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. 


  • I think listening is one of the least taught things in any leadership class i have taken and when it comes down to it if you aren’t effectively listening how can you respond appropriately and get done what is being asked. And to be the supervisor that is speaking and knowing that the person who are talking too isn’t listening is infuriating. Anyone can interrupt someone when they are talking but to move to that next level of leadership you have to understand that it is about patiently listening.

  • Hey everyone,

    I just finished the Active Listening module and wanted to share some of my takeaways. One thing that stuck with me was when Tom Peters mentioned that the most important four words are: “What do you think?” It made me realize that I ask my teammates that all the time because I genuinely want to listen to their thoughts and opinions.

    Another interesting point was the order in which we learn and teach language skills. Writing is learned fourth but taught the most, Reading is learned third and taught next to the most, Speaking is learned second and taught next to least, and Listening is learned first but taught the least. It’s fascinating to think about how we prioritize different language skills in our education system and how they impact our communication ability.

  • As a leader, listening is definitely one of the most important skills to have. Being a good active listener can have a major impact on job effectiveness and also impacts the quality of relationships with subordinates. There are several keys to active listening, one of them that stuck out to me was to judge content, not delivery. I have someone who works for me who does not speak well at all, but when you stop and really listen to what he is saying he is very intelligent and has great ideas and solutions to several problems. Sometimes it may take someone a little longer to get a point across, but if you become impatient and interrupt them you may miss out on a solid idea.

    • Hi there, I totally agree that listening is a crucial skill for leaders. It’s great to hear that you value active listening and understand how it can positively impact work effectiveness and relationships with subordinates. Judging content rather than delivery is an essential aspect of active listening. It’s great that you recognize the value in this and that you have a team member who may not communicate as well verbally but has excellent ideas and solutions. It’s essential to remain patient and allow people to express themselves fully, even if it takes a little longer. Interrupting someone can harm the work environment and lead to missed opportunities. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic!

  • This lesson on active listening has a lot of good info that can be utilized in every part of our lives, not just at work. Peters talked about how the four most important words are “what do you think?” and I agree. It’s level of impact on a conversation is greatly undervalued more often than not. Especially in the work place, getting opinions is vital to truly understanding a situation or issue.

    This lesson also discussed the interruption coming on average after 18 seconds. And this was surprising to hear, but when I thought about it, it’s probably fairly accurate. Many times, people who think they know best, want to fast track conversations to get them over quicker or get to the meat and potatoes faster. It’s important for us as active listeners to resist this urge and truly engage in active listening to get a clear picture of what is being communicated to us or we may miss things. The 10 keys are things that can be easily utilized to ensure we’re actively listening well.

  • 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.

    • I agree that it is rewarding when you stop and actually listen to the people on your team. When they feel heard they take more ownership in the topic of conversation and I have watched as the people who work for me take an active interest what we are working on. They like to feel heard and be part of the conversation, and it allows me the opportunity to gain information and perspective.

  • 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-

    • I’d agree that this question helps engage leaders with their subordinates very well. And I think it helps enhance that relationship. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be understood. Everyone wants their opinions to be valued. And even if an employees opinion isn’t being executed, at least they had the opportunity for their voice to be heard. It helps build that trust and respect which is essential to an effective workplace.

  • 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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