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Some tips on good communication

Good communication

It is important to ensure that communication with your team is clear. Coaches who plan and organise the sequence of instructions they are about to give will avoid confusing their learners. Clear verbal instructions would be given in a clear logical sequence (order).

Steps for doing a task need to be explained in the order which they happen or in an order that best suits the type of coaching you are giving.

Particularly when giving verbal instructions, there are a number of things you should think about:

Use plain English - avoid the use of jargon or technical terms that the learner may be unfamiliar with. Simple instructions are best because the learner does not have the added task of filtering out unnecessary information.

Explain why you are instructing the learner to do something in a particular way so that instructions become more meaningful. A good way is "When you lift a heavy box, you must bend your knees so you don't injure your back." It's not so good to say "Bend your knees when you lift a heavy box."

Don't overload the learner with too much information at one time. Give the learner enough time to receive, absorb and mentally organise an instruction you have given before giving the next. Asking learners to explain or summarise what they have been instructed to do is one way of checking learners have understood an instruction.

Look at your learners when you speak to them. Don't speak too quickly or in a muffled voice. By facing the learner and maintaining eye contact you can pick up non verbal clues about the learner's level of understanding. For example, a puzzled look will tell you that your instruction is not clear and you may need to rephrase it or explain it using other words.

If you give instructions in an interested tone of voice rather than a dull monotone voice you are showing you are interested in both the topic and your learner. By doing this you are more likely to inspire the learner to be enthusiastic about learning.

Where instructions are long you should be continually asking learners questions to check their understanding. It is also important to stop talking at appropriate points to give learners an opportunity to ask questions about any points that are not fully understood.