Learning to Listen

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Effective transfer of training for all employees is easier when there is a culture of learning.  Creating a culture of learning must come with clear support from the top of the organization through the office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  As we have learned through our studies, two additional key strategies recommended for the effective transfer of training for employees into productive performance behaviours include, management support and on-going performance coaching.  So how does the CEO become more effective in their own performance as a cultural role model for the learning organization?

They too need management support and on-going performance coaching.

Click here to read the article.  

According to this article, there is a 65.4% increase in management productivity due to one-on-one coaching when compared to the transfer of learning that comes from attending a three-day management training session.  Further, most of us forget a significant portion of what we have heard within 8 hours!   So, it is particularly interesting to note, that for the CEO, the focus of performance coaching in this example relies on the continued development of their own listening skills in order to become better communicators.

If the CEO learns to listen more, then employees are more likely to be heard.  If employees feel like they are being heard, then they are more likely become more productive.  If there is more productivity, then there is likely to be an increase in organizational value as a result of employees feeling valued and listened to.

Does it matter?  If the transfer of training by the CEO makes for better listening practices and effective communication, then a positive chain reaction throughout the organization could occur.  This result makes it obvious that it does matter…a lot!

Discussion Questions:

  1. What advice would you give the CEO where you work (or have worked) in order to increase their communication effectiveness?
  2. What types of performance coaching would you benefit from in your current work situation?
  3. How much do you remember from past training sessions that you were able to implement into your daily work routines?
  4. Who would benefit from on-going performance coaching in your current workplace and why?

Good Faith vs. Bad Faith

Nothing seems to drive a collective bargaining process into the ground more than the perception that one of the parties is not playing by the rules.  A key principle, that is enshrined in the legal process of collective bargaining, is the concept of bargaining in good faith.

It is, in fact, more than just a concept.

When parties agree to bargain in good faith, they agree to honour the rules that they make with each other before the bargaining process even begins.  These mutually agreed upon rules include items such as how communication will happen to each of the parties’ respective constituencies and, in the case of public sector bargaining, how information will be communicated to the public at large.  The setting of the ground rules between the parties is as serious as the content and the issues that are discussed at the bargaining table.  Setting the ground rules for bargaining is part of the legal environment and processes that enable fair, honest, and open negotiations to take place.

As with all kinds of rule based settings, when one of the parties appears to be breaking the rules or does not seem to be playing by the rules, the other party gets upset.  When this happens, the other party typically reacts in a negative way, which is not a surprise!  Suddenly, the issues at the table take second place, as the negotiations process stalls and hostile allegations of bad faith bargaining start to take hold.

This seems to be the case as the collective bargaining process continues to unfold in the education sector in Ontario.

Click here to read the article.

What makes this particular bargaining process more complex is that there are three parties at bargaining table: the government, the union, and the provincial association representing public school boards.  Resolutions to these types of allegations and bargaining processes are never easy.  Hopefully, all of the parties will be able to see their way through the layers of complexity and conflict in order to find a way to negotiate and to honour the bargaining process between them.

Discussion questions

  1. What was the agreed upon rule that appears to have been broken?
  2. What are the possible implications of filing a claim of bad faith with the Labour Board?
  3. Why is the issue of communication so important to each of the parties in this process?
  4. As a member of one of the bargaining teams, what steps would you take to resolve these allegations?