- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Terms & Conditions
Check the benefits of our approach
How constructive are your interpersonal skills?
The success of every team, group, family or organisation depends on the quality of its human relationships. Whatever venture, plan, project or development is done or attempted eventually requires people to interact with one another.
Interactions are constructive when they build, develop or contribute helpfully and are not destructive. Constructive interactions between people are based on confidence, self-respect and an ability to treat others with integrity and dignity no matter how they behave, and an equitable approach to resolving differences. Successful relationships can proceed from nothing else.
How constructive are your interpersonal communication skills?
How do you know?
How well do you understand your own part in the relationship difficulties you experience with other people or that others have with you?
Most people make untested assumptions about their own competence in this vital area and are very willing to assign the cause of relationship difficulties to other parties. Few ever take objective stock of their interpersonal repertoire.
Their techniques for expressing needs, resolving problems, helping others express themselves and for resolving differences are based on whatever was experienced in their upbringing and early workplace years. Although modified superficially, the techniques are fundamentally unchanged.
Best communication is called for when it is most difficult.
Most of the time this may matter very little but at times of stress, high sensitivity, tension and conflict, it may matter a great deal. Then, we are especially likely to revert to early survival methods unsuited for mature interactions; we will use whatever techniques are most familiar to us and most practised, however ineffective. Anything else will be inaccessible because it has not been habituated.
Ineffectiveness in interpersonal communication is the cause of much unnecessary friction, conflict, non-productive argument, inefficiency, confusion, loss of enjoyment and wasted potential. Time is wasted and stress caused by poor listening and ineffective problem-solving; by our being unable or unwilling to tell others straightforwardly what we need, think and feel; by avoiding differences and conflicts, storing them up or dealing with them poorly; by misunderstanding others; by the fear of understanding what others might actually be saying; and through the fear of being ourselves misunderstood or even, of being accurately understood.
Our skills-development programme Hear and Be Heard - The Heart of Dialogue, is designed to help people evaluate, refine and strengthen their core interpersonal competencies, develop healthy relationships with themselves and transform relationships with those around them.
Hear and Be Heard deals with interpersonal competencies relevant to a wide range of roles and responsibilities: imparting management and leadership influence; supervising, supporting, coaching, parenting, counseling or consulting with others; managing performance; and resolving everyday problems and differences.
Designed and written in New Zealand by Tom Watkins, Hear and Be Heard is based on his Managing Effective Relationships programme used by corporate and community clients since 1982 to build successful relationships. It has an outstanding reputation for enhancing people-skills.
What people say about it
- "Effective communication is an essential leadership skill, and I rate Hear and Be Heard as one of the best development programmes in this field. I have seen my staff grow in confidence in both business and social settings after undertaking the programme." [Vivian Blake, COO, Otago District Health Board]
- "Tom Watkins' Hear and Be Heard interpersonal skills course is the foundation on which I am moving our organisation from one that was merely surviving to one which will thrive. The greater insight and understanding of communicating with others has improved both my professional and personal life and I would recommend it as a 'must do' for any organisation." [Geoff White, General Manager, Trade Aid Importers Ltd]
- "Being aware of how to define problem ownership and use this to pick the most effective communication strategy is probably the most important leadership development training I have undertaken. Learning when to "HEAR" and when to "BE HEARD" has made problems manageable and improved my workplace relationships." [Colleen Coop, Group Manager, Emergency, Medicine and Surgery Services, Otago District Health Board]"
- "A most productive and empowering programme. It gave me a mandate to change my approach to relationships and much more confidence for resolving problems."
- "It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this course on the rest of my life!"
- "Some aspects got my heart racing and others allowed me to hear the music. I made improvements I had not thought possible. The tools apply to communication with anyone, anywhere. I found great insights into how to help my children. One of the most enlightening journeys I've ever undertaken!"
- "Deals sensitively and effectively with the 'freight' of old habits, beliefs and feelings, while teaching alternative practices that really work! I think about the concepts and ideas every day . . . Brilliant!"
- "This is the programme I should have taken – we all should have been able to take – years ago."
You will learn how to -
- Recognise the background, attitudinal bases and usefulness of your interpersonal behavioural repertoire.
- Observe the interpersonal communication process and your attitudinal processes while you are engaged in them, to enable effective choices about your own communication mode.
- Enhance your capacity for interacting cooperatively in the workplace and elsewhere.
- Determine problem ownership in interactions.
- Determine the most appropriate response skills.
- Speak confidently and with appropriate "strength" so that others can easily listen and understand your needs, views, concerns or problems.
- Listen so that others are heard and understood.
- Increase your sensitivity to others' needs whilst respecting your own.
- Establish and hold boundaries with other people.
- Deal with and negotiate around differences or conflict confidently, fairly and respectfully.
- Respond constructively to others' distress, problems, criticism or hostility.
- Apply these generic people-skills to leading, managing, supervising, coaching others' performance and giving constructive feedback.
[Send this page to a friend]
Click here to subscribe Tom's occasional blog, Thriving Matters.
[ Back to top ]