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Listen, act reflectively and transform relationships

How well do you listen? Do you operate an open agenda? Do you believe in sharing information or, during confrontational conversations, do you withhold information? Do you show tolerance and understanding, particularly under pressure? Are you aware that these discrepancies in your practice exist? Are you blind to what others see?

Barry Jentz of HGSE tried to help us improve our communication skills by making us more aware of how we listen and react to what we hear. He suggested that most people listen reflexively, in that they react automatically and go directly to a solution. However, by listening and acting reflectively, performance is improved. Reflective skills:

* Give good data

* Listen

* Are tolerant of confusion

* Use confusion as an opportunity to inquire skilfully

* Facilitate the capacity to improve through interaction

* Improve performance.

This method provides a vehicle to transform relationships. A reflective mind is a learning mind.

Arlene Wilson

headteacher, Dallas Primary, Moray

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