Take it easy. Yes, I heard this before in the courses as an air traffic controller. This is said in Lektor Consulting Practical instructor course as well. We do not want to put our students under pressure during the training and the same is being done here – I am not being put under pressure of learning. Instead, the learning is adapted to the needed progression, gaining of knowledge and information, material is explained in various ways in order to really understand what the course is meant to say.
“You cannot NOT communicate” (Paul Watzlawick) – I continue learning about what communication is, how we use it all the time, what types and models of communication there are and how we sometimes unknowingly apply them.
Many times in my life I have found myself not interested in the topic, subject, or the person to whom I was speaking to or to whom I had to listen. There are several types of problems which we are facing consciously or unconsciously during the interactions and also - several ways of fixing the problem in order to better understand the message.
So think about the situations you were in and maybe there are really good opportunities to next time change the perception or make the interest bigger and this way create a perfect communication channel. For example, our phones are usually next to us – this is a perfect distraction which, I agree, is not easy to put away, as so much is happening in them. My mind is sometimes preoccupied with worries, some anxiety about something or I pay too much attention to details, which is a real barrier to get the whole picture. Of course the topic or the speaker might not be interesting and here the suggestion would be to try to be interested which for me usually helps and the last, but not least is that we very often are not active listeners. We tend to just wait for our turn to speak and just say what we wanted to without actually understanding what the speaker is saying. Listen to understand and not to answer. One of my favourite sentences which I (try to) apply in all the conversations. All of this goes into my notes as becoming an instructor-leader is based on actually listening to the student without judgement, my own initial perception and without applied stereotypes.
I did not expect communication to be a big part of this course, but it actually is a key element to training, isn’t it…
We are communicating all-the-time. With our facial expressions, body language, eye contact, appearance and proxemics (the space we leave between us and people we are talking to). Being a learner-centered instructor I imagine the situations will occur when this type of nonverbal communication will have to be adjusted and also will have to be monitored in the students to, again, keep their motivation high. So reading the articles and watching the videos, answering open questions is very much helpful to prepare for the future. Hats off to the instructor-leaders (I met a few throughout the years as an air traffic controller) who already know and apply this.
One idea came to my mind, going through this day’s subject. This course can easily be given to the managers of all levels to go through for the easier future work with people. Some of the very important details are neglected if very useful information of how we communicate and more importantly – how to break the barriers is left behind. I would suggest the same course to be adjusted for the employees as well for it’s always a two way street. And a good, effective communication will not happen with only a sender or only a receiver of a message.
I will repeat myself, I know, but open questions in this type of course are very much needed and I appreciate how Lektor Consulting makes them a very useful training material.
If I may, for today’s session, I will tell you two secrets that the course teaches us to become active listeners:
- You have to commit. Listening has to be a priority and whatever distracts us has to be put aside.
- We have to work on it – it takes practice.
This again reminds me - practice makes perfect.
This post is the sixth in a series and you can read the other parts here: