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 January 7, 2000 Volume 7, Number 8


About OCN

Front Page





from HRD

Letters to
the Editor





  • Happy New Year from HRD!
    December was a busy month for our office as we converted to the new HR/Payroll system - About US. Further information on the new system is presented elsewhere in this edition of On Campus News.

  • Staff changes and reassignments: Jill Lockhart, Classification and Compensation Manager, has moved on to new challenges with Saskatoon District Health. General questions related to administration of the CUPE 1975 Collective Agreement can be referred to Daryle Wilkinson at 6281.

  • The last column (November 26) offered tips on how to improve communication skills. A critical component of communication skills is active listening.

    People are seldom direct in verbally expressing their true feelings and concerns. To be an effective listener, it is important to create an atmosphere where the speaker feels heard and understood. It also helps build a relationship of trust and respect. Not only does active listening assist the listener to better understand but it also helps the speaker clarify his or her own thoughts and feelings. Once you have heard and understood the speaker, the speaker will also begin to listen with an open mind.

    There are several approaches to active listening. This column will present four approaches.

    One is encouraging. This approach conveys interest and encourages the other person to keep talking. It uses neutral statements or open ended questions that do not convey either agreement or disagreement. For example: "I see - can you tell me more?"

    Another approach is clarifying. Through the use of open ended questions,

    this approach helps to clarify and obtain more information, as well as to check your perception. For example: "When did this happen? I'm not sure I understand, please tell me more."

    A third strategy is to restate content - basic ideas, facts or statement content - without mimicking the speaker. An example is: "So what is important to you is ..."

    A fourth approach is to summarize feelings and content. The purpose is to pull ideas and feelings together and review progress. It also allows the speaker to move on to new topics or concerns.

    To be effective at active listening requires energy, focus and sensitivity.

    Put yourself in the shoes of the speaker and try to understand his/her feelings and perspectives. Show understanding and acceptance by nonverbal behaviour, such as tone of voice, facial expressions and gestures, eye contact and posture.

    (Source: "Resolving Conflict Constructively - A Collaborative Approach to Problem Solving", Mediation Services, Saskatchewan Justice)

On Campus News is published by the Office of Communications, University of Saskatchewan.
For further information, visit the web site or contact communications@usask.ca

Next issue of 
On Campus
 January 21

and copy
 January 14