In this video, Paulo Costa, an experienced Police advisor, talks about his experience from 2003-2007 as a Programme Manager for Police Education and Development for the OSCE Mission to Serbia. The importance of communicating effectively with local actors is emphasised. Mr. Costa suggests that advisors develop specific competencies in communication skills. In particular, the importance of active listening skills are highlighted.
I am Paulo Costa, I am the head of the police program within the South Eastern Europe division, within DCAF. I have a substantial experience, more than 11 years working in police reform in South Eastern Europe, in all countries in the region.
Part of being a good advisor is to develop specific competencies. What I found very important in my experience [are] communication skills. Communication skills divided, not just in being able to convey properly the messages--so being a good communicator in talking-- but most importantly to be a good listener. And you really need to do an active listening in understanding verbal, non verbal [cues]. Try to make an effort to understand the context situation. You should never attempt to talk before you actually listen and you understand the message. That is why in my experience it was very useful that many times I asked the partner to repeat again, so in order to ensure understanding before attempting to provide any opinion. So, good listening; listen first and talk after.