Democratic Club’s lessons in effective communication

Dorothy Kuhn, an effective communicator promoting civil discourse.

Dorothy Kuhn, an effective communicator promoting civil discourse.

Vicki Baker

Listening and responding effectively are not easy. Even if we are listening to someone we like or agree with, our minds wander. Listening to someone with whom we disagree can make the situation even more difficult. We can all think of topics we have avoided so as not to drop hand grenades in the midst of pleasant conversations. We may be tempted to remove ourselves from the conversation to avoid conflict. Or we may want to drive home our point combatively rather than hearing another person out. How we listen and respond in such situations can affect the dynamics of the conversation and our relationships with others.

The Democratic Club’s guest speaker, Dorothy Kuhn, addressed these concepts during its July meeting. Ms. Kuhn, a teacher of communications, presented guidelines to communicating effectively and in a civil manner. Her focus was on building personal qualities, thereby leading to increased confidence in choosing effective language in challenging situations and conversations. In conclusion we must be reminded to listen with empathy, act with respect and speak with civility.

Also during its monthly meeting the findings of the club’s recent survey were outlined identifying the memberships’ primary areas of concerns at the national, state and local level.

The RR Democratic Club aims to be politically informed and actively engaged on issues affecting our community, state and country. Come join us on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Clubhouse.