The power of a blended approach in communication training
Communication training is gaining interest, and rightly so. More than ever, soft skills are high on the agenda at many organizations. Communication, and in particular conversations, is perhaps the most important soft skill to improve services and increase job satisfaction. Yet we see that education and training are still traditionally approached, often in a classroom setting with trainer and actor. The question is whether this is sufficient. And is it still of this time?
At DialogueTrainer we believe in a blended approach to communication training. One in which you combine traditional, often classroom training, with individual online training. New technology makes it possible to train conversations and conversation situations with virtual training actors. This gives you insight into the conversation method, the course of a conversation and you learn more about the effect of your choices. Combining these insights with traditional training creates a communication training that is very powerful and responds better to individual learning objectives.
Why a blended training?
Blended training is a combination between online and offline learning. A combination that – in the right composition – forms a logical learning approach around a skill to be trained. In the blended communication training, the participants play an online conversation simulation prior to the classroom training. An important condition is that the online simulation matches the situation and the context in which the participant works.
By working on the simulation, the participants develop insight into the conversation approach before the classroom training. What does the conversation look like, what phases are there and how do you go through them to achieve the intended result? Immediately after playing, the participant receives extensive feedback on the choices he or she has made, which are linked to individual scores. This makes the personal learning goals clear and negotiable.
Effective classroom training through online training in advance
Thus, each participant has his or her learning goals in mind when they start with the classroom training. This gives direction and at the same time deepens the offline training. The scores from the online platform can also be made transparent to the trainer and / or training actor, which means that this extra focus can also be placed on the personal learning objectives. This creates a training that is more relevant and effective, because it directly responds to a clear individual learning question. A blended communication training therefore really means getting started with your personal learning goals.
You learn from each other in class
In the classroom training, participants come together in a training led by a trainer and / or actor. Before practicing with the individual learning objectives and questions, the online simulation can first be played together. This creates the same picture of the situation within the group. This makes it possible to have an effective discussion about the steps in the conversation and the considerations you make. You learn from each other through this discussion.
Get more out of role plays
Playing an online simulation in advance has another advantage for the classroom training. As a participant, you already have insight into the conversation approach. You know what the conversation looks like, what phases there are and how you can go through them to achieve the intended result. This prior knowledge makes the classroom training more effective because it can focus on personal learning goals, and because the classroom role plays are therefore less tensive. And thus evoke less resistance. Because although role play is a good method to train conversation methods, they do evoke stress in people: some of their attention is lost on participants’ ‘survival’ for the group. And stress comes at the expense of overview, while getting an overview in the conversation is important. Foreknowledge from the online simulation gives the participants more confidence to enter the classroom role-playing games, and to learn even more effectively.
Permanent follow-up and targeted follow-up coaching
In the blended communication training of DialogueTrainer, participants are given the opportunity to play an online simulation again after the classroom training. From a different case or context, which makes it challenging again. Using the scores and personal feedback, the participant can determine his or her progress. In addition, these scores can also be shared with supervisors to enable them to coach on-the-job by discussing individual learning questions of employees. As a manager, this gives you a grip on the performance and learning objectives of employees. And targeted follow-up training becomes possible.
Want to know more?
Geïnteresseerd in het versterken van jouw huidige cInterested in strengthening your current communication training? Please contact us and we are happy to think along with you!