Effective Communication Skills

Course No. 9331
Professor Dalton Kehoe, Ph.D.
York University
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4.2 out of 5
113 Reviews
80% of reviewers would recommend this product
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'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
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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 113.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well worth studying I first borrowed this course on CD from my local library and found it to be so worth repeating that I bought the CD set for myself. It contains knowledge that I believe will be extremely useful in many situations, yet knowledge that requires a lot of practice to truly acquire and put into practice. If some conversations do not end satisfyingly, and you are willing to learn how to do them better, this is a great start.
Date published: 2018-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best teachings on Communication This is a fantastic course on effective communications. I'm an executive coach and use this material on a regular basis with my clients. I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Effective Communication Skills One of the very best from my Great Courses collection, this explained why communication is much more complicated than it appears, with the assortment of expectations and desires we each bring to a conversation. Besides the explanations provided, the instructor does a fabulous job of providing practical advice to improve communication in every facet of our lives -- including our personal and family relationships as well as those in the workplace, and addressing difficult interactions. The instructor explains how effective communication can leave everyone feeling like a winner. I've bought a couple dozen Great Courses, but this is the only one that I bought extra copies to give to friends and family.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is truly an Effective Practical course My husband and I are doing the course together and we are both finding it very relevant to our needs. Very helpful in the techniques, but also in the explanations so we can appreciate what is happening to us in a difficult communication situation.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very happy it's a great course I'm very happy :)
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very happy with the course. Dr. Kehoe was very clear and well organized.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It open my eyes how often people are miss understood. its a great course to review how you communicate with your peers.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Fine course; beware of GC if you don't like spam. DVD course was what I needed, but they send an insane amount of spam email with only 1 out o every 5 or 6 having an unsubscribe button (which doesn't appear to do anything). My company purchases large quantities of educational/wellness material. I thought I had found my new source, but after dealing with junk mail over and over, their email is now going to my spam folder, and I will purchase elsewhere in the future.
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most Helpful Being a Minister I communicate with people a lot. This course has provided me with very helpful understanding, guidelines and excellent tools to improve my skill with relating to others. As benefit to my life of service I think this is the best course I have taken from Great Courses.
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really more of a 3.5 Bearing in mind my comments and reservations below, I recommend the audio version of this course since The Great Courses is so amazing at allowing returns if it doesn't fit your needs/likes. This course is listed as a Professional course, but is a better fit as a personal development course in the Better Living category. Most of the content is based on good research and interpreted well for the learner, except when the content is applied to the workplace. In particular, Professor Kehoe's interpretations of some of the research he mentions are suspect. For example, in Lecture 23 he states that high ratings on certain Gallup Employee Engagement Survey questions indicate a manager is doing well. That is not true for all of the survey questions he mentions. Employees provide high ratings on some of those questions and yet are very unhappy with their managers. An additional reason for my 3.5 rating is that Professor Kehoe's delivery style in the video version started out as distracting and ended up being quite annoying. I stopped watching and only listened after about two lectures. Unfortunately, his voice was not very pleasing so I ended up having to take long breaks (days or weeks) between listening to the lectures. And lastly, there were too many points where he came across as being preachy. On the plus side, the lectures are well organized, build on each other, and cover the full range of personal communication topics. He discusses much of the most important research in the personal communication field. Overall, if you don't mind his presentation style and/or voice, the course is quite useful as either an introduction to effective personal communication for the beginner or a well-organized review for those with deeper knowledge (which is what I used it for).
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great confidence builder Purchased a month ago . Course is well structured in manageable lessons to be completed in a reasonable time. Recommend.
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from had good information and was provide in a very structured way building on each chapter.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it!! I love to cook again! Thank you Bill Briwa for your patience and wonderful explanations and I would love a second edition of everyday gourmet!
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EFFECTIVE! ! Thank you Dr. Dalton Kehoe! I do not generally write reviews; HOWEVER, I felt required to say Thank you to Dr. Kehoe -whom I do NOT know personally. This course helped me learn how I could improve, change my behavior, to equip myself to communicate more effectively with my many siblings, their spouses-and their adult children!. Dr Kehoe in this course made a significant contribution to bridging our family's communications gaps. Thank you! Perhaps, someone may read this and be moved to invest the time to LISTEN, learn, and benefit from his presentation of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION; To adapt these SKILLS to their lives and benefit as I have -and will for the rest my communicating life. I highly recommend Dr Dalton Kehoe's "Effective Communication"... I have listened to it once and intend to listen-study-it again! It was most helpful and timely! Perfect -for me! I gifted one to my entrepreneurial sister, 3000 miles away, to give her the advantage of Dr. Kehoe's insignt. It has provided me and our large diverse family thoughtful working tools to HELP us towards our goals and to more effectively communicate and understand one another and foster harmony, unity and fellowship. I hope this helps in your decision making. Thank you for reading.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Concepts I Can Implement Now The professor is an excellent communicator, is impressively knowledgeable and an unusually good teacher of complex ideas.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not worth the time and money Too much fluff and very little practical and useful content.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous presenter I hope I have now improved my communication skills.
Date published: 2016-10-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great, though Some Psychology Review The professor is insightful and presents a number of great ideas and concepts as he discusses the possible barriers to effective communication. There is, however, a lot of review of the concepts that I have learned in my undergraduate degree in psychology, such as the parenting attachment styles of Ainsworth and Bowlby and theories of personalities, and various studies that I have heard about previously. I don't deny that he presents these materials very well, but my background makes some of it repetitive. Still, I definitely recommend the course.
Date published: 2016-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from applicable anywhere Such useful and fascinating information that can be applied in personal and professional life-- he neatly wraps up the key research in communication in a wide variety of fields and gives the viewer tools to improve communication skill... Loved it.
Date published: 2016-08-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Pass on this one I was disappointed with this course. I just finished the Art of Negotiating which I thought was excellent. i thought this course would complement what I had learned there. But the speaker just didn't draw me in nearly as much. I was rather bored from the beginning and I ended up just skimming through the reading and picked a few topics to watch that I thought was more practical near the end. While the subject matter is fairly practical and important , the professor's lecture content is more theoretical and intellectually presented. He does provide some examples and notes, but they are presented in a dry and stale format. Like in many of the courses, this professor tries to use his arms as body language to communicate his message, but all he is doing is flailing his arms around. Actually that should be a topic for effective communication in a future series. i did pick up on a few topics of interest to improve my supervisory skills, But in general i knew and understood these things beforehand and just needed a refresher. I also knew a great deal more about the Myers -Briggs temperament model than was discussed, which i enjoyed learned very much to learn initially, but in listening to his presentation i found myself falling asleep. So I recommend the Art of Negotiating and finding some other fun tools to improve communication skills than use this particular course.
Date published: 2016-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Conversational mechanics masterfully explained 'Effective Communication' examines our unconscious and conscious thought processes and how we can better support our relationships with our speech. It provides greater insight into how we judge others, how others judge us and how we can work to reconcile the issues that can result from our differing styles and sensibilities. The first half of the course explains our growth, development and indoctrination into our environment and how this fundamentally shapes how we perceive and interpret information. The second half reinforces these lessons and provides guidance with diffusing conflicts. A wide range of research studies and personal anecdotes are used throughout to reinforce these key concepts. These lectures are loaded with information and Prof. Kehoe speaks with such vigor that I watched many of the lectures twice in order to fully grasp the material. As others have remarked, the guidebook is rather brief and could use a few more of the charts and graphics shown in the video format. On the whole, this is a well researched and well presented course on the skills we can acquire and enhance to improve the relationships in our lives.
Date published: 2016-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Should be called "Psychology of Communication" This course is not what I expected or wanted. I was expecting/wanting a "small talk, dinner/party conversation" course... information on how to effectively communicate everyday ideas and thoughts. This was not that course, though much of what is presented could help in that regard. After completing the course, I again read the lecture headings and feel it's only by hindsight that I realize the course really wasn't what I was looking for. This course, I feel, could better be titled "the Psychology of Communication" and is geared towards work place and personal relationship issues and conflicts. The course delves heavily into psychology. We found the information interesting and potentially helpful. My husband and I are retired so, thankfully, no longer have to deal with those concerns. Nor do we have personal relationship issues. We found much of what Mr. Kehoe says is akin to reviews of the leadership courses we attended during our careers. Again: Interesting information. If you're having communication problems in your personal relationship(s), or work as a supervisor and need to communicate more effectively with employees and/or employers, by all means watch or listen to this course. We watched the video series, and found the presenter engaging and relaxed, without (too many) annoying or distracting habits. Overall we found the content interesting and informative. We were well pleased to have the opportunity to learn new things.
Date published: 2016-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid Course with lots of good material I have found the presenter to this course very knowledgeable and he presents the information in a logical orderly fashion. Lots of examples are giving and interesting social experiments are described in detail backing up the themes of the course. If communication is one of your interests this course is a good choice.
Date published: 2016-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting I have only made it thru the first two CD's so far, but I am finding the material to be very enlightening.
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! As a licensed therapist and board certified coach, i'm always looking for material that can support my clients -- this series on effective communication is truly one of the very best I can recommend to them.
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Effective Communication Skills I have looked at over thirty courses and this course is by far the best in many ways. The speaker was well organized, had great material, and the information could be put to use in everyday life. While the other courses were interesting, this course was by far the best in overall value. I am glad to recommend the course as it was presented.
Date published: 2016-01-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good, but couldn't recommend Professor Kehoe is a charismatic speaker, however I found the content (ironically?) rather dull and vague. I will admit that I couldn't finish the course because of this. It is very possible things pick up later, but the first set of lectures were underwhelming. There tended to be lots of communication theory, but not much practical, in the trenches communication methods. I was personally hoping for the latter. There are other practical communication courses I found quite helpful such as the Art of Conflict Management: Achieving Solutions for Life, Work, and the rather short Beyond and How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication. It isn't that the course is bad, just not what I expected or hoped.
Date published: 2016-01-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Prices and content Your prices are too high. I have 32 courses and while I couldn't get all the courses I wanted do to price I did buy courses that were on sale. Many of your professors speak too fast and don't have many visual aids. Need more visual aids and slow down or repeat on important items. Also the courses are hard to stop and reverse to replay an important part. It's very frustrating. I take notes on every lecture and keep notes in a binder. Your web site for buying new courses keeps kicking me out and gives a notice to call your switchboard. Very frustrating. I think you have a lot of improvements to to and lower your prices will increase your gross. Economists 101
Date published: 2016-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Be patient and mind the GAP. Video review. Dr. Kehoe's EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS rests on a few key pillars. If you ignore his starting point and choose instead to look for "persuasion tricks," you will be sorely disappointed. 1. Our communication skills would improve significantly if we stopped seeing ourselves as islands of reason surrounded by muddle heads. We all come to this world craving acceptance, consistency and a sense of competent control. 2. But these objectives are not given at birth. We start off helpless and dependent, eager to fit in and absorb the cultural cues provided by our immediate families. 3. For most of us, this active quest gradually diminishes with physical maturity. We find jobs and settle into long-term romantic relationships. Even so, this "maturity" is mostly a facade. Divorce rates remain high. And office work is rife with conflict. 4. Why is that? Kehoe believes our ceaseless drive to project competence predisposes us to filter out jarring realities, assuming that everyone else are "extras" in the home movie of our lives. 5. Good communication therefore cannot be effortless. EFFECTIVE is designed to re-sensitize us to the "facade" aspect of everyday interactions. Accept your inability to perceive all of reality, and you will be much more willing to forgive the same failing in others. You are then better placed to self-consciously communicate effectively and compassionately. 6. And so yes, there is an ethical dimension to this course. We all make a living and seek happiness within nets of reciprocal social expectations while our very "selves" evolve in time. It's a gossamer theatre easily torn when taken for granted. Careers and marriages are much more fragile than they appear. As I said, this is only Kehoe's point of departure. He then analyses various forms of talk with more specific work-related or romance-related examples. I found this course fascinating. Definitely a 5-STAR product with respect to content and usefulness. ____________________ But it could have been far more user-friendly. A "gap" exists between Kehoe's lectures and the course guidebook. A gap you must fill to fully retain and use the information provided. To make his points, Kehoe introduces a long list of specialized terms — internal feedback, collectivist cultures, nonverbals, self-concept, sensors, attachment theory, displacement, control talk, etc., etc. — to name just a few. And yet nowhere are these terms listed for easy reference in the guidebook. No glossary is provided. The guidebook also skips significant graphics. "Inference ladder", for example, is portrayed repeatedly in the video course as a key concept. And yet this diagram appears nowhere in the guidebook. As a result, you have to watch this course pen in hand, and take notes to capture all the concepts and tools offered. Skip the note-taking, and you will remember very little a few months down the line. Just for fun, I checked the guidebook for "The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal", another TTC course on communication with a purpose. Both are 24 lectures. EFFECTIVE has 80 pages and DEAL 199. The difference really shows. So 3 STARS at best for the guidebook. ____________________ PRESENTATION was fine. Kehoe is a good, clear speaker. Audio versions are sufficient provided the skimpy guidebook is supplemented with Googled graphics, the aforementioned "inference ladder" being a good example. Otherwise, a great course. If communication is not your strong point and conversational subtexts often elude you, EFFECTIVENESS is a good place to start. BUT you must have the patience to wade through the first 9 lectures on human psychology. Very useful. Not just theory.
Date published: 2015-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Practical I picked this set of CDs up at a local library book sale and didn't really know what I was getting, but was delighted to find the content unexpectedly good and meaty. After having listened to 38 Great Courses on a wide range of topics I'd have to say this is THE most practical and helpful one yet. It took me a little while to warm up to Prof. Kehoe's style of presentation, but it quickly became apparent that he is an expert in the subject and an excellent teacher. The course covers a tremendous amount of ground with an emphasis on both personal and professional applications. I really enjoyed some of the early lectures that presented practical information based on psychology (reminding me of the popular self-help book "The Four Agreements"# about conscious and unconscious mental processes, and all the projecting and filtering we do in the effort to communicate. The latter half of the course uses this background info to paint a detailed picture of optimal and effective communication skills. There are only two caveats I have; 1# There is a lot of jargon to digest here. This isn't too surprising considering it's an academic survey, but it isn't really my cup of tea. 2) Although I came to deeply respect Prof. Kehoe's communication skills there is also a little part of me that rebels with being told how to #and that I should# do these best practices. It almost seems a bit 'Brave New Worldy'. And this internal rebellion made me consider how if we are hardwired to misunderstand and miscommunicate then there must be some inherent value in this... and that maybe there is something to be gained by having to work so hard to be more conscious and clear in our understanding of ourselves and each other #i.e. communicate#. Overall, this is a highly recommendable course, and one I will probably listen to again and definitely share with family and friends.
Date published: 2015-06-15
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