LEADING WITH COMMUNICATION: UNLOCKING THE POWER OF FEEDBACK AND CONFLICT
Photo: Matthias Francke. CareerSteps 2018 – Joint Event of the Max Planck Society and the LMU.
TRAINING TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND MINDSET
All my trainings can be booked both online and on-site and will be tailored to your needs.
The most tricky and challenging communication situations are also the ones that can bring the biggest improvements for our productivity, team spirit, and the making of decisions that work for everyone. For many people, feedback and conflict fall into the categories of ‘tricky’ and ‘challenging’.
I can’t think of any human to whom communication is not one of the most crucial topics in life. I tailor each training to the group requesting it. My experience ranges from doctoral and postdoctoral researchers (including those in leadership positions), to employees (with and without leadership positions) in public and non-profit organisations, to – most recently – climate activists.
An openness to explore concrete individual experiences of feedback and/ or conflict within the group.
CONTENT AND GOALS
Content and goals of these trainings depend on our prior talk about your specific needs. In general, the goal of a training is obviously to improve certain skills and, sometimes, also stimulate shifts in mindset. A selection of specific content and goals could look like this:
- Creating more awareness about individual preferences, habits and patterns through self-assessments, feedback, and shared reflections.
- Identifying sources of irritation or conflict by examining past experiences with the help of models and structures.
- Building confidence in mastering future situations by practicing with simulations, and getting feedback for improvement.
METHODS AND SCHOOLS
I consider Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg) one of the cornerstones of my work, and not even primarily as a method, but as a mindset. It means that I believe that everyone’s needs matter (including my own) and that authentic, honest self-expression that is caring for these needs is the key to a more fulfilled and more effective working (and private) life. Other schools I have learned from and models I use include:
- Humanist communication psychology (Schulz von Thun, Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen)
- Radical Candor
- SBI-I Feedback Model
- Convergent Facilitation (Miki Kashtan)
It’s absolutely a strength when you can formulate things so clearly. Sometimes you overthink and don’t find the right words. And if you can peel it off like the layers of an onion… okay, what am I actually thinking, what am I feeling, and how is that connected to this need? This really helps. And once you have penetrated to this core it becomes much easier to formulate it clearly.
If I was having an argument with someone it would just come to me to address it in this way [using the 4 steps]. The steps would really help me to deescalate the conflict. It became a practiced part of my everyday life.
I remember I paid a lot of attention while I was talking to other people that I don’t jump on them. I really tried to practice this also with friends. I have this tendency to complete their sentences if they take longer to express themselves. We practiced listening at the beginning of each session. Most of us realised that usually we are not properly listening.
What impressed me the most was that we created a bit of a bubble where everyone was very eager to listen and to share. We were all strangers with different research backgrounds and from different institutes, and we met every week online. It was such an immediate safe space that was completely unexpected from me.