Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Systems Improvement Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Hans W. Klar

Committee Member

Dr. George J. Petersen

Committee Member

Dr. Noelle A. Paufler

Committee Member

Dr. Sherry A. Hoyle


In this study, I examined the cognitive improvement process associated with advancing the skills and behaviors of active listening. Through the utilization of the improvement science dissertation in practice (ISDiP), with a strategize, implement, analyze, and reflect (SIAR Cycle) theory of improvement, I developed and utilized an active listening modification tool to better understand and support 10 executive educators’ willingness to improve communication, build trusting relationships, and share perception of power in conversations. The proposed improvement action tool centered around four simple and direct strategies to change how executives engage as listeners. The Listening LIFT, (L) refers to Limit distractions, (I) refers to Inquire for clarification, not refutation, (F) refers to Find intrigue, and (T) refers to Transfer power. This strategy was tracked and measured by self-assessments, empathy interviews, and stakeholder feedback over two, thirty-day improvement cycles. The three key findings of this study regarding the perspectives of executives and their colleagues on the most impactful listening priorities are: (1) Communication Leadership Impacts Workplace Wellbeing, (2) Leaders are Expected to Listen Effectively, and (3) Trusting Relationships are Built Through Engaging the Community as an Active Listener.



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