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The most valuable training facilitation skill

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Presentation on theme: "The most valuable training facilitation skill"— Presentation transcript:

1 The most valuable training facilitation skill
Communication Skills The most valuable training facilitation skill

2 Communication Skills Overview: Communication skills are a critical element in delivering effective training. Trainers must be able to use a variety of communication techniques in order to create an environment that enables participants to engage actively in the learning process.

3 Session Objectives Describe reasons that communication fails
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to: Describe reasons that communication fails List and discuss strategies to enhance communication Paraphrase and summarize conversations Use appropriate questioning techniques to lead discussions and to assist learning

4 What are the most common ways we communicate?
Visual Images Spoken Word Written Word Body Language

5 All communication methods are important in training but our emphasis will be upon the spoken word... since 70 % or all our communication efforts are: misunderstood, misinterpreted, rejected, disliked, distorted, or not heard (in the same language, same culture)! 70%

6 Group facilitation requires frequent and high quality communication with others
A skilled facilitator must be a successful communicator Trainers are facilitators of learning and communicating new ideas is the main point of training

7 The Goals of Training Communications:

8 Communication is the process of sending and receiving information among people…
Feedback SENDER receiver RECEIVER sender

9 All messages do not reach the receiver due to “distortion”
Feedback Sender Receiver Distortion

10 What causes distortion or the barriers to understanding/listening?
Perceptions Language Semantics Personal Interests Emotions Inflections Environment – noise Preconceived notions/expectations Wordiness Attention span Physical hearing problem Speed of thought See handout “Barriers to Verbal Communication” for elaboration

11 How can we improve our listening skills?
Eliminate distractions Concentrate Focus on the speaker Maintain an open mind Look for nonverbal cues Do not react to emotive words Ask questions Sit so you can see & hear Avoid prejudices Take notes Ask for clarification

12 Listening…the other side of communication
Too many people see communication as merely speaking. Messages must be received as well as sent. A good question to ask yourself is, are you really listening or simply waiting for your turn to talk? If you are thinking about your reply before the other person has finished, then you are not listening! See Handout “ Aids to Effective Listening” for further information.

13 How can we improve our listening & facilitation skills as trainers?
SUMMARIZING Pulling together the main points of a speaker PARAPHRASING Restating what another has said in your own words QUESTIONING Challenging participants to tackle & solve problems

14 Paraphrasing…try it out!
Use initial phrases such as: In other words… I gather that… If I understand what you are saying… What I hear you saying is… Pardon my interruption, but let me see if I understand you correctly… Paraphrasing is simply restating what another person has said in your own words. The best way to paraphrase is to listen carefully to what the other person is saying. Paraphrase often so you develop the habit of doing so. Practice some of the following techniques on your colleagues.

15 Summarizing…try it out!
Summarizing pulls important ideas, facts or data together to establish a basis for further discussion and/or review progress. The person summarizing must listen carefully in order to organize the information systematically. It is useful for emphasizing key points. Try out these summarizing phrases: “If I understand you correctly, your main concerns are…” “These seem to be the key ideas you have expressed…”

16 Questioning…a critical facilitation skill
There are two basic types of questions: Closed questions generally result in short yes/no or other one word answers. They should be used only when you want precise, quick answers. Otherwise, they inhibit thought. 2. Open-ended questions invite an actual explanation for a response. Questions that begin with “how”, “what” and “why” are typical.

17 Practice your questioning skills…
Rephrase the following closed questions to make them open-ended: Are you feeling tired now? Isn’t today a nice day? Was the last activity useful? Is there anything bothering you? So everything is fine, then? What tires you out? What kind of weather are we having today? How was the last activity useful? Tell me what is on your mind. Why are you looking so happy? (Compare your answers with those in the notes below)

18 Other questioning techniques include:
Direct questions: asked of a particular individual – allows you to initiate control – good for re-directing discussion from excessive talkers. Return questions: puts the question back to the questioner or group – “What do you think about that?” General overview questions: used to initiate a discussion or set up a thoughtful exercise – “How would you respond to the situation?” Hypothetical questions: tests the responder’s problem- solving ability by posing a hypothetical situation – “If you had an unlimited budget, what would you fund?” See handout “Questioning Techniques” for more ideas.

19 Other helpful techniques to foster communication (both verbal and non-verbal)…
Nod Your Head Repeat the last word or two of the prior speaker Maintain eye contact Keep an open body position Repeat a sentence or part of one Make encouraging statements

20 Ask yourself… Which of the skills covered in this module was most useful as you think about conducting a training event? Which was the easiest to employ? Which was the most difficult for you? Write down three things you want to do to improve your communication skills… and practice them prior to your next training event

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