Communication is a two way process and it is not good enough to just talk and instruct because there is no guarantee that anything you say will be received and retained by the learner. It is your responsibility to check that the messages you send out are received and understood and translated into the correct responses from the learner. To do this, it is essential that you try to establish a good rapport with the driver. Try to find out if there are any particular reasons why they want to learn to drive and use this as a motivational tool. People will not learn unless they want to.
We communicate through a mixture of different body language, smiles, frowns, nods, posture, hand movements, laughter, eye contact and of course speech. Facial expression will allow you to detect their level of interest, their body posture will often indicate their attitude towards you, the instructor.
You can also use diagrams as an aid, do not rely on words alone to put your message across. A way of checking that understanding is taking place is to ask the driver questions so that they put into their own words what they are being asked to do. This can be used particularly well on a phase 2 subject, because the driver should already have covered the subject or, at least, have some knowledge that can be transferred.
To avoid misunderstanding, feedback is required between driver and instructor. It is vital that you listen carefully to the driver’s response to find out if your instructions have been understood fully.
Before you start your briefing ensure that the driver is paying attention, this can be established by gaining eye contact. Silence can be a powerful weapon if attention is wandering.
Communication should be concerned with the learner’s understanding of instruction, appropriateness of language, use of jargon (with or without explanation), it includes the ability to adapt and to use language and terminology likely to be familiar to the particular learner and not to overload them with over-technical and complex explanations.
'Find out why someone wants to learn to drive - people will not learn if they do not understand their motivation.'
If you want to know more about communication techniques then register for one of our In Class training days, which are open to all, regardless of how you are doing your training. If you want to become a driving instructor and be trained with the latest methods that match the DVSA National Standards then you are in the right place. Tri-Coaching Partnership is the number one training provider for Approved Driving Instructors and we have a full programme of continual professional development to follow once you have passed to help you become a successful ADI. Give us a call on 0800 058 8009 for a free, no obligation chat.