We learn most of our communication skills through an automatic process. This starts when we are born and continues to develop throughout our entire lives. We believe that organized communication development has to follow the same natural process to be effective. This is why we offer opportunities to view examples, we give the time to experiment, we help to make clear what the effect is through experience, and we facilitate internalization and application in practice.
When it comes to soft skills, people quickly fall back on the terminology of identity: ‘she is unclear’. This is a normative, definite statement and doesn't leave much room for improvement. This is a missed opportunity, especially when you realize that soft skills are becoming more important. With Google always within hand's reach and robotization just around the corner, it's increasingly less about what you know and more about how you work with your colleagues and clients. A better way to formulate this statement would be: ‘she communicates unclearly'. This is objective and offers perspective. Precisely defining the desired communication skills and objectively evaluating these can lead to more effective and efficient development. This ensures that you do not use soft and judgmental statements to express yourself.
With every successful program that we run for our clients, we ensure that each of these four conditions is met: I am willing, I am facilitated, I understand, and I can. In all our programs we establish per person to which extent they meet each condition and we offer the best suited interventions in case there is room for improvement.
People make things more complicated, but soft skills are simple: practice leads to perfection. We see this realized in practice every day, but this is also supported by science. The Ericsson's 10,000-hour rule, Kolb's experiential learning cycle, and the principles of cognitive learning are great examples of this. We believe that too many learning interventions are focused on the cognitive aspects of skills, on understanding why they are relevant and how to perform them. We have kept it simple and all our programs are founded on one basic principle: practice, practice, practice.
Your organization has a clearly defined vision for the future. Together we set a shared goal for the organization but allow each participant to arrive there via their own track. This is essential, as everyone relates differently to the four conditions and because everyone enters the process with a different level of skills. We use various diagnostic tools to discover where someone currently stands and which interventions are suitable for the individual. The journey might be different, but everyone arrives at the same shared goal.
The basic skills needed for giving feedback or conducting client meetings are fairly generic. Yet, we fully believe in customization for the organization and for the participant. Customization raises the familiarity and validity of the assessments and training courses, which benefits the learning process. Our customized programs are valued highly in participant reviews which indicate that ‘it is almost exactly the same as daily practice.’ Because the situation is familiar, the participant can clearly see the relevance of the program. The quote also touches on the most important point: the transfer to daily practice. The familiar customized situations trigger the participant to become highly aware of situations in which they can apply these newly acquired skills.
For many years, e-learning was little more than the transfer of a textbook to a website. Luckily, that phase has long since passed. In our 'TrainTool Labs’, we have seen what developments such as artificial intelligence, HR analytics, and VR can yield. And we've only just gotten started!