Emerging Leaders Program

Emerging Leaders

ICLD 1.11 Active Listening: Discussion Board

Instructor: Dr. Mitch
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 


  • This lecture started out great. When he states the four key words often used. “What do you Think”. As managers and leaders I often find myself asking the same question. I ask this question because i generally want to know what my team thinks on a task that is being provided, or something that is changing. We need to listen to our team and actually take a moment to hear them individually. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. So why not have that person who will present to their knowledge to you. Why not ask them what they think about a proposal. Is the message that I am relaying really capturing the right people. From my own experience as an investigator and as the leader of my team. It is self rewarding when you stop and actually listen. Letting the other side talk and speak without interruption can go along way. We can as leaders learn from our colleagues when we take a moment and actually hear what they are saying and listen to what can improve the overall experience of our positions.

  • Peters indicated, the four most important words an organization can utilize are “what do you think” (2009) I noticed that over the last several months as I began trusting my members are started to inquire their input in the decision of the unit as well as the training process of new members. I found myself regularly asking their opinion and thoughts on how we should move forward. I also incorporate this in my training, advising new staff that I was going to want their opinion and just because we have done things this way doesn’t mean we need to continue to do it that way. I feel that especially with training my staff have taken more accountability as well as providing great insight on how the training plan should go moving forward.
    Peters, T. (2009). Tom peters’ leadership thoughts. 1.11, Week # 4. National Command and
    Staff College. Retrieved from https://cloud.scorm.com/content/courses/NAGVXPB5E6/Activeisteningb47ff059-54f4-470e-873a-

  • As a subordinate, I do not like being interrupted within the few seconds of explaining a situation or my opinion. I need my supervisor or leader to listen to what I have to say, I need them to interact with me. Listening to just how are days went or how we are doing makes a difference. I don’t want to feel like I am being brushed off just because you don’t “care” or do not have the time.

    • I don’t believe anyone likes to be interrupted but it does make it very frustrated when you are speaking to an individual in a leadership role and they brush you off as though you aren’t important enough to have an opinion. As a supervisor, our main function is to build relationships with our members no matter if we have time or not; we have to make the time. Just because an individual isn’t in a leadership role at that moment doesn’t mean they don’t have great ideas on how to do the job. Plus, everyone needs space to vent; I always tell my members I would rather them vent to me then someone else or take their frustration out in the wrong space.

      • I agree that people do not like to be interrupted when they speak. In our professional and personnel lives we often have to slow things down so that we can be heard. But I learned that if I provide the other person time to speak and not interrupt them it will allow them to often answer their own questions. It is actually amazing if you think about it. When your involved in an investigative interview. Let the other person talk. Do not interrupt them. When they finish repeat back what they informed you. They will often correct some of the things they said and it confirms the story more when they know that you are actually listening to them. It is amazing, I believe that this can be used in our personal lives. Although I may not admit it but when I actually listen and hear my wife speak is when I actually stop and not interrupt her.

  • Tom Peters’ message relating to your subordinates, “What do you think?” is a very good question. I feel that it gives you the opportunity to dive into their heads and see how they feel about certain topics. Giving them an open forum (without having to begin the response “With all due respect”) and not chastising them for the response, both positive and potentially negative, may encourage them to look at themselves in a more professional manner and possibly even getting closer to the role as a leader one day. In doing so, it gives you as their leader the opportunity to facilitate a suggestion made by the subordinate to feel value in their opinion and that they matter (provided you are willing to support and endorse the suggestion).

    • I agree, it allows me to think that you are valuing my opinion. Positive and negative feedback is great to receive without feeling stupid when your leader is putting you down.

  • We’ve all been in conversations where we can’t get a word in edgewise. We are left frustrated, unsatisfied, and at times hurt by the realization that the other party doesn’t really value what we have to say. Ultimately, this is not helpful in the development of trust, credibility or relationships.

    Our previous modules on Leadership Theories and It’s Your Ship illustrated the importance of Active Listening. Whether it was Captain Abrashoff taking the time to meet with each of his sailors, or a discussion of the Participatory Theory of Leadership, one of the key factors to success was, simply, listening. Perfecting this skill will make us better leaders.

    • There has been some that say when people fail to let you respond or comment during conversation, that may lead to a possibility of an underlying insecurity (coming from a psychological standpoint) that they will not be able to finish what they think or how they feel. I agree that this can be frustrating trying to converse. When you are not able to respond, this leaves you to feel that you do not matter and what you have to say or contribute lacks value. Being able to maintain open channels of communication with your subordinates is extremely important when leading down, or being able to relay messages to supervisors by managing up. Our profession requires us to communicate daily, this making active listening one of the most important attributes to possess. Simply nodding your head and smiling is counterproductive.

    • Eric I can absolutely agree with you about not having the ability to get a word in some conversations. There is a supervisor who will become louder or completely talk over an individual especially if they don’t like what you have to say or disagree. Half the time it seems as though this individual isn’t even listening to what is being said, many individuals feel as though this individual is talking down to them. This is absolutely not helping to build a strong team and makes it very difficult to feel comfortable with bring up issues or suggestions.

  • I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system.

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