Effective Communication Skills

Course No. 9331
Professor Dalton Kehoe, Ph.D.
York University
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111 Reviews
80% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9331
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What Will You Learn?

  • Explore typical conversational roadblocks you encounter every day - and learn how to avoid them.
  • Recognize damaging control talk and learn how to switch to more productive dialogue talk.
  • Discover useful techniques for improving communication at work, at home, or in other social arenas.
  • Learn how to listen actively by mastering the skills of mindful attention, meta-communication, and appreciative mindset.

Course Overview

Talk is something you do every day. And your life is literally shaped by it. Many of the decisions you make are decided by talking. You may be in a restaurant asking a waiter for an unusual substitution, urging a service manager to get your car finished sooner rather than later, or trying to sway your significant other toward a particular film or show. Or you might be trying to build more cooperative relationships at the office.

No matter why you engage in face-to-face talk, though, there's no way to insulate yourself from the dangers of miscommunication. Your ability to use the art of talk to effectively convey who you are and to build solid relationships not only influences the success of your friendships, romantic life, and everyday encounters, but also how you experience your workplace. Studies show that using conversational skills properly in that arena makes you more productive, happier, and less stressed.

But the truth is that most of us don't understand nearly as well as we could how conversation really works, whether in the office or out of it, with both parties often having entirely different perceptions of what the words and gestures passing back and forth are meant to convey. Even more important, most of us aren't as successful as we could be in making those conversations work better for us. Even when we're more skilled at it than the average person, we often give up the opportunity to be even better, leaving a lot of potential success and happiness on the table.

Effective Communication Skills is your chance to learn more about how you communicate verbally, the common problems you can encounter in doing so, and how you can improve your own effectiveness—especially by overcoming the psychological and biological hard-wiring that too often gets in the way.

In 24 mind-opening lectures, Professor Dalton Kehoe of Canada's York University brings more than four decades of experience as an award-winning teacher, author, and successful business consultant to this exploration of what's really going in any conversation you take part in.

Learn the Techniques for Successful Communication

Building on many years of revealing research, Professor Kehoe explores the scientific foundation of communication skills and offers practical techniques for managing your reactions and speaking effectively in conflict- and tension-laden situations.

He explains the conversational roadblocks we all encounter every day—many of them driven by culturally ingrained and biological processes that operate automatically in most situations—and offers techniques for eliminating them. Each technique he teaches you has proven successful and effective in the toughest laboratories of all: the home, the workplace, and the other social arenas in which you live, work, and play.

You learn

  • how early cultural learning and deeply learned patterns of reaction in our unconscious mind affect how you see, think, and feel about other people and enhance or undermine your ability to communicate effectively;
  • how your sense of self develops in everyday talk during your childhood and the ways in which your subconscious is built to sustain and defend your self-esteem, shaping how you think and speak to others for the rest of your life;
  • the specific styles of talking you use in most situations, including different types of control talk—the unproductive and needlessly aggressive mode that almost always dooms a conversation to a fatal downward spiral—and the more desirable alternative of dialogue talk.

You'll grasp how the latter can facilitate bridge-building even between people who may have very different views of a situation, allowing them to resolve those differences without either party feeling they've been bullied into a solution or demeaned or humiliated.

Just as important, you'll learn the basics of perhaps the most important and neglected aspect of human conversation, the art of actually listening.

Discover the Secret of Active Listening

Professor Kehoe believes that what is called active listening, when done properly, is the only aspect of the art of conversation that engages all of the ideals of effective talk. These include

  • mindful attention, not only to what you're experiencing outside, but also to what you're experiencing inside, a dual focus that requires conscious effort and thus makes the listening active instead of passive;
  • an appreciative mindset open to the value, situation, and contribution of the person you're talking with; and
  • a willingness to meta-communicate, to draw back and observe the conversation from an objective point of view and discuss it from that perspective as needed.

While recognizing that this form of listening is indeed unnatural for many people and must be learned and practiced, Professor Kehoe believes it richly rewards anyone willing to make that commitment. That's because it is the only form of talking that helps solve problems and simultaneously enhance relationships, one of talking's most important purposes, whether at home or in the workplace.

One of the reasons it seems unusual to have to learn new ways of talking and listening is because many of our conversational habits are deeply ingrained, passed on to us culturally as we were being raised. Many others, meanwhile, are the result of biological and psychological processes that function automatically, developed as we evolved to enable us to react in situations when there simply isn't time to consciously plan a course of action, or to free up our conscious mind for other items demanding attention.

But as these lectures demonstrate again and again, as useful as these learned behaviors and automatic reactions might be under the proper circumstances, they can pose extraordinary difficulties when it comes to effective conversation. Defensive reactions developed to protect one's self-esteem, for example, are rarely helpful in settling a marital argument. And an adrenaline-fueled, "fight-or-flight" answer to a supervisor's stress-filled question rarely leads to a satisfactory workplace resolution.

Get a Solid Guide to Effective Communication

Winner of the York University Teaching Award and internationally recognized as an effective instructor by The Chronicle of Higher Education and Canada's University Affairs, Professor Kehoe has made this course a solid guide to the essentials of great communication.

One of his enduring lessons is that effective verbal communication is never as simple as you may think. Indeed, when you consider the complexities of conversation, it is a wonder that things ever work out as well as they do.

But things can work to your advantage, provided you have the knowledge and skills to communicate in the best possible way. Packed with the tools and strategies you need, Effective Communication Skills will open an extraordinary perspective on what really happens when you open your mouth to speak in order to get what you want.

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24 lectures
 |  Average 29 minutes each
  • 1
    The Magic of Everyday Communication
    An introduction to our "taken-for-granted" model of everyday talk reveals why you talk and the problems caused by underlying assumptions about the exchange. There are, as you learn, vital tools you can use to avoid these problems. x
  • 2
    The Complex Layers of Face-to-Face Talk
    Explore what really happens during face-to-face conversation by examining the conversational model developed by communication researchers. Discover that any two-person conversation really includes six people, and how different categories of "noise" dramatically affect the transmission of meaning. x
  • 3
    The Social Context That Shapes Our Talk
    How you understand the messages sent to you is shaped in large part by your culture and subcultures—the contexts in which you learned "normal" ways of seeing and hearing the world around you. Grasp the key dimensions along which cultures can be compared. x
  • 4
    The Operations of the Cognitive Unconscious
    Learn how a part of the brain unavailable to the conscious mind actually processes the vast majority of the information you take in, using a vast array of techniques to guide how you use that information, especially during face-to-face interactions. x
  • 5
    The Conscious Mind in Perception
    Take a key step toward talking more effectively by analyzing how you see things—the brain's "reality management" process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting incoming data. Grasp the pitfalls inherent in the brain's reliance on existing schemas and even stereotypes to make the process more efficient. x
  • 6
    The Conscious Mind in Using Language
    How do you interpret the information you take in, especially during conversation, when cognition must operate much more quickly? This lecture delves into the many pitfalls inherent in conversation, including the judgment tools we all use and the dangers in them revealed by Peter Senge's iconic "inference ladder." x
  • 7
    The Conscious Mind and Emotion
    As a society, we talk about feelings constantly. Yet at the individual level, our awareness of our feelings and ability to discuss them varies significantly. Learn how naming your feelings and describing them accurately to yourself and others is central to effective communication. x
  • 8
    The Development of Our Sense of Self
    How does your sense of self emerge and shape your relationships to others? What are the factors that differentiate one personality from another? Examine one model—the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator—and gain invaluable tips on how different personality types can communicate successfully with each other. x
  • 9
    Self, Attachment, and Self-Esteem
    Using both attachment theory and a self-awareness model called a Johari window, consider how self-esteem develops and how it can be characterized to reveal the emotions it embodies. Learn how we manage self-perceptions and self-presentations to preserve our self-esteem in daily interactions. x
  • 10
    Protecting the Self in Face-to-Face Talk
    Every conversation has the potential to either enhance your sense of self-worth or undermine it. Explore the techniques we all use to protect ourselves, with particular focus on the psychological defenses identified by Freud and the conversational model of Parent, Adult, and Child voices set forth by Eric Berne. x
  • 11
    Conscious Self-Talk and Self-Management
    You don't have to allow effective communication to be sabotaged by those automatic and often self-defeating defenses your mind puts in motion to "protect" you. This lecture offers practical techniques for creating positive internal dialogues and for being heard, understood, and accepted by others in difficult situations. x
  • 12
    Challenges to Effective Communication
    Professor Kehoe discusses several practical ways to turn what you have already learned into better communication. Learn the positive impact of concepts like mindfulness and appreciation, as well as how using meta-communication techniques can prevent a dangerous climb up the "inference ladder" during difficult situations. x
  • 13
    Talking to Connect and Build Relationships
    Begin your introduction to the professor's own model of human communication. In this lecture, learn the basics of "connect talk" at each of its stages, grasping the significance of procedural and ritual recognition talk before moving on to small talk and deeper levels of conversation. x
  • 14
    Differences, Disagreement, and Control Talk
    Understand what happens when "control talk"—the mode we use to influence or persuade—powers the conversation. Learn the difference between the light control that may well be useful in certain situations and the heavy control, driven by intense negative emotions, that rarely contributes to a positive outcome. x
  • 15
    Commands, Accusations, and Blame
    Plunge into the zone of escalation, where light control talk becomes competitive, tactics harden, and the battle of heavy control talk begins. Learn some useful techniques for managing your emotions and bringing your voice back to a level from which progress is possible for both parties. x
  • 16
    Healing Relationships with Dialogue Talk
    Gain an understanding of the only mode of talk that is not automatic. Instead, it requires choosing to be a mindful and emotionally generous meta-communicator, even in difficult situations, producing results that can be far more positive than those "achieved" through the win-lose, right-wrong, control talk model. x
  • 17
    Focus on the Other—The Heart of Dialogue
    What kinds of questions get people to talk openly? Learn how to ask these questions, and also gain listening and response techniques to keep them talking by showing your understanding of what they are trying to communicate. x
  • 18
    Assertive Dialogue to Manage Disagreement
    We all have to deal with difficult behavior, and doing so successfully requires being assertive, which is far different from being aggressive or using control talk. Here, gain valuable tools for asking for what you want with courage, calmness, and clarity. x
  • 19
    Compassionate Confrontation
    Sometimes a negative behavior persists despite repeated requests for change. When that happens, it may be time for "structured dialogue," a slowed-down and opened-up form of dialogue talk. Absorb the steps needed for a process that can be very effective, but demands time, focus, patience, energy, and self-management. x
  • 20
    Communication, Gender, and Culture
    Whether you are male or female affects how you communicate and use language. An exploration of what men and women actually mean when they speak—and why this is so—offers useful lessons on how best to hear and be heard by the opposite sex. x
  • 21
    Talking Our Way to Lasting Relationships
    Researchers have gained a knowledgeable grasp of why relationships develop and endure. Whether a relationship is one of friendship or romance, there are things you can do to not only enrich them, but make necessary repairs if they begin to either stagnate or fragment. x
  • 22
    Leadership, Appreciation, and Productivity
    The relationship between managers and employees is the bedrock of survival and success for all organizations. Learn how the quality of this relationship can be shaped by the quality of the communication between them—beginning with tools you can use as a manager. x
  • 23
    Dialogue and Appreciation—Engaged Employees
    Complete your understanding of the critical two-way interaction that determines a successful workplace as you look at the employee's role in building successful workplace communications. Grasp the techniques that make a practical difference in the success of both employee and employer. x
  • 24
    Dialogue—Ethical Choices behind Our Talk
    Listen to a summary of what you have learned, this time from the perspective of effective communication as a profoundly ethical process, and not merely one whose value lies in practicality. The goal is to speak in ways not only good for us, but for others, as well. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 24 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 80-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 80-page course synopsis
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Diagrams & tables
  • Suggested readings

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Your professor

Dalton Kehoe

About Your Professor

Dalton Kehoe, Ph.D.
York University
Dr. Dalton Kehoe is Senior Scholar of Communications at York University in Toronto, where he earned his doctorate in social psychology. A teacher and organizational change practitioner for more than four decades, Professor Kehoe specializes in both interpersonal and organizational communications. In addition to being honored for his teaching-with the York University Teaching Award, recognition at the national level by both...
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Also By This Professor


Effective Communication Skills is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 111.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Needs more real world and psych experience This is an interesting course as it approaches communication from a psychological standpoint. The concept of not damaging somebody else's self image is critical. But he seems oblivious to the fact, for example, that 6% of the population have an anti-social (sociopathic) personality and it is likely higher in business and universities. When you are dealing with personalities outside his range, you will likely be shark bait. In lecture 8 he uses an obscure model of personality which does not take this into account. He should study actual personality development (and personality disorders) as well as practical experience in big institution. His techniques may work in some situations but as I said, I feel they will make you shark bate in others. Sometimes 'control talk' is needed. There is no one solution.
Date published: 2013-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An unexpected approach to improve communication I bought this lecture because I just took on some new responsibilities at work. Even though I don’t consider myself a bad communicator, I feel that things don’t always go well when talking to other people, so I decided to try this course. I was extremely, positively surprised by the contents and the messages of the course and absolutely loved it. Anything I heard about communication before, basically focused on the matters of the last few lectures of this course. While those certainly are the areas where one would obviously try to use effective communication (relationships, work), previous learning experiences have not resulted in a real and lasting solution for me. After this course, I finally understand why. After this course, I finally realize that to become a good and successful communicator, one first has to understand more about us as humans and why communication fails so often in the first place. Then you can learn how to change it. In this regard, Professor Kehoe’s course is structured very logically. After starting with a general introduction, he describes how our communication develops and is influenced by our social surroundings. He explains the cognitive unconscious and how it influences our conscious mind; how we develop our sense of self, and how we try to protect that self when we are talking. He differentiates different kinds of talk (connect talk, control talk, and dialogue talk), and then, after it becomes clear what the advantages and disadvantages of those are, he focuses on specific situations in the final lectures as described above. He finishes with a lecture that shows how dialogue talk and its ethical implications can improve one's life significantly. Professor Kehoe’s approach helped me to finally gain a better understanding of communication, because more lectures focused on the general premises of communication (lectures 1 - 19) rather than just the usage during specific situations at work or in relationships (lectures 20 - 23). Furthermore, he does use plenty of examples of everyday-life-situations througout the first 19 lectures to make them clear and understandable. The most important statements are shown in charts (many of them also included in the course guidebook), and important terms or names are also printed on the screen. In this regard, it was a very well presented lecture. The only criticism I have is that as much as I perceived the presentation style in general entertaining and enthusiastic, I found that at times the necessity to finish a lecture in 30 minutes lead to a rather fast and rushed presentation. Hence I took away one star in the presentation rating. I think that this is a course that everyone should take and it should be taught in schools. If the teachings were applied more in our life, it would make our world a significantly better place to live.
Date published: 2013-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enigmatic + Emotional + Conducive = Life Changing Dr. Dalton has done a tremendous job in this course- He takes us to a journey and explains- ( Why? How? and What to do? ) in our daily life and become a communication + understanding + charismatic super hero. He also reconciles each chapter with home work. I got a standing ovation in my debate challenge because I mentioned efficient ways to communicate and I had finished the first four chapters. This was the first time my name was published in my college newspaper. As far as I remember the only time my name was mentioned in a newspaper was when I was born. Objective reality, paradoxical communication feeling and vanishing arbitrary symptoms will rise in your blood level. Your communication assertions will become so compelling that you will become a people's magnet. My grade for this course is 100/100 and I want to thank the great courses and Dr. Dalton Kehoe for this life changing course and am excited to see more courses from Dr. Dalton Kehoe. Have a great Christmas. Sincerely, Adil
Date published: 2012-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Course!!! I found the Effective Communication Course to be awesome. Professionally, I am a Technical Writer and as such I learned to consider the audience when writing. For example, what is their background, skill level, information requirements, where they come from, etc. My written business communication is a thoughtful process of considering the audience and ensuring the content is applicable to the audience. As I sat through the first few lectures of Effective Communication, I have to admit I wasn’t sure if I’d like the course as the material being presented focused on how one comes to develop a style of communicating. What I began to realize was, I was learning about the audience in verbal communication. It never occurred to me to apply what I knew about written communication to face-to-face communication. Professor Kehoe sparked a huge interest in me to learn more!! Once the foundational information was presented the remaining lectures provided practical information about communicating in everyday life while revisiting the foundational information and applying it to the current lecture materials. My husband and I would watch a lecture and then look at each other with a new understanding of where we needed to focus our energies to improve our communication. The last few lectures focused on business and transforming communication style within organizations. The content was so applicable to my current work that I’ve started using some of the recommendations presented by Professor Kehoe. For me, this course was just the beginning and provided an awesome start!! I’ve ordered some of the recommended reading and will continue evolving and improving my communication skills. Great work…Professor Kehoe!!!
Date published: 2012-12-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from An Easy Way to Fall Asleep... I purchased this course (in CD format) to improve my interpersonal skills. After listening to the first 2 lectures, I could not continue on! The presentation is so full of jargon & rhetoric that one would have to distill the few drops of wisdom to gain any benefit. I would recommend The Art of Conflict Management by Prof. Michael Dues instead. Much more practical and accessible!
Date published: 2012-11-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disapointed Researches that support the course material are old. It is also hard to follow 24 courses when so few visual support is used. Some communication models are hard to apply in real life due to their complexity. Even if this course provides some more conscious insight on the act of communication, I am in overall disapointed with how the course content is presented. I am not sure that I would have bought it again.
Date published: 2012-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Practical Knowledge I recommend this course for all supervisors and managers because it is a great how-to on how to deal with communication and its problems. The examples that were provided by the professor illustrate the points that he brought forth. Interpersonal communication in relationships is an important skill that takes practice. I appreciated the parts of the course dealing with negotiation and listening. Many people forget that listening is an important part of the communication process. The section on handling conflict is good. I would have liked additional coverage about people who always seem to cause conflict. The advice in the course was to always address it and take it seriously, but it seems that there are some people who start conflict just for the sake of it and there should be a way to effectively communicate to those people that this behavior is counterproductive. There are sections of the course I will be sure to listen to again because there is a wealth of information presented and much to absorb. The professor got a little preachy at times, but on the whole, this course is valuable because it addresses the topics that are very important to communicating effectively.
Date published: 2012-08-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I had hoped for more (or less) I taught communication at the college level for a number of years back in the 1980's. When I ordered this course I was hoping to either be brought up to speed on recent research and findings in the field OR learn new, practical approaches to improve my everyday interpersonal communication experiences. What I got was a little of both and, for me, not enough of either. I appreciate the enormity of the subject and the task of presenting the information in this format. I suppose for those without my background in the field this might have been a good blend of scholarly and practical information. There was a fine review of early, basic research and some references to recent work. There were also some excellent examples of how to put some of these findings to practical use. One thing I found particularly distracting was that the professor frequently misspoke. I have listened to several other courses now and I notice that most of them contain a few verbal and/or vocal flaws, and in some ways that adds to the sense of realism of being in a classroom. Perhaps my critical expecatations were higher here due to my background.
Date published: 2012-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Should Be Required Listening Many of the courses I've listened to over the years have been enlightening on an intellectual level. A few have reached deeper into my soul to be potentially life changing. This course is in the life-changing category. The course description provides a solid overview of what is covered in the course, so I won't regurgitate. Instead I will say that if you are interested in learning how to improve your communications with your spouse, your children, your friends, co-workers, and clients, you owe it yourself to invest in this course. Again, invest in yourself and your relationships and buy this course. If the Great Courses didn't guarantee it, I would.
Date published: 2012-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More Care During a needed conversation with my husband (following a week of listening to "Effective Communication“) I exploded,“I want to throw this lamp at your head!” among other charmingly hostile things laced with frequent expletives. My best-laid plans of putting into action Professor Kehoe’s “appreciative talk, no blame, no reasoning, no argument, engage the conscious mind” fell apart but I felt better. I needed to blow off steam as we deal daily with a disabled adult child, one spouse who is chronically ill, and the other having to travel out of town each week. This is not to say there are not helpful truths within this series. There are many such as the importance of even the most seemingly banal conversational efforts we make towards each other; the need to step away from what we think we already know about a person by engaging the conscious mind--making greater efforts to actively listen. Much of what Dr. Kehoe says is held in the adage to love as we would be loved. Thus, I would rename the final track “loving choices" finding the term ethical lacking in clarity of meaning. Regardless, the sun has risen once again, the river moves on at my feet, deep and clear; how then shall I talk to those far and near to me today—hopefully with more care because of this series.
Date published: 2012-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from nice professor I thought this course was great until the professor described a disgusting woman who tried to publically steal his thunder and humiliate him. Unfortunately we learn most from crisis situations, and this crisis was handled by ineffective avoidance.... Thus, in a course on communication, I was wanting to know how to communicate with difficult people, not the easy ones!
Date published: 2012-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Useful Course Prof Kehoe's presentation was superb. He captured my attention with his enthusiasm and by speaking clearly and concisely. The course material was thorough and practical with a lot of links to research. There was also just enough repetition to help you remember important principles. I found the material extremely useful, both in my personal and business life and I will attempt to really change the way I communicate using the Prof's principles. I've already tested some of his methods out and they do work. The course is really dense with ideas and I found I had to replay some of it to get all the information. Overall, I think this is a must course for both those wishing to improve both personal and business communication. For those who manage people this course is a must!
Date published: 2012-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Practicable, as far as self-help guides go Granted I have a major bias against the entire self-help industry, and I have my reasons. Still, this course has 3 redeeming qualities: a) some practical suggestions about how to remain in control in tough situations, ranging from attenuating your physiological and bodily reactions to thinking more critically (and hence more understandingly) about the situation. Kehoe makes frequent use of cognitive-behavioral techniques that have been remarkably successful in the past few years. b) higher-than-average reliance on credible research from notable psychologists and neuroscientists. Some of the "common wisdom" that Kehoe relies on as the basis of his talk has been severely questioned in the past 10-15 years (including, for instance, his theory of parenthood and his almost Freudian overemphasis on the "early years of childhood" - check out "The Nurture Assumption" by Rich Harris, or "The Blank Slate" by Pinker for two incisive critics.) Still, he cites important classics in social psychology and neuroscience and that is appreciated. c) some creative models and artful descriptions. The IP communication model, and felicitous descriptions such as "amygdala hyjacks", and "bulls and matadors" come to mind. I have found such vivid ways of modeling situations very helpful when dealing with my personal difficulties. Next time a friend launches a tirade, try picturing yourself as a matador and him/her as the bull, and you'll probably recognize its empowering effect. The content of the first half of the course is far superior to the second half. It is much more scientific and much less preachy, especially when Kehoe talks about the operations of the conscious and unconscious mind. I find the important studies mentioned therein much more humbling and therapeutic than all the advice on "being mindful and appreciative." Like Chekhov said, "Man will become better when you show him what he is like.” In terms of presentation, Kehoe is enthusiastic and focused. He knows his topic, and some of the personal anecdotes are really informative. No complaints there. All in all, even if you are a skeptic (like me) when it comes to suspicious titles such as this, I think Kehoe's course is worth a try, since it provides some evidence-based, practicable info if you're willing to make the effort and sift through. As a bonus, it may also provide a welcome opportunity to reflect on your relationships, triggering your own problem-solving skills. It did for me.
Date published: 2012-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Informative, reflective, holistic Video download review. ©2011. Guidebook 88 pages. I bought the video download but I found that audio would have sufficed without a great loss. I was so keyed into the content that the visual aspect of a presenter and graphics at times took away some of my concentration on the message. Also, the Guidebook was a bit thin. Wanna be a better person? Then get this course. There’s a lot to like about this one, and I feel like I’m going to be a better human being because of it, or rather, I could be if I reflected more on the content. It’s not like you can simply watch 24 lectures and instantly be more aware of your speech and interactions. I think this is a wonderful course to watch with others and begin the task of introspection. In this regard, you can listen or watch repeatedly and gain new insights about yourself. Here’s what I mean: I have to admit that I’m more of a to-the-point person who prefers to skip the small talk and get on with business. Lecture 13 really gave me pause to think about how I often avoid connect talk in various relationships. Since tackling this course I’m trying to make a conscious effort to build up that 5-1 positive-to-negative connect talk. Admittedly, in the back of my mind, I’m secretly wishing to hurry up and get the conversation over with quickly and move on, but I’ll try it for a while and see if I notice any changes. Kehoe is the expert, not me; and if research says 5-1 is the tipping point for smoother relationships, then I’ll give it a go. The highlight for me was that it covered theory of communication and practice, all backed up by interesting and relevant studies. In closing, I found this course to be an excellent supplement to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation (Muesse) and the sociolinguistics sections in Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language (McWhorter).
Date published: 2012-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Psychology, Not Rhetoric Audio CD. This is *NOT* a course on rhetoric. Anything but. It does include neurobiology, psychology, Eastern meditation, and counseling. Mostly counseling. It is challenging. It is straight-forward. It is provocative. But it is never dull. By “effective communication,” Dr. Kehoe does not seem to mean how to present your ideas persuasively. Instead, he seems to mean how two people can *exchange* ideas so as to be mutually intelligible with reasonable prospects of being well-received. Focusing on the bi-directional exchange rather than the unidirectional presentation makes a huge difference. An important foundation of his theory is that communication is dual channel and bi-directional. By bi-directional, he means that it is an exchange between two parties and that the exchange flows in both directions. This part I knew. However, by dual channel, he means that communication involves both content *and also relationship.* This was a new concept to me, but one that I readily accept upon thinking about it. I was surprised that Dr. Kehoe never mentioned the Claude Shannon communication model of transmitter, receiver, message, and medium. This course is not for the casual listener. However, I do recommend it for anybody who is willing to invest time and effort into improving one’s relationships with other and also for those who are responsible for helping other people improving their relationships with each other.
Date published: 2012-03-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth it. I've got to lecture ten and so far its one of the best courses this company offers! (n=16). The content is fascinating (qualification: I have no past learnings in this area so the lectures are very engaging). Lecture 9 is an eye opened and it describes me perfectly for example I was raised using the avoidant attachment style, its resulted in me being a dismissive avoidant - this is bang on! Can't wait to get through the rest of the course. This course is perfect for examining yourself, something everyone should do. "The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates
Date published: 2012-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Effective Communication skills This is an outstanding course for anyone who has come to realize the importance of communication at work, home and essentially in every facet of life. As a student and instructor of communication skills in professional settings, I can attest to Prof. Kehoe's breadth of knowledge and superior presentation abilities. After listening to the CD's, often two times or more, I wished I had purchased the DVD's. I found myself pulling my car over in order to take notes and rewind sections of the recordings. One will learn theory of communication including very recent research and techniques which can used immediately. Prof. Kehoe's passion for this topic comes through loud and clear. This course has inspired me to continue my study of this most important topic and has helped me immensely in my professional and personal life. I feel I owe Prof. Kehoe a debt of gratitude.
Date published: 2012-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good overall learning tool Just wanted to cast a five-star vote for this lecture. I thought it would be a good but fairly basic review of some key concepts, but I found plenty of novel ideas, and even what I did know was taught from a different perspective. The teacher has good credentials, and used his consulting experience to flavor his points. He also did well by re-emphasizing important points rather than overwhelming you with details, he used understandable catch-phrases to make complicated concepts easier to remember, and his speaking tone maintained my interest. As a summary, communication is more than just skillfully exchanging words and ideas. It's a challenging and multidimensional endeavor that takes practice and resilient persistence, requires you to blend your brain's "executive functions" with our enormous subconscious mass of habits and routines, and demands honest appreciation for the person at the other end of your voice and for the "greater good" of the organization rather than your own narrow goals. Because communication requires actively considering the benefit of other people, as well as mindfully approaching challenges with a goal of becoming a better person, the teacher considers communication an ethical event. I thought the last chapter superbly summarized some of his main points, and you may even want to listen to it first. The teacher also uses a case study to illustrate one communications conflict, and it worked so well I wished he had used it even more. Weak points? I thought the Course Guidebook did not summarize the lectures especially well. He also gave one strange and near-prejudicial example of cultural conditioning, saying the Southern US culture was based on the Scottish herdsman's concept of group 'honor' which required violent retribution for any wrongdoing to the member's family. Huh? This seems gibberish, and the author gives just one bibliographic reference to back up this speculation-stated-as-fact. I decided to keep the five stars because it was so easy to detect this apparent error that I don't think anyone will fall for it, it seemed notably out of place in this course, and, well, let's give each other a little slack.
Date published: 2012-03-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not What I Thought It Would Be I anticipated that this course would teach me how to be a more effective communicator. However, this course should be titled, "The Psychology and Theory of Effective Communication". After several mornings in the car listening to Freud, Freud, Freud, I simply couldn't listen anymore. I even skipped to later lectures, hoping that the opening several lectures were merely "setting the table" and the professor would get into the meat of the course in later lectures. I was disappointed. If you are looking for psychology and theory, this course is for you, but if you are looking for a more practical "how-to", this is not your course.
Date published: 2012-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Practical Value - and Fascinating! This course has already changed my life, and could change the world as more of us apply its insights and techniques. At its core is the concept that what we really seek is not just to make our opinions known and get what we want; but rather, to build and sustain good relationships: to be understood, AND to understand. "Easier said than done, but Kehoe gives us the tools we need. First he makes us aware of the automatic mental processes and communication habits that help us through everyday life but don't serve us so well in challenging situations - insights backed by myriad fascinating experimental studies. Then he provides us with practical techniques for opening and sustaining productive dialogues... even when the going gets rough... even if the person facing you doesn't have these tools. "Kehoe's speaking style is engaging, his knowledge extensive, his lectures artfully organized; and the values that inspire his approach are poised to inspire you as well.
Date published: 2012-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Useful This course effectively pulls together many kinds of studies that you may have heard of before into a coherent picture of interpersonal communications. The course provided me a very interesting and insightful addition to the other decision making and communications courses I've been taking. The course covers very practical approaches to improving your communicatons. I'm sorry I didn't take it earlier. This is a good course in the audio format (I listen in the car).
Date published: 2011-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid and enjoyable I quite enjoyed this course. For a professional skills course, there's a wealth of psychology background material that gives a solid evidence base to the practical tips provided; this is far more than self-help slogans and boilerplate. Moreover, there is a good balance in this course between communication skills for workplace situations and the challenges of personal relationships. A viewer may wonder why there's such an emphasis on psychology in the early lectures, but the investment of time pays off in the latter half of the course. Dr. Kehoe comes across as enthusiastic, engaging, and sincere. The lectures move at a good pace, and you never get the sense that material is being rushed, or that he's talking to fill time. This course should be required viewing for anyone working in an organization, but has more than enough substance to engage the casual viewer as well.
Date published: 2011-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tremendously Beneficial This course is one of many I have purchased or sat through. Yet I must admit it has had a greater impact on my life and my relationship than any of the others. The direction this course will set you out on isn't an easy one, and it will undoubtedly take patience and persistence--both with yourself and others, however the rewards will be worth every minute of every struggle. If you are looking for a way to manage yourself and your relationships more effectively, this is a course for you. If you have difficulty--of virtually any kind--with people in your life (be they a spouse, a bf/gf, or simply co-workers or employees), this course will benefit you. Either audio or video works well, but I have the video and I found that the professor's engaging presence made the lectures easier to pay attention to and engage in. And since the focus is on connection with others (and yourself), seeing someone talking the whole time seems to jive with the goals.
Date published: 2011-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worthwhile Talking is tough. Just battling to be heard in this age of digital interaction and polarization sometimes feels like a pyrrhic victory. Everyone seems to lose. Professor Dalton Kehoe calls for peace, not war, by advocating a gentle and appreciative approach to talk. After introducing the concepts and elements of human communication, Professor Kehoe offers his own brand of talking, one that favours dialogue over control, mentioning over-and-over again that this technique requires conscious effort and continued practice. His teaching method is clinical, as is customary in communications and psychology courses. He gives step-by-step cues on how to talk and gesture when situations are difficult. He builds models for interaction as the difficulty in communication increases, and suggests ways to smooth harshness in marital talk and talk at work. A little controversy is blended into the teaching. For instance in lesson 3, Professor Kehoe makes a rash generalization about particular ethnic groups that he supports by quoting academic sources, including the purported work of some anthropologists. This happens just once, however, and the tone for remaining lessons is both less controversial and more harmonious. Coincidentally, I experienced tremendous difficulty when I tried to acquire this video course. It seems my six-year-old operating system is out of date. After many futile attempts to download and after haggling with patient and understanding customer service people, I was able to receive a DVD version of the course in the mail for the same price as the download. Too bad legacy software is not considered important enough to support. The companion booklet with lesson summaries is digestible and informative, but it often skips over sections or entire parts of lessons, so it was helpful to review still frames of the video that listed important notes. I recommend Effective Communication Skills for anyone who desires to communicate without using argumentation and intimidation.
Date published: 2011-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding course and professor! As I have read the various reviews about this course and its Professor, I came away with the feeling that some of my fellow Life Long Learners may have not encountered the kinds of communication breakdowns that all too often happen in life. I, myself, have worked in business in the management realm and let me tell you, I wish I had seen this course years ago! In fact, this course should be NECESSARY TRAINING for all managers and employees...if your company wants to grow and excel. To keep this simple, Professor Kehoe can help you overcome communications deficiencies, at home, at church, at work, and everywhere else. The only way you could do better than purchase and watch this course would be to hire Professor Kehoe's consulting firm! I have dealt with consultants and experts in various fields; this man is the genuine article. Give him and his course a try, you will be better for it.
Date published: 2011-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worthwhile course! Effective Communication Skills is a great course for people dealing with a variety of difficult communication situations. It bridges the gap between professional communication and everyday communication strategies. It reviews skills for workplace communication and for working on relationships. I really enjoyed the clear format of each lecture and how its content corresponded and connected to the previous lectures in the course. I found that Dr. Kehoe provides real life examples, several of which helped me put my personal challenges into perspective. In the past, I have attended various communication skills workshops that just don’t compare to the thoroughness and depth this course has. His course is well researched and he knows what he is talking about! I felt Professor Kehoe’s passion for this topic from the first lecture. His ultimate concern that we become better communicators encouraged me to want to change and grow as a communicator using the ideas in this course. Thanks Great Courses. Great choice.
Date published: 2011-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very useful course for improving communication This is a wonderful course that certainly has affected how I communicate with my spouse. The course is intelligent, well researched, and covers all of the important points of effective communication. I have taken other courses on communication and this is the most complete. I would rate the course 5/5 with one caveat; that the sections in the written course guide be read before listening to a particular chapter. The written guide was excellent (and in fact can stand alone as the course) and summarized the main point of each lecture succinctly. I particularly enjoyed the diversions into psychology and philosophy. The lecture on the control of self by the cognitive unconscious (also reiterated in the TC neuroscience courses) should be listened to by anyone interested in philosophy.
Date published: 2011-08-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from utterly puzzled by other reviewers' ratings The main complaint is that the course is utterly uninformative and unhelpful. In two words, Kehoe's advice is to suck it up and ascribe your failure to communicate well to your own lack of understanding. As for the "positive" recommendation, it reduces to one thing: use the "I", and not the "you" language; don't say "you are an idiot"; rather, say "I feel offended". Of course, the quickest and usually most reasonable response to such an "I feel offended" complaint would be just "too bad you feel that way". This "I feel" language and its "effectiveness" were mocked even on "The Office" TV show. The professor's presentation style is exactly that of the emcee of a cheapest show -- very irritating.
Date published: 2011-07-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ... theory of communication This course contains lots of theory of communication, from the perspective of biological psychology. In the last 5 minutes of each lecture, the professor suggests some practical exercises that may be useful, if anyone actually did what he was suggesting. I would recommend this course for anyone who needs help getting through a university psychology course on communication, but, if you just want to improve your own personal communication, then a good yoga class, popular self-help book and a hands-on practical communication training seminar would be much more productive. The professor is quite enthusiastic and presents a good blend of academic theory and personal anecdotes.
Date published: 2011-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Prepare To Be Inspired I just finished this course yesterday and plan to listen several more times. This is a perfect course for anyone wishing to improve personal and professional relationships. It reveals the complexity of face-to-face communication that most are never exposed to. The content, if applied and practiced, can be truly life changing. This course was so inspiring that I wish I were at a point in my life in which I could pursue a Masters in Communications. Thank you, Dalton Kehoe, for being so passionate about your work.
Date published: 2011-06-25
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