Effective Communication Skills

Course No. 9331
Professor Dalton Kehoe, Ph.D.
York University
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Course No. 9331
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Explore typical conversational roadblocks you encounter every day - and learn how to avoid them.
  • numbers Recognize damaging control talk and learn how to switch to more productive dialogue talk.
  • numbers Discover useful techniques for improving communication at work, at home, or in other social arenas.
  • numbers 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 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
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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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Effective Communication Skills is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 112.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thank you for creating this course. Although most of us know some of the information in each of his lectures he increased my knowledge of each topic and I find this information helpful at home and at the work. I have recommended this to many friends and my adult children. I hope he creates more courses because I think he is a gifted educator!
Date published: 2015-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Usefull I bought this course because as a white Caribbean woman I was being misunderstood by my American colleagues. (In the Caribbean, talking "with passion" is considered intelligent - my fellow workers were intimidated by it). I listened and took notes on this course three years ago. Right after I finished the course the results were immediately visible at work. Three years later, my colleagues and I have a great relationship because I am able to communicate my ideas and opinions better. I highly recommend this course for anyone who feels misunderstood.
Date published: 2015-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!! Being an educator myself, I have always been and, will continue to be, a lifelong learner. When this brochure just happened upon my mailbox one day, I decided to take a look inside (although I really thought it was going to be another throw away brochure!) and I am so glad that I did! Professor Dalton Kehoe is a wonderfully engaging and informative speaker. I sit at my computer with a notebook, taking notes, then pass on my newfound knowledge to my closest friends and family that I know will also benefit from his pearls of wisdom. I've only listened to the first few lectures so far but Professor Kehoe has already cleared up so much about my own and my friends and family's roadblocks to effective communication!! I am having one A-HA moment after another and I love it!! I have gotten 6 people to sign up for Great Courses in one week!! In fact, I have to close now, because it's time for me "to go to class!" Awesome, awesome, awesome!!
Date published: 2015-02-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Effective Communication Skills My expectation from the course title was to learn better communication skills. I was hoping for examples of how to better communication in different situations, how to move from non production communication to productive communication and how to short circuit sabotage communication. Instead the course focused more on what influences the way we communicates and different communication styles. The course dragged with "filler" content that did not lend to the overall effectiveness of the course.
Date published: 2015-02-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Communication skills content matter is completely useless to me. Waist of time and money. I stopped watching after lesson 3.
Date published: 2015-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Launching Point I purchased this course in order to develop my interpersonal skills which, I admit, needed improvement. This course greatly helped me understand how to better communicate. It was mostly theoretical with few examples. But I have been able to put the theory into practice and it's helped a lot. If you're already good at this sort of thing, then maybe this course isn't for you. But I am told by others that, after watching this course and The Art of Conflict Management, my interpersonal skills got much better. I gave the course 4 stars for two reasons. First, it was downgraded because some of the theory was too abstract for me to apply in the real world; I just wasn't sure what to do with some of these ideas or how to apply them. Second, it was upgraded because it helped me so much.
Date published: 2015-01-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Effective Communication Lacks Communication Tools Once you can get used to the boring never changing surroundings and the complete lack of visual aids, you will find the professor's course content to be very interesting, large in scope and useful. However, it is truly ironic that a communications course fails to deliver well on the delivery of the course itself. In other words, this course fails to communicate well the subject of communication. Having said that, the professor's depth of knowledge is clear and the subject matter is very interesting. As possible improvements, I'd suggest the inclusion of charts, animated illustrations and drawings to help viewers picture the points being made. It would also be useful if the professor changes surroundings from theme or lesson to lesson. Otherwise, the viewer has the impression that he/she is on a very long single lecture in the same exact room. In fact, I'm not even sure if the professor ever changes his own attire! All of this makes this interesting course harder to follow and even finding the place where you may have left the video is difficult because all lessons look exactly the same, visually. So, if a viewer can put up with the boring same exact surroundings the entire time, this is great course.
Date published: 2014-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Some Good Ideas My first impression of this course wasn't good. I even contemplated returning it, which I've never done. I was frustrated that I was having difficulty understanding what he was trying to say when he has won so many awards as a teacher, and yet I wasn't connecting with him. I stuck with it, and the second half of the course was much more useful to me. The principles of communication he covered are good for personal as well as professional settings - like he said - they are all personal. I believe many of his techniques are practical. I liked his techniques for talking with someone who sees the world or at least the situation differently. I liked that he didn't make it sound like it would be easy. He acknowledged the ever present emotional component to disagreements. So, although I almost gave up after the first few lectures, I'm glad I stuck it out. I already find myself taking a deep breath and using I-messages with my teen-aged daughter!
Date published: 2014-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Effective Communication I struggled with the first six lectures since the material was so high level and conceptual that it was hard to see where the professor was going with it. However, I found the remainder of the course to be excellent. I particularly enjoyed the discussions regarding control talk, and the course caused me to do some self reflection about my own communication style. I will come back and review lectures from this course before approaching difficult conversations. If only everyone could take this course; communication would be so much easier
Date published: 2014-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Current information The content is great, a lot of knowledge and information. The professor just makes it hard to watch because of his slow pace in talking. Some of the information he covered, I saw it being though in the University, so his information very current.
Date published: 2014-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining and Eye-opening Information Professor Kehoe gives an organized and easy-to-understand lesson on communication. The information was helpful and practical for understanding others and adjusting some of my communication patterns in order to improve relationships with friends, family, and even co-workers. The professor has an enjoyable delivery style and uses many examples to make the lessons clear.
Date published: 2014-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A practical course Professor Kehoe spends lectures 1-3 laying the foundation of the course. These are dry lectures discussing models, and I found myself hoping all 24 lectures wouldn't be this dry. Thankfully, I stuck with the course and they weren’t. I particularly learned a lot in lecture 4, the “Operations of the Cognitive Unconscious”, which explored the connection between neuroscience and our communication (how our limbic system informs the conscious mind of the communication we are interpreting from others and the environment). Throughout all of the lectures, Professor Kehoe discusses relevant research, and offers a “What to Do” segment for how to talk. You've probably heard most of this stuff before: don’t blame (i.e. “You make me…”), anchor in the present (i.e. don’t drag past baggage into today’s argument), speak using the word I instead of you, etc., but I still picked up quite a few tips, i.e. learning about my Myers-Briggs personality, and how to communicate with those of different personalities. Lecture 20, which discusses communication differences between the genders, was also enlightening for me because I learned my communication style is masculine, and that explains why I don't get along too well with other women. Professor Kehoe also elaborates on management-employee communication throughout the course. I have made pretty much all the communication errors Professor Kehoe described. We all have. With my newfound awareness of better communication techniques and insight into myself, I will be a better communicator in the future.
Date published: 2014-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Genius! This lecture is phenomenal! I have taken several classes on communication over the years and thought I had some pretty good "tools" in my toolbox. It was not until hearing Dr. Kehoe speak that I got the WHOLE picture. Understanding why it is so easy to miscommunicate puts everything into a different perspective. It worked immediately for me! Instead of allowing the biochemical response to pick up steam, I now look for the lack of interpretation and use his tactics to reconnoiter and try again. It has removed my defensiveness and made a "game" of it! I now truly "get" that effective communication means both parties get what they want. Genius! Thank you!
Date published: 2014-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EXCELLENT course ! Chock full of important insights and information. Very very impressed with the professor and his knowledge.
Date published: 2014-08-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Misnomer The name of this course is misleading. This is "theory" not "skills". There is a big difference. Being able to name the concepts is one thing (inference ladder, control talk, dialog, etc.), but a skill is a different kind of knowledge, just as knowing the rules of baseball is nothing like knowing how to bat or catch a grounder. In the early chapters Prof. Kehoe used the Inference Ladder and other concepts to explain how difficult communication is. He tells us again and again the meaning is not in words; it's in people. Then he lectures in highly abstract language throughout the course. There are no actors role-playing until chapter 21 and then they are used only once. This course would have been much more effective if actors illustrated the theory in every chapter as Prof Kehoe presented it. Then Prof. Kehoe could explain what really was going on in these dramas.
Date published: 2014-07-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Effective Communication Skills Knowledgeable in his field but presentation in video was a bit tedious. Needs more visual aids & perhaps vivid presentations to bring points home. Lecture just offers a lot of talk and nothing more.
Date published: 2014-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this course! I listened to this course many times and I pick up a little more each time. It presented in good progression. The information is spot on. I had my 15 year old son listen to it and his communication skills soared. My daughter is in line to listen next. I would recommend this course to anyone. Even if you are already a good communicator. This course is a great refresher.
Date published: 2014-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Add to Collection I've added this wonderful course to my collection of Courses featuring Communication Skills. His CV is quite impressive. This course needs to be reviewed over and over due to its complexly-layered and deep info base. Unpacking the lectures can be challenging, but it continues to be well-worth the effort.
Date published: 2014-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Valuable lessons for all I found this course on communications to be one of the best I've heard on the subject, and one of the best offerings at The Great Courses! If you have an interest in becoming more effective in speaking with others, either in work or in life, this course is worth a listen! I just got the CDs, not the DVDs.
Date published: 2014-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Thought-Provoking, Worth-While Course My friend and I, both homeschooled through high school, took this as a course during our Junior year. I remember being blown away by the simplicity and complexity of communication. When you understand WHY people do, say, or think what they do, you have a MUCH better chance of having effective communication with them. I remember going home from my friends house one day after school and getting into an argument with my mom. My mind was thinking of how she was feeling and how I was coming across. Conscious of the things I had heard in the course that day, I was able to reason with my mom and we ended up having a deep heart to heart and communicating for the first time in many months. I say all that to say, if you are interested in the study of people, how their minds work, and how you can effectively communicate with them, this is definitely a worthwhile course.
Date published: 2014-03-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Could Be So Much Better! This course included a lot of good information and I'm glad I watched it. Professor Kehoe is a charming and enthusiastic presenter. So why am I giving it only three stars? Because it could be so much better! Prof Kehoe covered a broad range of communication subjects, but in a rather disorganized manner. I would like to have seen a comprehensive and coherent list of all types of talk, plus a list of heuristics and how they match up. The booklet has no glossary, which would have helped. He spent too much time on research studies and the researchers. Professor Kehoe's finest moment came in Lecture 19 when he brought in two actors who demonstrated very effectively what he was lecturing about. He should have had actors demonstrating in all 24 lectures.
Date published: 2014-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very useful and practical I really enjoyed the presentation, I am glad he took a broad approach and gave a good basis before going into more detail and practical skills to implement. I am a Christian and so some things I don't agree with because I come from that perspective. But still very useful and helpful. I used to communicate by accident more often, this will help me communicate on purpose. Very recommended and presented well. One BIG complaint is that it didn't go for longer, there is more I want to learn about communication!! Wish it was a 40 part series!! Get it and listen to it!
Date published: 2013-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly A Great Course! DVD This course is now near the top of my list of favorites, one which I will return to and one I hope I can interest family members in watching. Professor Kehoe does a fantastic job in presenting a wide range of relevant research studies on interpersonal communications and relationship building, as well as in enlivening the lectures with very interesting and pertinent personal anecdotes, most often from his experience as a consultant in organizational communications. I really like the way he crafted this course by spending a good deal of time laying a solid groundwork on the way we think and talk. This involves extended discussions, for example, about how the mind works in processing information, the role of emotions and self-esteem, what we are blind to in ourselves and others, how and why we are quicker to judge than think, and how all of this affects the way we relate to other people. As Professor Kehoe notes, “Most of the time, our nonconscious mind is running the show-and it can get us into some very difficult communications situations” (Course Guidebook, Page 73). Professor Kehoe expertly builds upon the foundation of how communication works in everyday settings with excellent lectures on how we can become more conscious and effective communicators. Self-management and use of the Adult Voice and, as he notes, focus and effort are the keys to success. In many ways, for me, much of what Professor Kehoe has to recommend is easier to take after learning about what underlies talk for all of us, including that infamous “inference ladder” (Page 19) that we so often quickly climb in dealing with others. But, I have to admit, as he details the complex multi-layered flow of communication between people, it’s a wonder that we can get along at all. After the foundational lectures, I especially enjoyed those on connecting and building relationships, dealing with disagreements, the various types/aspects of dialogue, gender and cultural differences, and talking our way to lasting relationships. These are all insightful and are full of useful recommendations. The final lecture on ethical choices is really a wonderful and, at times, enthusiastic, overview of the course. Professor Kehoe runs through nearly all of the course’s main points, helpfully referencing the lecture numbers as he relates what had been covered. I might have benefited from listening to this lecture first, but I’m happy with how things worked out. I will start there next time. Professor Kehoe does not present this course as a path-breaking approach to effective communication. In fact, some of the information and studies might be familiar to viewers/listeners, and some of the recommendations are just good common sense suggestions (e.g., in tense situations, pull back and take some deep breaths). What is important in this course is how Professor Kehoe has put all this material together and presents it so effectively. He is one heck of a communicator! So, one will learn a lot in this course about communicating with others and how to do it more effectively. Learning is the easy part. Using what I learned will be the hard part! This course most definitely provides the understanding and tools to support that focus and effort. I am glad I got this in DVD form. I suppose one can still get a lot from an audio version, but there are just so many charts, tables, lists, photos and video clips that support and drive home Professor Kehoe’s points, that audio only might come up short.
Date published: 2013-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Want to Get More Than You Pay for? I’m almost 60 and buy A Lot of educational material online; UPS knows me. This is my first online review EVER. I am motivated to post my comments considering the reason I purchased Prof. Kehoe’s Effective Communication Skills (ECS) course in the first place. This set of lectures is a REQUIRED resource for an accredited online graduate class I’m taking and we had graded assignments from this Great Courses presentation. That said I am extremely grateful that I was “forced” to buy this course and work through it. I’ve written and called my professor more than once telling her how grateful I am to be going through the experience of Prof. Kehoe's lectures & exercises. I have been moved from tears of "Shame on you" to tears of gratitude. I feel I now have tools and strategies to help me listen to and communicate with others as I would want them to do with me. I really wish we'd had this course while raising adolescents; we would have explicitly helped them understand the goal of communication and practice these strategies. If his lectures were part of a required course in 9th grade and again in 11th, we might have fewer fights in schools & neighborhoods. Teens could learn to recognize when they or someone else is beginning to talk reactively and mindlessly and then help themselves or that other to remember to be more humane by taking conscious control of themselves. My husband has agreed to go through this course with me more slowly than I did for my class. I’ve already felt some benefit to our relationship and look forward to growing closer as we work through the course together. I hesitate to post this intention, considering the site I'm posting on, but I am going to work to get this course sent to the homes of my young adult nephews and children in five states. This one thing I CAN do so they may have the opportunity to open the box and benefit from Prof. Kehoe's life-changing course much earlier in their lives than I.
Date published: 2013-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic lectures! Highly recommend this set of lectures to anyone who is interested in learning why we communicate the way we do and how we can better communicate with others. Dr. Kehoe includes a lot of information on developmental psychology and how that shapes our communication styles and our reactions to what others say. He also lectures on communication skills in the presence of strong emotion and how we can maintain our ability to communicate effectively and appropriately when we are feeling worked up. Dr. Kehoe's last lecture, which discusses effective communication skills in the context of ethical behavior, is especially important and moving. The material is so rich and useful that I hope that Dr. Kehoe publishes a transcript of the lectures someday.
Date published: 2013-09-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Some good parts This just seemed too long and actually "taught" too little. With some good editing it could have been half as long but still taught just as much. Sorry, I hate to be negative. I did learn some things, but had to wade thru a lot to get there.
Date published: 2013-08-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from 12 hrs fluff talk and theories Does anyone at teaching company even review what these 'professors of communication' are putting out or just get bowled over by their 'credendtials ' ? This course never delves into effective models of communication which have been proven to work by the most socially networked people. Just theories of this professor who goes on to explain theories of other people and regular common sense. Being self-employed and having to persuade others to get work on a regular basis, I was taking this course hoping that i could find a working model in communication to overcome indifference/prejudices etc. when trying to get new business. This course certainly fails and is complete waste of time. imagine effective communication being 'taught' in a monologue setting ...keeps harping on the fact which has been proven many a decades ago that verbal portion of communication contributes only a fraction of meaning when compared with non-verbal signals/body language/intentions etc.how can i get my money back?
Date published: 2013-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Course for better leaders in training I have a background in languages, communication and leadership training so I purchase the courses in these areas that TTC produces out of a professional interest. The only critique that I have of this course is that I want to see another course that expands on the ideas discussed in this first one. Perhaps with a focus on Organizational, or Intercultural communication. The reason that I like this course is that Professor Kehoe presents a lot of information in each lecture, but is able to strike that difficult balance between personal anecdote and general research while still answering the questions of "Why should I care?" and "How can I apply this?" that many offerings in the self-improvement genre fail to address. I have noted that some of the reviews criticize the course for not being more advanced, but as far as introductory courses on the subject, this covers much more than others that I have seen. Even though I had heard some of what was covered here elsewhere, I still learned many new things, and often came away with a better way to explain things I had understood beforehand. With that in mind, I feel the criticism from some reviewers who also are not new to communication studies is unfair, something like saying that a freshman survey course is bad because it isn't as in-depth as a senior seminar. A senior who chooses to attend a freshman survey should understand that these basic concepts need to be explained, and they should do their best to gain what they can from the experience, otherwise why are they there? The reason that I marked course content down to 4 stars from 5, is that there really is so much here, it is really is almost too much to absorb by watching or listening once. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that it goes so fast that the listener is left going "huh?" but rather that good pieces of information in some cases can only be mentioned or alluded to, and in the course of listening can be partially forgotten by the end of the lecture. I honestly feel that this is a function of lecture lengths, and number of lectures in the course. I purchased the transcript book to go along with the course, and am very glad that I did because more than once I was able to go back and reflect on a story, or piece of research that Professor Kehoe mentions and investigate it further. I know that not all listeners or viewers have the time or inclination to make notes as they watch on topics like this #I am one# so the book made it very easy to find these when I wanted to. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend, and eagerly await a second course that expands the first.
Date published: 2013-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Effective Communication Skills Regardless of your profession, this is the course for you! The lack of communication skills is the bane of our society today. With the advent of social media and all its abbreviations, the skills of effectively talking to one another has went the way of the 8-track tape. Whether you are a business person, clergy or a plumber, the ability to effectively communicate is essential to your success. This course is a Speech course on steroids! I highly recommend this course and kudos to Professor Kehoe for his coherent and cogent presentations!
Date published: 2013-05-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Course Chock Full of Information! This course was well organized, presented well and was exactly as advertised. The instructor does an excellent job of covering a great deal of theory and fundamental principals of communication. I feel like I learned a great deal and have a much better understanding about how and why people communicate the way that we do. I will listen to this course again.
Date published: 2013-05-02
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