What's the thinking behind the course?
Often the most useful tools are simple ideas
Simple ideas can give us a practical handle on the world - an easy-to-grasp way of thinking about and dealing with complex matters. This course is based on a number of such ideas. Here's one of them. It's about the essence of successful communication, or to put it another way, how to make a better connection with people:-
- It’s very easy for us to misunderstand each other even when we speak the same language. Telepathy is science fiction. Tuning in accurately to each other's thoughts and feelings is difficult because they're essentially private. We have to make do with verbal and non-verbal clues, and they're not always reliable.
- Unfortunately, misunderstandings can be serious obstacles making it hard for us to influence each other, win each other's cooperation and trust, and work successfully together.
- But all is not lost. If I want to connect better with you and improve our understanding of each other there are two things I can do. One is try to make sure I understand you, and the other is to try to make sure you understand me. The first is to do with how well I listen, the second with how well I speak.
- Listening and speaking are skills. I can practise and develop them.
- And I don't need both of us to be good with these skills. Our relationship will improve even if it's only me using them.
- The two skills fit together perfectly to form a very persuasive, honest and difficult-to-resist approach to communication. Their combined power is far greater than the sum of their separate powers.
- The reason they work so well in combination is that they echo a tried and tested ancient principle accepted down the ages as the key to getting on well together: “Treat others as you like to be treated.” It creates an atmosphere of mutual respect, understanding and trust. There are few situations at work where this will fail to resolve conflict and win people’s cooperation.
- But simple isn't necessarily easy. These skills may conflict with the habits of a lifetime, and if they do, as well as acquiring the skills I may have some unlearning of old habits to do.
We’ll train you in the two skills, and then help you combine them and use them where you encounter your greatest challenges at work. We’ll also help you spot and unlearn some of the lifetime habits which may be getting in the way.