Providing Local Leadership: promoting communication skills training

Have you ever had a fight with your Council? Has this caused you frustration because you don’t know where to turn to, to get resolution? Would you like to see communication skills training for the staff you deal with?

 

Communication skills trainingI have seen many an example of members of the community being exasperated in their communications with Council.

Local Government is the closest level of Government to the People. Its very nature, being local, creates relationships with the community that the other two spheres of government simply can’t achieve. Indeed, surveys indicate a higher level of trust between the community and local government than there is with either the State or the Federal Government.

For all that, we stuff up. Because we are human, we stuff up a lot. I believe much of this is, is due to a lack of communication skills training.

What I have found is that complaints against council are invariably not about the trip hazard not being fixed, or the tree not cut down, or the planning decision you did not agree with. It is the Council’s inability to get back to you. The inability of Council to keep you informed as they research the issue you have with Council. To keep you in the loop.

Communication is I believe the most important skill a person can acquire. The longer I have been on this planet the more this becomes obvious to me.

Given Council is the closest to the people it behoves us to be the best communicators in the business.

To achieve this, we need two components. The first is to have some structure and process so that we have a consistent approach across the organisation. The second is the need for communication skills training.

The first the City of Unley has achieved, courtesy of a new policy that I had a leading influence in developing. The second will require council to provide communication skills training to all on our staff that have contact with the community.

Promoting this has commenced and the first step is our CEO recommending leadership training for the new elected members. I am happy for us to start there. Elected members undergoing training is an example of leadership in action.

Next step, I will be advocating (hopefully with elected member support) to direct training to our management and staff. I need your vote first so I can be in a position of providing local leadership and working for you.

Authorised & printed by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.