Many of have heard of the term "Active Listening" and some of us may have a vague recollection of attending some training entitled 'active listening' or some such moniker. However, how much of what we were taught do we actually remember and how often do we put it into practice?
In delivering training to police officers on an international basis it is evident that many officers have little or no understanding of this basic skill that will help them do there job much more effectively and keep them much safer into the bargain.
One problem with training in relation to active listening is that the theory is relatively easy to teach - the main points can be covered in a few PowerPoint slides. This means that many Police Chiefs and Heads of Training are fooled into thinking that there officers have been trained in active listening.
Teaching a few theoretical points is not teaching someone how to listen effectively. Those new to the subject must learn how to use their ears and there eyes effectively. Much of communication is visual. They must be taught a basic understanding of what motivates human behaviour and they must be given significant time in role plays to practice and understand the application of their new skills.
Investment in such training brings significant returns with regard to public confidence, enhanced community policing and effective policing. The skill of active listening should be taught to all new police recruits and should run as a core theme throughout their initial training. Introductory and refresher courses should be provided to other officers of all ranks.
If you are interest in effective training designed specifically for police officers please get in touch with us at HSM Training.