“Conscious Communication Skills” Training for Managers and Team-leaders

Educational training for companies

“Listening is probably the most underrated leadership capacity today, but listening is really at the source of all great leadership.

When we see leadership failures, and today we have many opportunities to see that, very often at the source of these failures is a lack of listening.

A lack of connection to what is really going on in reality right now.”
— Otto Scharmer, Theory U

Learning Objectives:

  • Build a common understanding of conscious communication skills.
  • Understand the communication process better.
  • Identify common listening problems and solutions.
  • Raise awareness on personal strengths and limitations in communication and relationship management.
  • Practice difficult conversation tools and Non-Violent Communication processes.
  • Develop ways to become a better leader.


1) Pre reading on Theory U, Crucial Conversations and Non-Violent Communication (videos, short articles),

2) Reflect on the communication situations at work where you’d like to be more effective/feel less tension or stress: difficult conversations, feedback sessions, etc.

Topic and Activity

Day 1

1. Conscious Communication Skills:

1) Active listening

2) Clear speech

3) Powerful questions

For effective results and relationships.

Participants and trainer’s introduction.

Explanation of the program topic and learning process.

7 metaskills of communication. Description and self-assessment.

Individual reflection, followed by pair sharing and small debrief in the group.

2. What is Active Listening and Why is it useful:

  • Active Listening components. RASA-model: Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask.
  • Common mistakes in listening.
  • Active Listening techniques.

Listening exercise in pairs and small groups.

Group debrief.

Otto Scharmer 4 levels of Listening Model and How to apply it:

Level 1. Downloading

Level 2. Factual Listening

Level 3. Empathic Listening:

  • Difference between empathy and sympathy,
  • Value of Empathic Listening for teamwork, creating trust, safety and understanding,
  • Empathic Listening tools.

Level 4. Generative Listening: Listening of the best leaders and coaches. How to practice Generative Listening in order to create possibilities, to manage changes and to influence people.

4 levels of conversation, which emerge as a consequence of how we listen and pay attention:

1) Politeness/Smalltalk.

2) Debate.

3) Dialogue.


3. Listening, self-awareness and handling difficult conversations

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Communication (by John Gottman):

1) Criticism,

2) Defensiveness,

3) Contempt,

4) Stonewalling.

How to be aware and handle them?

“Left-hand technique” exercise in pairs with group debrief.

Wrap up of the day 1.

Day 2

1. Crucial Conversations and Non-Violent Communication skills

Crucial conversations, Silence/Violence path and 6 styles under stress:

1) Masking

2) Avoiding

3) Withdrawing

4) Controlling

5) Labeling

6) Attacking

“Figure Out Which Patterns You Use Under Stress” self-assessment exercise.

Brief lecturette on Non-Violent Communication approach and skills:

Two parts of NVC process:

1) Self-expression, without criticism,

2) Empathic listening.

4 steps of NVC process:

1) To make OBSERVATIONS, not judgments,

2) To express FEELINGS, not thoughts,

3) To understand NEEDS, not strategies,

4) To make REQUESTS, not demands.

2. Practice of Nonviolent Communication in small groups, based on the real cases, under the trainer’s supervision.

Role-play and group debrief.

3. Difficult feedback: how to give and receive.

“4 chairs” technique.

Demo by the trainer

Practice in small groups.

4. Wrap up of the training session.

How to put new skills to practice? Kaizen mini-habits system.

Peer coaching exercise and making individual development plans.

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