication. Our personnel needs to have effective communication internally and externally.
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.
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.
I agree that it was laid out better. I enjoyed this module because it elaborated on the importance of proactive communication.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
This is true. We have to pay complete attention in our communication so that the true meaning of what we are saying is understood.
I agree. If we communicate better, we can give a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish.
Word inflection is important in the delivery of a message. Not what we say but how we say it is important. The emphasis on one word can change the complete meaning of an exact sentence.
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.
Correct understanding the break down of the percentages will help tremendously.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I definitely agree with you. Some deputies just have a way of pushing the right buttons just by how they put their message across.
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.
Isn't it amazing how some officers have the natural ability to blow up a situation that was otherwise calm? These can be the hardest people to supervise because it is hard to get them to not only realize the elements of communication, but to completely change how they communicate to incorporate them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can deliver the worst message to someone, but the tone will be received better than the message. You nailed it.
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.
If there was one central theme for this entire command college, I think trust may be it.
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.
I agree with you, de-escalation techniques should be part of training, especially for new officers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
It is interesting to see the percentage of your communication is mainly your non-verbal and delivery rather than your content.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, this is something we can all work on. Deputies and communication specialist conflict so often because of the loss of nonverbal.
I also enjoyed this module; Sheriff Nash has a great way of explaining this topic. Our agency is located in the south and in our southern community, there’s a certain style of dialect that they were accustomed to. Our agency hired an officer that wasn’t from the area and was born and raised in a northern state. The officer had a strong northern accent, and his speech was faster than what our southern community was use to. This officer could not have been more polite during his interactions with the public, but he always seemed to be the one who go complained on for hurting someone’s feelings. Every time I’d investigate the complaint by watching the officer’s car camera, the video would show that he was polite, and the complaint was unfounded. His speech and the tone of his voice was being perceived by them as being rude due to his delivery. Once it was explained to him why they were complaining on him, he modified his dialect and was able to minimize the amount of complaints.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think a lot of law enforcement officers struggle with their delivery. So do dispatchers!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Clint, I agree that communication is an essential part of any profession, and it is especially important in law enforcement. Effective communication between supervisors and subordinates can create a stronger foundation for professional character and competency. In today's modern world, millennials and Generation Z bring with them a new set of values, attitudes, and beliefs that may be difficult for older generations to communicate with effectively.
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.
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.
Clint I enjoy his lectures as well. It is quite obvious he has spent time in the trenches. He always gives valuable insight.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
It is amazing how your delivery determines how a communication is going to received and understood. This is why calm, professional approaches to conflict are so important. I think we will all be more mindful of being engaged in conversations Judith!
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.”
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.
I totally agree with this.
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.
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.
Agreed , when people see how properly trained and professional one is, it goes well with a good officer presence. Just the ability to control a scene and be professional helps to remedy alot of situations.
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.
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.
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.
Drauzin, I agree. I have seen numerous situations that turned into something much more than they needed to because someone did not communicate effectively. Every Officer should work on this skill. It is vital to our profession.
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.
I agree in the importance of grounding expectations in reality. If we gain credibility and integrity we can fulfill expectations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I work on my body language and inflection when communicating. After seeing the percentage, I will work harder.
This is one area I have had to be very conscious of. My non-verbal communication can get the best of me sometimes. Often my facial expressions lead people to believe that I am in complete disbelief or just don't care. When I was really just lost in the moment. I have really focused on this over the past several years because I realized the vibes I was creating. It is important to be conscientious of your non-verbal cues and how they can be perceived.
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.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it. We say so much with just a look, no matter what our words are.
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.
I agree. I have watched people have whole conversations with their eyes and body language. It's beautiful to watch.
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.
So much is lost in translation through text messages and emails (non-verbal) communications.
I was also surprised by the percentages. I knew voice and non-verbal were high, but I didn't ever consider it was that high.
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.
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.
I knew the non-verbal was important and much of it received by the people you speak to, but those numbers shocked me as well. I read a book titled "The Definitive Art of Reading Body Language" which discussed how much we respond to things such as body position and gestures, but I had no idea that it had that large of an impact.
I agree the percentage associated with content was lower than I would've expected, but it still a component in communication that needs improvement in law enforcement.
Yes, after hearing this, I thought of the officer then get real "high pitched" and talk fast when putting out radio traffic. Sometimes when you're not paying attention, it can cause you to jump up based on the infliction. You miss the content of the message because of the voice.