“COMMUNICATION WORKS FOR THOSE WHO WORK AT IT”-JOHN POWELL
Keeping up with the above thought, DPSS organized an online session on – ‘Training in effective communication skills’ for two consecutive days i.e 11th and 12th May,2022. The session began with the introduction of Ms. Preeti Saha and Mr. AV Santosh, trainers from Princeton Academy ,Mumbai by Ms.Vanita Sehgal.
Communication is the backbone of every society. Being able to communicate effectively and accurately as intended is perhaps the most important of all life skills. Communication is the ability to convey and share information to others in an efficacious way. If we have the skills, then we can pass out our words across easily and precisely without any confusion. We can communicate not only through our words but body, gestures and expressions. Ms. Preeti elaborated on the importance of communication skills. Good communication gives a voice to all, builds higher self esteem, aids in development of leadership skills and gives us tools to participate in the society. 8C’s of communication discussed by her are as follows:
- Be clear– While communicating, the foremost thing that we must ensure is to make the purpose of our message clear.
- Be coincise– Keeping the length of your message as short as possible is important to communicate effectively.
- Correct usage of words- Whatever information you want to share needs to be both factually and grammatically correct.
- Be Courteous– while conveying your message, you need to respect your audience and appreciate them for giving their valuable time to listen or read your message.
- Completeness– There is no point in sharing the information if that’s incomplete and doesn’t include the important facts and figures.
- Coherent– Coherence in communication means that you need to structure your message logically while maintaining the consistency of the language, tone etc.
- Considerate– Consideration implies stepping into the shoes of others. Effective communication must take the audience into consideration i.e their view points, background etc
- Concrete– Communication needs to be concrete, which means that the information you share is genuine and based on facts.
Keeping the 8C’s in mind, we can improve our communication skills and transmit and receive information effectively. We as educators must know about the right body language and role of voice projection while presenting our lessons. However there have always been barriers to effective communication such as lack of enthusiasm, attention/interest, self confidence, cultural and language differences, failure to listen or clarify and many more. We must also listen effectively, present our ideas appropriately and concisely and not beat around the bush. One must maintain a good eye contact, demonstrate varied vocabulary and tailor their language to their audience. Not only Ms. Preeti focused on professional life but she also talked about importance of communication in our personal lives. It’s almost a cliché that personal relationships need communication. Failure to talk has always been blamed for breakdown of important relationships. The ability to listen is the foremost element for a wider and smoother family relationship. This may seem effortless but we need plenty of time to hone our skills. We must master ourselves as teachers in such a way that the listener gets our point promptly and succinctly .
’Don’t think or judge, just listen’ The words we choose make a great difference to the listener. Differences in positive and negative body language were emphasized with the help of a beautiful presentation. Mr AV Santosh talked about perception and assumption’ I thought…… v/s I felt….’.He also talked about the gender biases in education(underestimate v/s overestimate).He also shared his discourse on various verbal styles of communication such as being aggressive(loud, fast, aggressive and dominating),being passive( doubtful, anxious, unsure, apologetic, confused, diffident, low on energy) and last being assertive( expressive, modulating, articulate, clear, open minded and effective). Followed by this, Howard Gardener’s 9 intelligences were talked about. He also shared his insight about emotions and their blends such as
- Anger: fury, outrage, resentment, annoyance, hostility
- Love: acceptance, friendliness , infatuation etc
- Shame: gulit, remorse, regret etc
- Fear: anxiety, nervousness, apprehensions etc
- Enjoyment: happiness, joy, contentment, pleasure etc
- Sadness: grief, sorrow, gloom etc
- Surprise: astonishment, amazement, wonder etc
This was followed by some strategies to manage emotions such as cognitive and physical strategies, pleasurable activities, having an emotional dialogue etc. So, as an educator we must understand not to shout but to project our voice and make our children feel welcome all the time. Finding playfulness in whatever we do is of utmost importance as children tend to imitate us. He discussed about moments of truth, keeping the parent on our side. A moment of truth is any interaction in which the parents come in contact with our services and form an impression of our school. Parents tend to form perceptions after a few interactions such as correspondence with teachers and how they respond to their queries and problems raised. Being aware of these moments of truth is important to how our school is perceived and our school’s reputation. Good communication with parents determines the child’s level of self esteem, achievement and overall growth.
Good communication thus, not only accelerate personality development but also impart students with crucial life skills and play a pivotal role in the educational process. Our spoken skills increase the attention span of children and stimulate creativity and smart learning. This session was indeed a great learning experience which has given me so many takeaways and would definitely implement them in my teaching and help my learners become confident language communicators.