Getting an STDI rating online - Part 5

Picture of Julija Razmislavičienė
Posted by Julija Razmislavičienė

Previously I have been studying a lot of psychological aspects of being an instructor-leader (I am starting to get used to that term), so today I am starting a new section and it begins with the briefing – its need, importance, purpose, also – how to structure the briefing, what are the techniques for efficient briefing.

So according to my Practical instructor course the best communication strategy for a briefing should be to discuss and agree on what the upcoming training session will look like: the events, the conditions, expectations (of both student’s and instructor’s), objectives and rules… It is one more interesting approach which, I bet, some of you did not expect. Neither did I, but let’s not forget that this course is preparing me to become an instructor-leader in a learner-centered classroom. So I think many sentences like the one above will appear and will play a bit with my brain and with what I previously experienced.

A technical detail that I have not mentioned previously. This Lektor Practical instructor course is always asking for a 100% score in quizzes I am taking. I like this a lot. Yes, I have to be allowed at least one minor mistake and it is that way. I can retake the quiz again (which means more pictures to make) and think again about my answers to get the required 100%. So practice makes perfect.

What totally makes sense to me: “By going through and discussing the expected scenarios and drafting a plan on how you two, as a team, are going to tackle the upcoming events will put your student in a stress-free position, and they can focus on learning.” We are not planning on putting our students in a stressful situation, right? So why not work as a team together with them to get the best results?

 I remember several years ago I was speaking with one of my best friends at a former position, who was OJTI as well and we were discussing what and how students should learn and how when an air traffic controller begins working the position by themselves, they like to “cut corners” when/if possible, keeping the same level of safety, of course. So in this course we continue with the demonstration after the briefing, its need and purpose and one very nicely put sentence I found here was:

“We are looking for the instructors to be professional, and giving an example on how to cut corners or bend rules is not professional behaviour. Neither is it a desired attitude we want our students to learn. Your role as the instructor is to demonstrate the tasks and how they should be done, so be sure to do everything by the book.”

I think that as human beings, we like to cut corners where we think it is appropriate, in our everyday life. So becoming a practical instructor-leader means also keeping every session, lesson, training hour in line with the rules, regulations, schedule etc. And all of this is to stay professional and for the students to learn the best from the best.

Talking about the demonstration itself, it is an interesting topic, I have to say. Never did I think that with an effort from an instructor, the demonstration can really help students to grasp the main ideas of the exercise or what is expected of them to learn, to practise. It is a very important part of learning, with which the initial part of the training, when students have little experience, can be made a lot easier and more approachable and motivating.

The last thing which I would like to mention here is communication. We covered it a little bit previously, but briefing, demonstration and communication makes the whole process more understandable, don’t you think?

So what makes a good communication, how can we, as instructors, contribute to it, what are the most important elements of an effective communication process? In my opinion, good communication is the key to understanding and being understood. Many times in life, work and training sessions I found myself lost in communication, stuck in a dead-end and I could not find a solution. I think what I was lacking then - good interpersonal skills and some additional knowledge.

There’s a huge difference between passive hearing and active listening, also the verbal and non-verbal feedback has to be engaged and have you ever thought of adjusting the message to facilitate greater understanding? All of this was explained in a video which was in my Practical instructor course and I add it here for everyone interested to watch it. So enjoy and stay tuned for more!

This post is the fifth in a series and you can read the previous ones here: 

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9