PLANNING AND ENABLING LEARNING-THEORY SECTION
COMMUNICATION, EG VERBAL/NON-VERBAL AND POSSIBLE BARRIERS.
I will be starting this piece by exploring the basic elements of communication and looking at the impact that channels of communication have in maintaining effective dialogue. This will include non-verbal signals. I hope to identify the possible barriers that can arise to hinder communication and go on to demonstrate practical solutions that will reduce or remove them.
What is communication?
As social beings it is central to our existence. Communication is how we express our wants and needs. “Communication is essentially about one person who sends or transmits a message which is received by a second person.”(Reece,Walker, 2003, p271). We can expand this further by saying it’s the way in which we convey our ideas and feelings to someone else. During face to face communication the message is passed from one person to the other through three channels these are, -Words -verbal communication
The vocabulary we use as trainers can become a barrier in itself. “The vocabulary you use could be too difficult for the learner or use too much unfamiliar jargon”.(Reece, walker, 2003, p271). Knowing the learning level of the learners can assist you as a trainer, it allows you to adapt the spoken word to a level were the message can be received, eg when delivering a first aid course to non medical staff if I used to much medical terminology the message could get lost and the learners could switch off and stop listening. -Tone, pace, volume -Para-verbal communication-
If your tone is wrong it can give a different meaning to the message you are trying to get across, eg if your tone is threatening the learners are likely to shy away from answering questions or they may take on the attitude of rebellion and refuse to learn. The pace – The way in which you deliver the training is also important as speaking to fast can leave the learners feeling confused and it could result in some of the most important sections of the lesson being missed. Speaking to slow could result in the learners switching off or belittled. Volume – in order for the spoken word to be heard you need to ensure that you speak at a level that is comfortable for the learners. You need to adapt your volume to take into consideration any external or internal noise. -Gestures and body language- non verbal
These are very important to get the correct message across. (www.articlesbase.com/information-technology-articles) In a survey carried out by CNN in the United States it stated that “85% of those surveyed thought that body language was either a very important or absolutely crucial factor to bare in mind when delivering a message to a group of people”. (www.communication-skills). If you use your body language well it can enhance the message you are trying to deliver and demonstrates effective communication skills. Use it badly and it can have the opposite effect. An example could be the trainer who is slouching in there chair and rolling there eyes this gives the impression you are not interested so why would the learners want to listen. Listening is vital as a trainer you need to show that you value the input of the learners, if you start looking out around the room or start talking over the learner it is showing a disregard for the what the learner is trying to say. We also need to observe the body language our learners are showing when we are delivering the message to see if they the message is being understood or to gage if they are listening to what we are saying as trainers. A learner sitting looking out the window or fiddling with there phone is possibly showing signs of not understanding, “Non verbal signals or even verbal signals, from the students should give us valuable feedback on the quality of communication”.(Reece, Walker, 2003, p271). We need to be aware of how we stand when delivering the message, if we are talking whist facing away from the learners it could result in parts of the message not getting across. Some students may also rely on lip reading.
The other barriers that can play a part in enabling learning in the class room setting are, Lay out of the room - this is very important as being comfortable can play a part in how much of the message being delivered is retained. Learners need to be able to see you as the trainer and the board without straining there necks. We need to allow time prior to the lesson to change the room around if possible The temperature of the room - is it to hot or to cold. As trainers we don’t always have full control of the environment if we know that in the morning the room is cold then we can suggest that learners bring jumpers or locate a maintenance person to ask if there is anything that can be done. The lighting - is it to bright or not light enough, can you use natural lighting. Noise - this can be from traffic or building work outside.
We need to take in to account learners who may require extra help. As trainers we add on to the notifications we send out a section stating if you require additional help then please contact the trainer prior to the event so as a trainer you can ensure that you don’t rely only on method of delivering but a variety of methods.
In conclusion we have realised that as a trainer we have to be able to adapt the way in which we deliver the course material to suit each individual learner. We need to be aware of the hidden messages that we can give off and also become very good at spotting the negative messages that our learners may give off. We need to remember that the learner who is not listening and who’s body language is confrontational may not always mean they are not interested in learning but perhaps the way in which you are delivering the message does not suit there learning style. We need to be able to give the learners the opportunity to give us feedback as again this will indicate to us as trainers how well they have decoded the message we have given out. This can be in a variety of ways, evaluation sheets at the end of the course, assessments or through oral questioning throughout the session. There are elements of the way the message is received that are in our control but we also need to be aware of the things that are not and learn from these to grow as trainers. Communication is not just about what we say it but how we say it and plays a big part in the amount or quality of learning that happens in the classroom.