Emerging Leaders Program

Emerging Leaders

ICLD 2.5 Proactive: 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. 


  • Hey everyone,

    I just finished the Proactive Communications module and wanted to share what I learned. One of the key takeaways for me was the importance of the three elements of proactive communication: content, voice, and non-verbal cues.

    According to the module, content only accounts for 7-10% of the message we convey, while our voice makes up 33-40%, and non-verbal cues account for a whopping 50-60%. This was eye-opening for me, as I hadn’t realized just how much impact our tone and body language can have on how our message is received.

    As someone who frequently communicates via email and other written forms, I need to be more mindful of how the recipient might perceive my tone. I also plan to improve my non-verbal communication skills in video meetings.

    Overall, I found the Proactive Communications module incredibly informative and helpful. I’m excited to put what I’ve learned into practice and see its positive impact on my interactions with others.

    • I like what you say about communicating via email, i think that now days especially after the pandemic most people communicate via email and i agree that i need to be mindful especially when it comes to not reacting to words, i work in a jail and sometimes it is hard to not react to words when sometimes that is all the inmates can do to get your attention is raise their voice and its hard to not take that as aggression. And on the other side of the coin when speaking to an inmate in front of 60 other inmates you not only have to be aware of your tone but body language as well.

  • This module covered communication and the important role it plays in bringing peace out of disorder. In many large incidents communication is the first thing to break down. The dimension control matrix helps clarify the chaotic situations we find ourselves in and breaks it down between level of control we have and the dimension to better evaluate the severity. When going through the 5 maxims of effective communication I thought that number 4 was particularly relevant. Number 4 focused on responding to meaning, not to words. This would include empathy and trying to see things through someone else’s eyes. Many times when officers respond to calls they bear the brunt of someone’s misplaced anger and it is important not to take it personally and learn to diffuse the situation that is causing the anger and frustration.

  • The TED Talk “How to speak up for yourself” by Adam Galinsky highlighted in this lesson was quite interesting. He talked about a few situations I feel most of us have gotten into in the work place. The first was the low-power double bind – if I don’t speak up, I go unnoticed – but, if I do speak up, I may get rejected. He talked about ways on how to expand your range by being more confident and explained that if you feel/portray this, others will believe it as well and give you more power to speak. He also talked about the self-promotion double bind – if I don’t advertise accomplishments, I’ll go unnoticed – but, if I advertise my accomplishments, I may get rejected. All of these things are issues we face in the workforce and it was interesting to hear some feedback on how to handle them as well as just when to speak up and how to gain the power to feel we can. Definitely important for us as we try to move through the chain of commands at our respective agencies moving forward.

    I also thought the lesson was important. We all know that what we say matters less than how we say it and this is rooted in how we interpret messages. 7-10 of meaning comes from content and the remaining comes from the delivery (voice and non-verbals). It’s important to keep this in mind when passing on information in the workplace. Especially when mixing in-person verbal communication with written communication. Making sure the content of your message is actually what you intended.

    I especially thought the response to people who are very upset being, “I understand why you’re upset. I’m here to help. Now that I’m with you, here’s what I’m going to do”. It’s empathetic/respectful and it grounds their expectations in reality which is important for trying to reduce further complaints and unhappy citizens.

    • I definitely agree with your last paragraph about the best response to give when people are upset. It helps validate their feelings and by telling them what you are going to do also helps ground their expectations. By letting them know the process and what is going to happen we can control the outcome. When we let citizens set the expectations it is hard to accomplish what they want.

  • When responding to situations (both internally and externally) while on duty, being able to understand what is going on in order effectively communicate what you are hoping the response and outcome will be is most important. I feel that being able to gather the information, understand the meaning to appropriately react to it, and then respond in order to obtain the most effective and peaceful resolution is key. I agree that if you have the levels of supervision lateral or above that cannot deal with the situation at hand and cannot communicate effectively, the overall outcome may be lost before it even begins.

  • My wife even tells me it not what I said but how I said it. How you say things comes off a lot differently then what you actually meant to say. Your words will be out of context. Communication is key in all situations at work or at home.

    • I have to agree with you, it is all about how something is said. I have been on both sides of this, most recently with my teenage daughter. She comes off being annoyed or rude and when I question her I tell her it is all about how you are saying it. It is important for all of us to be aware of how we say things to effectively communicate with others.

  • It was very interesting to learn about the dimension-control matrix and how it can affect the survival of the agency as well as the reputation. I always knew there was a threshold but the matrix laid it out a lot clearer. There are four different matrix that can measure the severity of the situation and how involved upper management needs to become in the situation. The higher the dimension the more sever the effects will have on the agency. When the dimension and control are both low then the situation is less serious and will passover quickly. It is important for leaders and upper management to have a good understanding of the four dimension-control matrix so they know how to respond to each situation to ensure the integrity of the agency (Nash, 2017).
    Nash, R. (2017). Proactive communication. 2.5, Week # 6. National Command and Staff College. Retrieved from https://cloud.scorm.com/content/courses

    • I agree that when certain levels of supervision are involved, it can tend to put certain outlook on a situation. This coming not only from the front line looking out, but also to the public looking in. Certain levels of crisis can be easily facilitated if the upper levels are familiar with the matrix and have a good sense to communicate effectively rather than respond reactively.

    • I’d agree the matrix provided in this lesson was a good break down on how to categorize issues and create effective strategies on how to resolve. Understanding the severity of impact (and type of impact – personal or agency level) as well as your possible solutions to resolve a problem is essential to effectively handling that situation. All levels of leaders should be able to effectively categorize problems quickly so they can get the people involved fast that need to be.

    • I completely agree with you! The dimension-control matrix is a fascinating concept that sheds light on the severity of a situation and the level of involvement required from management. It’s great that you found the matrix helpful, and it has given you a clearer understanding of how to respond to different situations. Leaders and upper management must be knowledgeable about the four dimension-control matrix, which is essential to ensure the agency’s integrity.

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

Scroll to Top