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What's New in Leader Development

Nan Vollette
Hampton VA USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 38 No. 6, December 2002 - January 2003, p. 142.

The Human Relations Enrichment (HRE) program has been a valuable tool for LLL Leaders for nearly 30 years. It steadily evolved to meet Leaders’ communication needs and now enters the new millennium with a fresh new look and approach!

The name has been changed in the Eastern United States Division (EUSD), Western United States Division (USWD), and the International Division (ID). It is now referred to as "Communication Skills Development" (CSD) in the ID and instructors are now called "facilitators." In the EUS and USWD, "Communication Skills Enrichment" (CSE) will be offered by "instructors" (CSI). Where there are multiple CSIs, there will be a Communication Skills Instructor Coordinator (CSIC). In the EUS, the former HRE I, HRE II, and HRE III are now CSE 1, CSE 2, and CSE 3. (This title is only used for the primary series.)

The USWD Communication Skills Department (CSD) is developing an online resource center where CSIs may access materials to assist them in their jobs. There will be materials available to Leaders looking for outlines for Area Conferences, Leader Days, District Workshops, and other communication topics. Area Leader Letter communication articles will also be available online.

Active listening and empathy—the tools of Leaders and the framework of the HRE program—needed no change. The new materials reflect a more flexible approach, moving away from a rigid behavioral format. We hope you will find the more natural and relaxed sessions refreshing. The focus is on establishing the rapport and open communication essential in a helping relationship. Our goal is to help session participants find a genuine communication style that feels comfortable, is accepting and empathetic, and is effective for each individual situation. If we can create the kind of trust and listening we strive to achieve, there will not be a right or wrong way to communicate.

At the 2003 La Leche League Conference in San Francisco, California, USA, the Communication Skills Departments from the EUS, USWD, and ID will offer five sessions during regular session times. Please note this will be different than at past LLLI Conferences where the full HRE series was offered. Sessions will be offered on "Conflict and Disagreements," "Communication for Couples," "Communicating with Children," "Facilitating Effective Meetings," and an introduction to the revised "Communication Skills" series. With this taste of the new Communication Skills, we hope you will return home hungry to bring an instructor or facilitator to your community. This tool to renew and sharpen your communication and effective listening skills can be yours!

Editor’s note: Please check with your support person as to the availability of Communication Skills Development/ Enrichment (CSE/CSD) or Human Relations Enrichment (HRE), which may vary between LLL entities. Please note that the HRE Workbook has been replaced by People Skills, by Robert Bolton (Available from LLLI, No. 1225-7, $13.00).

Nan Vollette is Administrator for Communication Skills Development (CSD) for LLLI’s International Division (ID) and is Contributing Editor for "Helping Mothers." A Leader since 1980, Nan has six children and three grandchildren. Submissions for "Helping Mothers" may be sent to Nan at: 132 Powhatan Pkwy, Hampton, VA 23661 USA, or vollette at (email).

For more information or to arrange for a Communication Skills session in your area, please contact:

Marsha Pettinger, Communications Skills Enrichment Administrator (CSEA) for the Eastern United States Division at: 868 South Waverly Road, Eaton Rapids Michigan 48827 USA;
marshaBP at (email);

Misty Dunn, Division Communication Skills Enrichment Coordinator (DCSEC) for the United States Western Division, at: 2920 Royce Way, Sacramento, California 95864-5651, USA;
willmist at (email).

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