Effective Communication: Helping Parents Find Their Voice Stephen
Effective Communication: Helping Parents Find Their Voice Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D. Author of the Nurturing Parenting Programs Focus of the Training Adult Learning
Strategies Empowerment Communication Adult Learning Strategies Andragogy: The art and science of helping adults learn.
Keep in mind that adults generally remember 10% of what they read 20% of what they hear 30% of what they see 50% of what they see and hear 70% of what they say and write 90% of what they say as they do (Explained by Edgar Dale Dales Cone of Experience, 1960)
Cone of Experience, Edgar Dale (1946) in AudioVisual Methods of Teaching Knowles, Holton and Swanson (1998) discuss six assumptions of andragogy: The The The The
Adults Adults Role of Adults Learning The Adults The Adults Need to Know Self-Concept
the Adults Experience Orientation to Readiness to Learn Motivation to Learn The Adults Need to Know Adults need to know why they should learn something and how it will benefit them. Learning for immediate use is better than
learning for future use. What do you expect to learn? How might the information be useful for them? The Adults Self-Concept Adults resent and resist situations in which they feel others are imposing their wills on them.
Self-Concept as a learner is influenced by successes and failures in school. Self-Concept as a learner is also related to the persons level of empowerment and motivation. The Role of the Adults Experience Based on a lifetime of experiences, adult learners
are more heterogeneous than younger learners. Adults personal identity is often tied to their experiences with biases and habits. Reflective learning helps adults reassess the impact of experiences and prepare them for change. The Adults Readiness to Learn
Adults are ready to learn when they experience a need to learn something in order to cope with real life tasks or problems. The Adults Orientation to Learning Adults are life, task, or problem- centered in their orientation.
Learning needs to use real life situations. Flexibility in the lesson allows for personal experiences. The Adults Motivation to Learn Adults internal priorities are more important
than external priorities. Incentives such as self-esteem, quality of life, and satisfaction are most important. Adults input into the development of lessons or prioritization of topics can encourage adults to take ownership of the learning process. There are Four Elements to Learning
Motivation Retention Reinforcement Transference Motivation A key aspect of learning. Teaching to unmotivated adults is a waste of the instructors time.
A friendly and open atmosphere helps build motivation. The learning environment needs an appropriate level of concern and stress. Appropriate level of difficulty. Provide relevance. Retention
Practice through role play Repetition Sequenced lesson Practical use experiences Reinforcement Encourage learning Positive better than negative
Support for students Transference Learners can associate new information with something they know. Learners can find similarities between the new information and something they know. Learners have a high degree of original
learning (self-discovery). Learners need information for a critical reason. Summary of Major Points Discover why adults would want to learn something new. Adults need to learn experientially. Approach topic as problem-solving.
Repeatedly emphasize relevance of topic. Involve the adult in the planning, learning and evaluation. Adults will need to process and reflect. Empowering Adults Empowerment involves helping
others build their own power bases. Empowerment is a feeling of capability. In Nurturing philosophy, empowerment is referred to as Personal Power.
Personal Power is defined as the life energy within everyone that influences their quality of life. Everyone has Personal Power. Personal Power is The drive to accomplish The choices we make
The will to love The energy to explore, create and question The commitment to nurture ourselves and others Our personal perceptions and self-worth Personal Power can be positive or negative.
Positive use of Personal Power enhances our life, the lives of others, and builds positive selfworth. Negative use of Personal Power detracts and injures our life, the lives of others, and builds negative self-worth.
The negative use of Personal Power is the mission of the victim and perpetrator personality traits within all of us. The positive use of Personal Power is the
mission of the Nurturer and the Nurtured personality traits within all of us. Over time, personality traits turn into fullblown personalities with diseased or healthy neurological networks.
Powerlessness is a feeling of learned helplessness which is related to drug and alcohol use, depression, domestic violence, influence of peer pressure, high levels of stress and anger, and family dysfunction.
Power struggles are the personal desires of adults, teens and children to use ones life energy to influence their lives. Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Increase your level of self-
awareness and model this behavior with your family and clients. Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Praise others for Being: unconditional regard. Often referred
to as Unconditional Love. Praise your self for Being and model this behavior with your family and clients. Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Praise others for Doing: conditional
regard with focus on behavior. Provide opportunities for success to boost self-confidence. Praise your self for Doing and model this with your family and clients. Focus on your behavior not your intentions. Ways to Build Personal Power
in Self and Clients Brainstorm choices with clients and possible positive and negative consequences. Write these consequences down and give the list to the clients. Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients
Build anger management strategies: Increase understanding of anger. Focus on anger cues (related to attunement skills). Brainstorm with clients ways to express anger energy in healthy, positive ways. Emphasize the importance of modeling
appropriate anger expression skills with children. Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Build stress management strategies: Increase understanding of stress and distress Focus on stress cues (related to attunement skills). Brainstorm with clients ways to express
stress energy in healthy, positive ways. Brainstorm with clients ways to reduce stress. Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Increase self-awareness. List self traits that are desirable and undesirable and a plan to
replace undesirable traits with desirable ones. Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Increase self-worth:
Personal Power Praise for Being and Doing Self-Awareness Accept praise from others Offer self praise Change negative self-labels for positive ones
Have appropriate and realistic expectations for self Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Treat others with dignity by developing Empathy. Empathy
Empathy is the ability to perceive and accept the subjective experiences of others and to respond in a caring, dignified way. Comes from the Greek word empatheia which means feeling into. Brainstorm with clients ways to build empathy: caring for objects (clothes, home, car, etc.); caring for self (hygiene, diet, exercise, personal
references/labels, etc.); caring for others (plants, pets, children, etc). Ways to Build Personal Power in Self and Clients Build communication skills: Taking responsibility for ones behavior: no blaming. Confronting and not criticizing: using I
statements and no name calling. Brainstorm possibilities/causes/reasons to situations and events. Problem Solving and Decision Making Problem Solving - What is the problem?
- Whose problem is it - What have you tried? - Decision Making What would you like to see instead? Brainstorm three ways you can achieve your goals. Try your solutions and evaluate the effectiveness. If the problem persists, begin the process over.
Negotiate and Compromise - When problem solving leaves both people at a stalemate. Communication Barriers to Listening Focusing on Personal Agenda: Formulating our next thought while speaker is still talking.
Emotional Noise: Appearance; non-verbal cues. Criticizing Speaker: Focus on the message and not on the messenger. Speech Rate v. Thought Rate: Speech rate (125 wpm) is much slower than the rate at which we think (500-800 wpm). Information Overload: Too much information. External Noise: TV, cell phones, too hot or too cold room. Feeling Sick: Headache, stomach ache, pain, discomfort
Strategies for Listening Focus on the person, their thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to the person. Listen for the essence of the message. Be empathic and imagine how you would feel.
Ask questions for clarification. Barriers to Accurate Perceptions Intense emotional state: anger, sadness, fear, etc. Holding preconceptions about people or events. Misconceptions generated from making assumptions and ignoring details. Focusing on the negative aspects is a common habit. Assuming others have a similar interpretation
without checking how others interpret a situation. Sending or receiving incongruent communication (behavioral) cues, i.e. body language that contradicts verbal message. Strategies for Improving Perceptions Reality is nothing more than perceptions at moment. All realities are the subjective interpretation of the moment.
There is no objective world. Question your perceptions and think about how they are formed. Observe carefully and attentively be completely involved in the moment. Be aware of the meanings you attach to your perceptions. Increased self-awareness will lead to awareness of the barriers
used in perceptions. Develop your level of empathy and work on focusing on others. Barriers to Effective Verbal Communication Lacking clarity and precision: vague, political- type responses Using generalizations and stereotypes
Jumping to conclusions Using disconfirming responses such as interrupting, making irrelevant responses, not saying anything at all Lacking confidence due to shyness, low self- worth, low sense of personal power Strategies for Effective Verbal
Communication Describe your own feelings and thoughts rather than evaluating others. Focus in the issue rather than on the person. Be yourself, honestly and openly but with dignity. Empathize rather than remain detached. Allow for other points of view.
Continued Strategies for Effective Verbal Communication Value yourself and your own experiences. Perceive and present yourself as an equal rather than a superior. Respond to others in ways that acknowledge
their experiences, opinions, values. This is not necessarily agreeing with the messages, but honoring their response. Send consistent verbal and non-verbal messages. Adapted from Beebe et al. Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others
2nd Canadian Edition, 2000; and, Developing and Maintaining Professional Relationships, TRACE Workshops, 2002. Additional concepts have been added by Stephen Bavolek, Ph.D., Family Development Resources, Inc., 2008
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