Upon arrival give each person an index card. Ask them to print three statements about themselves, one of which is false. Have them tape the card to their front where others can read it. (This will be used later in this lesson.) Begin with a meal or refreshments if possible. Warm Up Activity: Jewelry Store (Print Jewelry Store as a slide and use as story hand out. Print a copy as Notes Pages to provide your directions.) Jewelry Store provides a transition to the topic of Communications. Jewelry Store is taken from 75 Icebreakers for Great Gatherings , Nan Booth, Brighton Publications, 2000. Other References: Secrets of Leadership , Rick Lynch and Sue Vineyard, Heritage Arts Publishing, 1991. Unlock Your Leadership Potential , University of Florida, 1997
Being a good communicator is an important skill needed by all 4-H leaders. For your 4-H club committee or group to accomplish its goals, you need the ability to communicate in such a way that your participants will understand your message clearly.
An effective 4-H leader will 1) be communication oriented; 2) be responsive and receptive to questions from participants; 3) ask and persuade rather than order or command; and 4) explain the reasons behind changes and policies. Good communication is important to the overall achievement of the leader and the leader’s group. The effective leader will work at mastering techniques of good communication.
Speaking is the most visible form of communication. 4-H leaders will use this form to conduct meetings, lead discussions, talk one on one to members, give presentations, and recruit, among other uses. Leaders also need to be good listeners. This skill is crucial to developing good relationships with club members and parents, participants in your group, and other leaders. Both speaking and listening skills also involve use of non verbal cues. Writing skills are utilized for correspondence, keeping records, developing club agendas, and other leadership tasks. Knowing how to communicate is the first step to being an effective leader. Fortunately, these communication skills are skills than can be learned.
Leaders have to be able to communicate in a variety of situations. This includes public speaking, group discussions, conversations, and formal meetings. Not everyone is an effective communicator in all situations. Communication apprehension is the fear of communicating in certain situations. There are some who are great public speakers, but are intimidated in speaking one on one. There are some who are comfortable in group discussions but are unable to communicate in a more formal setting such as a meeting or classroom. By identifying situations in which we are apprehensive about communicating, we are able to focus on improving those areas. Hand out the Talking Terror activity sheet and Score Sheet. (These can be found at the end of this presentation – print them as slides.) After everyone has finished put the next slide up – this is the guide to interpreting the scores. ,
Though speaking is important, we spend more time listening than any other form of communication. As a leader, listening is one of the most important communication skills we can learn. (For this next activity separate into groups of three – if there is an extra person he/she can join another group.) For this next activity each person will take the role of Listener, Evaluator or Solution-Seeker . The solution-seeker will tell the Listener a problem (past or current) that he or she is facing. The Listener must listen with empathy using the guidelines from the next slide. The Evaluator will take notes , specifically on the skills of the Listener. (go to the next slide)
Here are some suggestions which may help you increase your readiness to be an active listener.
Knowing what the nonverbal verbal cues are can help us understand others better while enabling us to improve our communication skills. Fear, anger, confusion, nervousness and other emotions are conveyed through gestures, eye contact and body position. These emotions can also be conveyed through verbal cues. A quivering voice or a raised voice can convey fear or anger. This next activity will give us some practice on looking for nonverbal and verbal cues. 1) Have participants sit in a circle. 2) Explain that they will now be telling the group the three things they have written on the index cards they are wearing. 3) Go around the circle and have each participant tell his or her three facts. 4) Have other group members vote to determine which statement is false. After the vote has been taken ask the individuals to tell their facts. 5) Ask the participants what gave each other away. Discussion Questions: Were you able to tell when people were lying? If so, what cues gave them away. Was it difficult for you to lie? Did you concentrate on hiding any cues that may have indicated you were lying? List some positive and negative verbal and non verbal behaviors.
Sometimes how we say something can be more important than what we say. Learning when and how to use I/You messages can be the difference between reaching an understanding or a misunderstanding between you and another person. You messages put the focus on the other person and are usually characterized by containing the word “you”. You messages tend to put the other person on the defensive and close the door to communication and understanding. You messages are arguable. I messages are the alternative way of phrasing statements. They usually contain the word “I” and focus on the self, personal feelings, perceptions and conditions. I messages are non arguable. Persons using I messages are perceived as being more accepting, understanding, genuine and real. Go to the next slide.
As 4-H leaders you will often be called upon to lead group discussion. Club meetings, committee meetings, program planning, working with club officers, are all examples of when you may need discussion leadership skills. Often it is how well we do at leading discussion that determines if our members or group participants will continue to come back. Here are some qualities for an effective discussion leader.
COMMUNICATION THE ART OF LEADERSHIP
“ Communication is the single most important leadership’’
Leadership is Enacted Through Communication Communication Oriented Responsive and receptive to questions from participants Ask and persuade rather than order or command Explain the reasons behind changes and policies
Types of Communication Speaking Listening Non Verbal Writing
Communication Apprehension Group Discussions Public Speaking One on One Formal Meetings
Listen To Me! Activity Listener Evaluator Solution-Seeker
Good Listening Is An Active Skill Observing – what one does Hearing – what one says and how one says it Feeling – how one is feeling Sensing – what one has not said, but wishes to or means to say
Listening Skills 1. Have a purpose or reason for listening. 2. Ask questions . 3. Provide speaker with verbal and nonverbal feedback 4. Be aware of your attitudes towards the speaker and attempt to listen objectively. 5. Wait before responding. Do not formulate your response while the speaker is delivering the message.
6. Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. 7. Listen for feelings as well as information. 8. Look for important themes. 9. Avoid imposing your values on the speaker. Listen in a non-judgmental way. 10. Overlook negative aspects of the speaker’s delivery which might interfere with your understanding the message.
Discussion Leadership Qualities of the Leader Interest in the topic Able to involve everyone in the discussion Able to balance the viewpoints Has a basic plan, but is flexible Directs the discussion, keeps focus on goals