Effective Communication

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Certified Flight Instructor

CFI Ground School AVF 225

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Chapter 3

Objective
Develop a comfortable style of communication to pass along the desired information to students

Basic Elements
The basic definition of communication
When one person transmits ideas or feelings to another person or group of people
Effective communication is measured by the difference between the message sent and the idea received
If both the instructor and the student have the same idea or concept when finished, then communication has been successful

3 Elements of Communication
The Source
Sender, speaker, writer, encoder, transmitter or instructor
The Symbols
Words, signs, visual aids, diagrams, charts
The Receiver
Listener, reader, decoder or student

3 Elements of Communication
All 3 elements are linked and interdependent on each other
The effectiveness of the source is dependent on 3 factors
Proper language
Proper attitudes
Proper information

Proper Language
If your student speaks English try to communicate in English
If you need to use specialized wording to describe what your covering then define it first
Even after defining it most people will need some time to learn the new terminology
If possible define terminology and acronyms in a preceding lesson

Proper Attitudes
Attitudes of the presenter may color or taint the information
Consciously
sabotage
Unconsciously
Body language, gestures
If the information is to be transmitted successfully most of the time the attitude needs to be positive in nature

Proper Information
All information should be:
Up to date
Accurate
Stimulating
Use of out of date info can damage credibility
The FAA occasionally changes rules
It’s been known to happen
Try to have procedures in place to prevent this
Monotonous or uninteresting information causes the loss of receiver’s consciousness

Symbols
Symbols may take the form of spoken or visual codes
When combined into meaningful wholes, ideas are exchanged
Symbols are perceived through 3 main channels
Visual
Seeing
Auditory
Hearing
Kinesthetic
Doing

Channels
To achieve better saturation of the information, use as many channels as possible
Hearing and seeing are used most often, especially for ground lessons
Kinesthetic is used most often for flight lessons

Feedback
Feedback is the main means for knowing if communication has taken place
Use question and answer technique
Use demonstration technique
If the desired communication has not taken place, modify the symbols
If there is negative feedback, share it in private
Make sure it’s non judgmental
Make sure it’s not an attack on character, just on actions
Your maneuvers suck as opposed to You suck

Receiver
When the receiver reacts with a change in behavior in line with the intended communication, effective communication has taken place
3 attributes of receivers
Abilities
Attitudes
Experiences
Abilities
Highly developed motor skills
Walk and chew gum at the same time
Do they excel at academic challenges
Attitudes
Motivation, maturity, life experience, decision making skills
Cultural, ethnic influences
Use a varied communicative approach
Experiences
Does the student have experience
What are those experiences?
Can you use them to get the message across?

Barriers to Communication
There are 4 barriers to communication
Lack of common experience
Confusion between the symbol and the object
Overuse of abstractions
Interference

Lack of Common Experience
The greatest single barrier to communication
Physical, mental and emotional experience has to match on some level for communication to take place
Words only work if both people understand the same meaning for a particular word
Sometimes the same word has more than one meaning
Take the word “bank”
A secure place to keep your money
To count on something
A piled up mass, snow bank
A steep natural incline
To cover a fire with ashes or fuel to continue low burning
The angle of an airplane’s lateral axis to the horizon
The surface around the mouth of a mining shaft
A place – the West Bank of Palestinian territories
To make money, “those pilots make bank”

Confusion Between the Symbol and the Object
Results when a word is confused with what it is meant to represent
Like the afore mentioned example “bank”
Mainly a result of that person’s experience

Overuse of Abstractions
Over use of abstractions
These words are general rather than specific
For example aircraft may mean airplane or helicopter
Sometimes you may want to use an abstraction
However most of the time avoid abstract words

Interference
Prevention of a process or activity from being carried out properly
Physiological
Biological barrier like hearing loss
Environmental
Noise level, vibration
Psychological
Fear, mistrust, anger

Developing Communication Skills
Instructional communication skills are achieved through practice
Role playing
Method of learning in which the student performs a particular role (like instructor)
Instructional Communication
Make sure you know what your talking about
Use experience to highlight examples that are relevant
Use feedback to see if communication has occurred

Listening
You have to be a good listener
Gain information about that student’s experiences with regards to aviation
If you teach your students how to learn you can improve communication
Listening is more than hearing
Listen to understand not refute
Especially found in students who have apprehension about a specific up coming task
Listen for main ideas
Not just a set of facts
Daydreaming
Staying focused on topic by paraphrasing or summarizing
Good note taking
Should not be verbatim
Use a shorthand

Listening
To be good at listening:
Do not interrupt
Do not judge
Think before answering
Be close enough to hear
Watch nonverbal behavior
Beware of biases
Look for underling feelings
Concentrate
Avoid rehearsing answers while listening
Do not insist on the last word

Questioning
Ask focused open ended questions
Encourage full meaningful answers
Start with “why” and “how”
Tests the understanding or correlation level of learning
Closed ended questions
Short or single word answers
Doesn’t give you a lot of information if the idea crossed over
Tests the rote level of learning

Questioning
Center your questions on 1 idea at a time
Limit to who, what, when, where, why or how
Not a combination of these
Paraphrasing
Use this to identify errors or misunderstandings
Perception checking
Gets to the feelings of the student

Instructional Enhancement
A good instructor never stops learning
Know what you’re talking about
Stay updated
Research the answer and get back to the student
Do not spin a line of BS
Tailor the info for the level of the student
More on this topic later in chapter 8

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