Does it matter?
Some existing driving instructors might respond, “Does it matter? At the end of the day, if my pupil doesn’t listen to me, then it just takes longer for them.”
The question demonstrates that all communication is deliberately intended as one way and that adversely affects the working relationship. But it also pays little concern to how long it takes for the learner to learn to drive. And time does matter. BIG TOM has been serving customers for several years BECAUSE they know that with us, time matters. Yes, for customers and the success of the driving school, it does matter.
Think of an organisation where communication is poor
There are many to choose from. It will undoubtedly frustrate you, and it very likely frustrates the people you are attempting to communicate with within the organisation, and it will frustrate their bosses too. Poor communication affects everyone negatively. We could be talking about how it feels not to be heard, your message not being understood, or the person you are communicating with is not clearly expressing their message. We all want to feel that our message is recognised correctly, the receiver appreciates the reasons we have said it and understands the belief that creates our position.
How to communicate effectively
The majority of a message given face to face is interpreted by the receiver carefully studying the face and other aspects of the person talking. It’s almost as if the receiver is constantly doing an integrity check where facial expression, tone, posture, movement of hands, loudness outgun the words coming out of the mouth! Improving communication skills involves taking responsibility, raising awareness of current ability, personal communication style, and focussed practice. Much like learning to drive, it is effortful.
At BIG TOM, we also make good use of technology to aid effective communication – for franchisees and pupils. It helps to ensure the timing and quality of communication are the best we can achieve. Providing a choice of how we all communicate is essential for forming trust, honesty and accountability in a working relationship.
Having the ability to recognise your strengths/weaknesses in communication is the first step, so it is in our qualifying training. Realising how your body affects your communication behaviours is essential, so it is in our induction training. Communicating better is in everyone’s interests and contributes to mental wellbeing.