The President's Blog

Effective communication — the importance of listening

January 18th, 2016

The importance of effective communication is often stressed as a vital component in the work of organizations. Often the focus tends to center on the message that we are trying to convey. Are we getting the right message out? Are we hitting the correct audience? Are we using the right tools to communicate? Before answering any of these questions, a more important question needs to be asked: What are we hearing?

A well-crafted message, delivered to the right audience, in the right way and at the right time will fall silent if it is not rooted in the realities of the organization. One tool that is essential in order to uncover the realities of the organization is listening. We can only grasp the true character of an organization by listening to those who interact with the organization on a regular basis. In the case of Parkland College, as we move forward with building our new strategic plan, this means we must listen to our students, staff and community partners to help us understand.

In the next few weeks, through focus groups, online surveys and lunch/breakfast meetings with staff, there will be ample opportunity for listening and input. We look forward to the opportunity to listen and understand so that we can create a positive path for our future development in our new strategic plan.

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