TUTORIAL LETTER 103/2008

by Unre Visagie

1. INTRODUCTION

The processes of communication are vital to the Career Guidance Practitioner and the career seeker. Both groups require access to people with resources and opportunities. Communication skills form the basis of gaining access to people with resources and opportunities. PCAR01V/103/2008 introduces the minimum required communication skills you require to access people with resources and opportunities.

We chose the minimum communication processes to get you started. We included sources of the processes to assist you to pass these communication skills to the career seekers.

Practise the competencies during PCAR with your work groups and the working experts you need to reach. Refer back to the communication application processes all the time. Make these skills your own.

2. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

Choose to develop trust and then to trust each other

  1. When the chemistry between you and the others is not as it should be, admit it and make provision for it. You are often going to be faced with similar situations in the workplace. Learn to use differences to everybody’s advantage. Stick to the task and learn from the various differences that exist between the team members. Bring in external people for resolution when it looks like you may be stuck. It is a natural process in the workplace and is an acceptable part of most cultures.
  2. The goal is to experience, practise and grow, not endure. Experience how we learn quicker when the processes are applied and the rules are consistently adhered to. Remember that learning is a process accompanied by setbacks, but you learn the most when forced to overcome adversity. That is how we learned everything we have mastered throughout life, such as walking and talking.
  3. Be aware of the differences between each one in the group as facilitator, observer and as the candidate.
  • You are not trying to change each other whether you are facilitators, observers or candidates. You are developing, accepting and accommodating each other. Each one uses his or her learning style(s) in order to complete the activities.
  • Since each one relies on the processes (one is applying an external process and relying on external expertise), it is each one’s challenge to adjust, adapt, and find a way to be open and honest.
  • Refrain from using sarcasm and arrogance. It is contrary to the exploration, discovery and consequent learning experiences.
  • Acknowledge your fears; admit unknowns and admit when you do not understand. This kind of admission is powerful in the work environment and calls for immediate attention. However, in our cultures, it might be regarded as weakness.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 1

The interactive session

You should repeat the following process with your clients.  Keep records of this process in your MiCareer Book for future reference.

  1. Listen closely to work out the real problem.
  2. Check to see if the client has prepared and invested time and effort in assignments.
  3. Assess the situation.
  4. Together think in terms of realistic objectives; develop a “contract” of: Agreed upon learning outcomes and Expectations of communication.
  5. Decide on availability and amount of sessions (one or several).
  6. Decide on the means of communication (face-to-face, e-mail, telephone, etc.)
  7. Assist each other to: Demonstrate or model similar processes & Ask when you do not know something.  You can refer the candidate to more sources, including other experts.  In addition, you can take the opportunity to learn problem solving.  Bring back answers, and demonstrate that you are in a learning process as well.
  8. Give positive feedback and use encouraging vocabulary.  Find success and reinforce effort even with minor accomplishment.
  9. Summarise and review.
  10. Enable follow-up.
  11. Celebrate accomplishment!

Tutoring strategies for the facilitator and observer roles

  1. Become a more effective tutor by obtaining suitable training material.  This includes subject matter as well as tutoring procedures.
  2. Help and encourage the candidate to get into situations where effective communication in English is paramount. When in these situations clearly establish the roles of the candidate, observer and facilitator. Always keep in mind the background of the candidate and the role of classmates, department, school and family.
  3. Keep and follow a consistent set of processes. Refer to the processes listed later on. Clear processes with rules are necessary, but must be mutually agreed upon with the candidate. They must be fair and enforced consistently.  These processes along with clear rules reduce unnecessary struggles.
  4. Have a clear idea of the strengths and limitations that you can apply in the processes.  Establish for yourself what skills or knowledge you can offer in the role of facilitator and observer.  Remember that one reward of facilitating and observing is the opportunity to learn and to apply what you have learned in similar situations.
  5. Learning is a process that almost always involves unsuccessful attempts. It is often called failing forward.  But this is actually not failure, since options are eliminated with a view to arriving at the correct solution.  Learning and problem solving require passing through a period of sorting facts and options necessary for success.
  6. The whole group (facilitator, observer and candidate) must discover their strengths and challenges in learning.  Discover for yourselves under what circumstances each one learns best from the processes and exercises you apply.  And when do you perform poorly?

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 2

  1. Become aware of all the different learning styles each of us use. Use VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinetic) methods.
  2. Know that most of us learn verbally. Never forget the importance of body language and tone of voice.
  3. Use your MiCareer Book to write your and your groups learning styles.

3. EXPLORE AND DISCOVER

In this course your will learn how to explore and discover in order to make informed choices. These exploration exercises will utilise the web.

You will become aware of what you like to do and what your strengths and weaknesses are.  You will gain experiences and awareness and subsequently enable yourself to make your own choices.  This is what you should be doing for your future clients.  Make them aware of their choices and of the tools available, guide them through situations where they can experience, practise and make their own choices.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 3

  1. What do you like to do? Find words describing what you enjoyed about past activities.
  2. What are your strengths?  Find words describing your strengths.
  3. Use the results from www.assessment.com to find more words.
  4. Ask your group, friends, and family for input.  Different views are always very informative!
  5. Search for these words and their meanings and synonyms under www.wikipedia.org & www.dictionary.com.
  6. Use those words in the Google search engine and find White papers, web sites, and online magazines to broaden your search on the words.
  7. Choose three websites that you like and say why you choose them and what you enjoy about them.  Try persevering until you find something that really looks interesting to you!
  8. Use your MiCareer Book to write your words, websites, and answers.

Now that you have made use of the search words, you should be more comfortable using the search engine for this purpose.  You also had your very first exercise in exploring and discovering.

In the later modules, we will use these words to search for local and global companies/businesses of your choice.  During these exercises you will find we use these explore and discover exercises to connect to the real world.  You will have to help your clients to grow an awareness of opportunities, their talents, their skills and gaps. Teach them to explore, discover and engage.  Your client must be able to find a business they like and make successful appointments.  This course and these activities will teach you how to do this.

4.     NETWORKING

Gain access to people with resources and wisdom within a safe environment. Start accessing the elders in your community and people in the industry of your choice.  You will gain from their wisdom and the safety of their knowing what you should do. They will be able to guide you and show you what to avoid.  Continue doing this throughout your career.

You will need to use some basic skills to access these experts, professionals and elders.  Follow these guidelines, not only for this course, but also for your whole career path and you are guaranteed success.

  1. Always use the Task: “To relax” by breathing and moving your fingers. This tool will help you to put your thinking brain in charge of all responses. In other words, you will not react emotionally and rashly.  For fun: http://library.thinkquest.org/C0114820/logical/ We will explain the “To relax” task in more detail in task 6.
  2. Start communicating and growing relationships with your local elders, cultural leaders, and professionals (psychological services, legal profession, accounting, civic leaders, and business leaders).  Other people will automatically trust you if you work with the elders, leaders and professionals.  Your business will grow faster and you will earn more by maintaining these relationships. Remember: always meet with the above people and discuss what you are busy doing.  This will increase your access to resources, and you will gain insight from the wisdom of elders.  You will stay connected with locals and those people that can form part of the value you will add to career seekers. You will need them to complete your career expo participation in the last assignment.
  3. We use language to communicate with the above people.  Use  www.dictionary.com all the time to learn new words.  Learn from  www.bbc.co.uk to pronounce English correctly.  Remember to share your own culture and home language with mother tongue English speakers.  They can help you with your English and you can teach them your language. Grow together!
  4. You will learn to use your interest and curiosity to search, read, discuss and develop the choices you have with local professionals and elders. This is what lifelong learners do. This is what you should keep on doing, even after you are finished with the course.  Remember: never move too far away from your local way of thinking.  Always grow in concert with local wisdom while applying it. Keep growing and searching for new ways of thinking.
  5. When you have finished this course, you will have used a lot of free information.  It is then time for contributing in a value exchange. You always attempt to contribute more than you receive. That way your family’s work capacity grows, the community’s income grows and your country’s economy grows. Now you must make your experience available to others to make it easier and quicker for them to learn.  You are contributing and attracting resources by becoming visible to your clients and future partners. During the course, you will publish what you have learned on your Blog.  Remember:  all your future clients and other career practitioner learners will come to your Blog to learn from your blogged footprints. You will also in turn learn from their blogs, and this is what value exchange means in practice.

5.     START GROWING YOUR COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS!

Remember to relax!  Breathe deeply while you move your fingers and toes. Feel the relaxing effect. Your thinking brain is now in charge. Do this whenever you feel anxious during the many new experiences.

Through whole communication (The four elements of whole communication: observed facts, perceived facts, what each one feels and thinks.) you will understand your preferences, what is important (what do you want from your life), and how you are going to choose work and responses on the way.  You will learn to communicate with others, understand them better and in return grow increasingly meaningful relationships.  There are many tools to aid you with whole communication.  We have chosen a few examples for the purpose of this course:

  1. The Johari window (Ask for information and share information)
  2. Transactional Analysis (How we interact and grow understanding)
  3. Venn diagram (Segmenting and organising what we want, facts and feelings)
  4. Learn from Victor Frankl and the African bush

JOHARI WINDOW

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window

A. Manali’s Johari window

The Johari window is a comparison tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham — thus the Joe-Harry/Johari window — in 1955 in the United States. It is used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as an investigating exercise.

For this exercise you will need to work with a group of two friends.

Quadrants (the four divisions in the Johari window)

Terms selected only by you, but not by any of your friends or family, are placed into the Façade quadrant (the mask quadrant).  This represents information about you that your friends or family are unaware of.  Only you know this about yourself.  It is up to you whether or not you want to disclose this information to your friends.

Terms that are not selected by you but only by your friends and family are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which you are not aware, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform you about these “blind spots“.

Terms which were not selected by either you or your friends and family remain in the Unknown quadrant.  This represents your behaviors or motives which were not recognised by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply, or because none of you are aware of the existence of trait.

Johari Adjectives

The Johari Windows consists of 55 adjectives used to describe you.  Five or six are used by each peer, in alphabetical order:

  • able
  • accepting
  • adaptable
  • bold
  • brave
  • calm
  • caring
  • cheerful
  • clever
  • complex
  • confident
  • dependable
  • dignified
  • energetic
  • extroverted
  • friendly
  • giving
  • happy
  • helpful
  • idealistic
  • independent
  • ingenious
  • intelligent
  • introverted
  • kind
  • knowledgeable
  • logical
  • loving
  • mature
  • modest
  • nervous
  • observant
  • organized
  • patient
  • powerful
  • proud
  • quiet
  • reflective
  • relaxed
  • religious
  • responsive
  • searching
  • self-assertive
  • self-conscious
  • sensible
  • sentimental
  • shy
  • silly
  • spontaneous
  • sympathetic
  • tense
  • trustworthy
  • warm
  • wise
  • witty

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 4

Get to know your preferences in work and behaviour and your friends’ preferences in work and behaviour, using the Johari window.  By using the words in the table above, each person, including you, should choose six words that describe the candidate (this is you!).  These words are then written in the applicable quadrant (*a quadrant is one of the smaller blocks contained within the large block) in the table below.  The words that all three group-members chose come in the Arena.  The words that only your friends choose come in the Blind Spot.  The words chosen by you, but not your friends, come in the Façade – refer to the method described above.

Discuss the terms Arena, Blind Spot and Façade; make sure all involved understand all three terms (Discussed in the previous paragraphs).

The Johari window has four quadrants – what do they do with the fourth one?

Publish this (your old and new insights) under the heading Johari window in your MiCareer Book and your Blog.

TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS

We enjoyed the book “The Games People Play” by Eric Berne. We learnt a great deal about transactional analysis. Using transactional analysis you can appreciate the different ways in which we communicate, whether it is the nurturing parent, adult or playful child. Being aware of these ways of communication helps to build and mature our ways of communicating.

Read the web site against the guidelines below. Find the information for yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis The model or theory is used for exploration and discovery of communication as well as for finding personality preferences. The awareness is half the battle. Once we know and are aware of that we do it automatically.

What are the games in “Games People Play”?  In Games People Play, Berne defined games as the following:

“A game is an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions… with a concealed motivation… or gimmick.”

To explain Berne’s definition, think of a game as a series of interactions (words, body language, facial expressions, etc.) between two or more people that follow a predictable pattern. The interactions ultimately progress to an outcome in which one individual obtains a “payoff” or “goal.”  In most cases, the participants in games are unaware that they are “playing”.

What does “Payoff” or “goal” mean? You eventually become aware of different aspects of life, which were previously unknown or not clearly defined.  This can be positive or negative.  A “payoff” is something you are subconsciously looking for in relationships: affirmation, love or a critique, anything you are not aware that you lack.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 5

  1. Use the information you gathered and identify what interested you.
  2. Record everything in your MiCareer Book.
  3. Over time, you will grow your insights as to what happened in your life and the effect it had on you.  You will sharpen your ability to answer honestly about these experiences and how they contributed to who you now are. The processes and tools that you use to complete your PoE and MiCareer Book generate content for you to talk about, to learn from and from which you might differ.  For you, the value of this exercise lies in the challenge to face personal facts about yourself.  You are required to look at your answers and the facts neutrally by using structured thinking.

Read and understand Transactional Analysis. We all play the games and some of which we did not choose for our best interest. Learn to consider your responses and take action to grow and produce more value to others and thus to earn more.

VENN DIAGRAM THINKING SKILLS

Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venn_diagram:

Sets A and B

The orange circle (set A) might represent, for example, all living creatures which are two-legged. The blue circle (set B) might represent living creatures which can fly. The area where the blue and orange circles overlap, (which is called the intersection), contains all living creatures which can both fly and have two legs — for example, parrots. (Imagine each separate type of creature as a point somewhere in the diagram.)

Humans and penguins would be in the orange circle, in the part which does not overlap with the blue circle. Mosquitoes have six legs, and fly, so the point for mosquitoes would be in the part of the blue circle which does not overlap with the orange one. Things which do not have two legs and cannot fly (for example, whales and rattlesnakes) would all be represented by points outside both circles. Technically, the Venn diagram above can be interpreted as “the relationships of set A and set B which may have some (but not all) elements in common”.

The combined area of sets A and B is called the union of sets A and B. The union in this case contains all things with legs and things that can fly and things that can fly who have two legs.

The area in both A and B, where the two sets overlap, is defined as A∩B, that is A intersected with B. The intersection of the two sets is not empty, because the circles overlap, i.e. there are creatures that are in both the orange and blue circles. Sometimes a rectangle called the Universal set is drawn around the Venn diagram to show the space of all possible things. As mentioned above, a whale would be represented by a point that is not in the union, but is part of the Universe of living creatures. A Venn diagram is a diagram used to divide up two or more objects to view similarities and differences.

Using the Venn diagram

Later in this module you will explore your interests, values, aptitude and abilities.  This will all be entered in the Venn diagram to see overlaps and determine your passions.  You will use the words in the Johari window to enter into the Venn diagram.

http://www.logictutorial.com/

Relax to get the thinking brain in charge

During changes and when confronted with an unknown situation we all get anxious and start breathing quickly and we tense up the muscles in our bodies. Have you ever felt that happen? Breathe deeply and slowly.  Move your fingers and toes and feel the relaxation pass through your body. Your thinking brain is immediately in charge. For interest find some relaxation web sites and read more about relaxation.

Learn from Victor Frankl and the African bush:

  • Being jungle savvy will keep you alive in the real jungle of life. We live in Africa and find great inspiration from African nature – the bush and the animals. We will mention more about that in later tutorials.
  • Twinkle and breathe during your day to stay relaxed and focused.
  • What you think is who you are. Viktor Frankl knew this and chose how he thought and what he thought of,   even when he was in the most extreme of conditions.  Read about Victor Frankl in his book: “Man’s search for        meaning”.

Read about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

Breathe, twinkle and wiggle!

Also, see “motivation” on Wikipedia

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 6

Always act in your best interest under any circumstance.  Do this quick Twinkle and Breathe exercise:

  1. Sit or stand with your back nice and straight.
  2. Move your fingers and toes and feel control shift to your rational brain.
  3. Now take a deep breath and hold it for ten seconds. Breathe out slowly and take 10 normal small breaths. Repeat both processes five times.
  4. Simply be in charge of your brain and body to make good rational choices in your own best interest at all times.
  5. Repeat the processes to keep the body serving the brain for productive choices and your actions. Do it before meeting people or calling people and when you sit down to work or during your lunch break.

You can work more, play more and have more fun. Most stress related diseases could not affect you since you stay relaxed and do more.

In addition, look at how different people are motivated. We believe what comes into our minds drives desires and fears. Your desires and fears drive your actions. Actions leads to habits and habits lead to your character (or who you are), what you value and what you believe. It really does matter how you allow stuff to come into your mind, because it drives what you think. It is an awesome thing, to know you have the power to choose.  This is the building blocks of who you are and what you will become. Choose carefully what you allow into your mind.

DEALING WITH YOURS AND OTHER’S FEELINGS

“Acting in best interests”

Always act in your own and others best interests for value preservation and growth.  Dealing with yours and others inputs, thoughts, feelings and appreciate any kind of feedback through the conversion processes below.

The purpose of “Acting in best interests” module:

Respond versus react.

Find the value in interactions.

Grow relationships through contact with other people.

Whole communication means we take a moment to look at the four broad categories driving our choice of words. The process also forces our rational brain into action.

  1. Observed facts.
  2. Perceived facts.
  3. What we feel.
  4. What we think.

We share useful practices to stand back and keep acting in your and others’ best interests all the time.

Implement “Act in best interests”

Always get your body and brain calm and ready for best interest choice of action.

Breathe deeply, move your fingers and toes (Twinkle) sit upright and move your back or waggle. Feel yourself relax. In extreme situations, we can recommend more intense exercises.

Now you are ready for the issue at hand.

What is the issue? Who is impacted or affected? Will it still matter tomorrow, next week or next year? If it does not matter let it go, picture the problem in your hand and gently blow it away.

If it matters, proceed to find alternatives with solutions and test for implementation. The alternatives are required as a fall back, if the chosen alternative is too tough to implement. Grow from any event, opportunity, difference or conflict by pulling resources into your implementation plans. People like solutions and participation. While any situation is viewed as a problem without a solution, you will stand alone.

Where to use “Acting in best interests”?

This process works for most interactions and it also turns good situations into great ones.

When you feel overcome with anger or disillusionment, apply the process and maintain a solution based mindset. People around you will also be affected in a positive way as you will reduce tension in the workplace while finding solutions to befit all involved.

Remember to use sites like www.assessment.com and learn more about your work preferences.

Share the results with friends and work colleagues for higher returns and impact.

Share the solution based mindset with two friends and find out how it will benefit them.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 7

A thought process exercise.  When you are confronted with challenging situations or statements at work:

  1. STOP! Do not answer or react immediately. Always inform the other person or group you are with what you observe your perceived facts, feelings and thoughts.
  2. Say, “Just give me a moment; let me gather my thoughts.”
  3. Now think about the answer that will benefit all in that specific situation. You can use the list of processes and questions in the last chapter to help.
  4. Attempt to understand, in terms of whole communication, what is meant or what drives the statement. It is never personal. It is always perceptions. Defence and attacks are the enemies of growth and relationships.
  5. Acting defensively will not help either. Rather get more information through calmly asking about what the other person thinks and how he or she feels. Find clarity before acting.
  6. Ensure you have as much information as possible before suggesting a solution.
  7. Run through a compressed version of Explore – Discover – Engage in your mind.
  8. Remember the Games People Play and Transaction analysis of Eric Berne.

6.     SUMMARY

This is the third tutorial letter, which is linked to PCAR01V. The subsequent modules rely heavily on the information that you have been given in the first three tutorial letters in PCAR01V.

Tutorial letter PCAR01V/103/2008 required you to think about the communication skills that you need to be a successful career guidance practitioner.

You have been given tips on how to build relationships. This entails choosing to develop trust and then to trust each other; it means developing tutoring strategies for yourself in the facilitator and in the observer role; and this might mean that you have to use the Visual, Auditory and Kinetic method to identify the different learning styles of your clients; , how to explore and discover

Secondly, you learned how to explore and discover in order to make informed choices. This was done by means of accessing the information that is available on the internet and assessing whether it is suitable for use in your own future.

Thirdly, the importance of networking was explored. You discovered how to gain access to people with resources and wisdom within a safe environment in order to make it possible to establish yourself as a community based career guidance practitioner.

Fourthly, we explained to you how to start growing your communication skills. In order to do this, you investigated the Johari Window, gained an understanding of Transactional Analysis, practised to segment and organise what you want by using the Venn diagram, and finally, you learned from Victor Frankl and the African bush. A vital part of this was dealing with yours and other’s feelings as you learned to act in other’s interest by using whole communication.

I hope that you find this information stimulating and helpful in your journey towards establishing yourself as career guidance practitioners.

About Unre Visagie
I am a master coach with 30 years of career and business coaching experience. I have built and sold many of my own multi-million dollar companies. I have always built my companies based on the principle of successful people make a successful company. I invest in people. As your coach you get 30 years of experience to help you do the work you love and earn the salary you want.

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