Communication and listening

Communication and listening

Communication is central to all our interactions with people. Good communication with your team can improve relationships, increase productivity and help achieve Trust and your objectives.

Real communication happens when there is shared understanding - listening is an essential part of communication.

  Check the hints and tips section for practical input to your conversations.

Keep in mind


Match the tool to the task

  • Use the Presentation planning tool to prepare a presentation or to prepare to address a group when it is important to get the response you want.
  • Take a look at the Email guide for ideas to improve your email usage and that of your team.
  • When you have an important message about business changes, use the Planning to share an update or change tool to help you plan what you will say and how best to say it.
  • If you decide on a face-to-face meeting, use the Conversation guide resource to prepare for the conversation.
  • Use the Practise your listening skills resource to understand and improve the way you listen to others.

Related policies and links

Further reading

  • Face-to-face Communications for Clarity and Impact, Harvard Business School Press Staff (2004)
  • Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, Jerry Weissman (2006)

Hints and tips for conversations

  • Be aware that people can react differently to the same words - always check for shared understanding.
  • Ask questions to understand what others mean.
  • Look out for words that are emphasised - this indicates what is really important to the person.
  • Consider whether your body language is helping or getting in the way of a good conversation.
  • Follow through on what you say.
  • Communicate a little at a time. Don't overload people with nformation.
  • Check that your staff members understand the messages you are sharing.

Designed and developed for the London Leadership Academy by Heather Schoenheimer Consulting, in conjunction with the Royal Free London Foundation Trust OD Department