Date of Award


Call Number

HM1166 .S83 2011

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Leadership Studies


leadership, effective listening, Leadership and Organizational Studies


A survey of University of Southern Maine (USM) employees was conducted to identify the importance of the leadership skill, effective listening, in supervisors and supervisees, and to evaluate its implications in the workplace, specifically when dealing with difficult people in everyday interactions. USM employees were asked their opinions about the importance of effective listening skills, their perceptions of their own effective listening skills as well as those of their coworkers, experiences of dealing with difficult people in the workplace, and the importance of training regarding these skills for leadership and general work performance. Results of the qualitative and quantitative survey data indicated that both supervisors and supervised employees felt effective listening skills in the workplace was important, not specifically for supervisors, but for all employees, and training on such would be beneficial to all. Most perceived themselves and their coworkers to possess effective listening skills, and they all found themselves in difficult situations, at one time or another. Difficult situations ranged from simply involving people with bad attitudes to those more serious involving the police.