We are on the verge of a new era of communications training. The pendulum has, in the past, reached both extremes. At one extreme there have been technical lecture presentations designed to give information without allowing for learning by experience. At the other extreme are gimmicky games, which interest and involve individuals, but do not necessarily extend the individual intellectually. Alongside these are the overbearing performance-oriented approaches to communication training which promise miracle cures.
It is possible to provide a balanced communication training program which is intelligent in content and motivating in approach. This is a dynamic learning experience which is by its very nature inspiring and educational. Real life experiences are not simply described and discussed, they are at least simulated, and in the best scenario form the very basis of learning.
This communications training goes much deeper than simply providing the tools and techniques for improved performance. It allows individuals to discover their deeper motivations and provides the opportunities for transformations in approach. Through being involved in the process of active learning, participants should become empowered and inspired without feeling manipulated. They will see the importance of emphasising principles above techniques and developing genuine practical communication skills rather than relying on insincere formulae. An environment in which participants can experience and experiment with different responses to given situations is provided. Participants can explore the nature of their responses and consider the consequences of their actions. Experiential learning ensures that what's been learnt lasts and is appropriately integrated into daily life.
On a personal level, this program is holistic, aiming for a balance between the different areas which affect interaction and communication. Imbalances in people's lives can lead to ineffectiveness and poor performance in all areas, so helping individuals to find balance encourages them to reach their full potential. It is important to find a balance between the inner self and the external persona. The ways we think, feel and believe all have a reciprocal relationship with the ways we interact with others. It is possible to help individuals find this balance.
The ways we think: Thinking clearly and effectively, making decisions, solving problems, setting realistic goals. When we can change the ways we think, we appreciate how we can change the ways we act.
The ways we feel: Learning to understand and deal with emotions (particularly fear, anger), developing patience and confidence, experiencing a sense of empowerment. Being in control of ways we feel allows us to be in control of our actions.
The ways we believe: Considering attitudes and values, developing a clear ethical basis for action. Knowing the ways we believe can give us principles which will permeate our actions and give us integrity as we act and interact.
The ways we interact with others: Recognising behaviour and communication patterns, working effectively with others (cooperating, working as a team, dealing with conflict, leading and guiding others). By appreciating the ways we interact with others, we can be aware of the reciprocal nature of our own actions.
The physical dimension is both the means of learning and a beneficiary of the learning process. Participants will feel physically challenged and, in turn, will discover the energy and enthusiasm necessary for positive action.