FTO Module – Assignment Three Reading

FTO Module – Assignment Three Reading

Interpersonal Communications – Interpersonal communication is the “essence” of all human interaction. It occurs whenever individuals come in contact with one another. It involves the exchange of information from one person to another and often brings about a change in the behavior of the people who are involved in the communication. It is symbolic with both verbal and non-verbal media used to exchange information.

1. What is Communication?

Communication is the flow of information from one person to another. The process involves a sender transmitting an idea to a receiver and is effective only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit.

2. Six Steps in Communication Process:

a. The sender possesses ideas, information, and feelings.

b. The sender encodes ideas, information, or feelings in both verbal and non-verbal formats.

c. The message is transmitted to the receiver.

d. The receiver decodes the verbal and non-verbal communications – perception by the receiver is extremely important.

e. The receiver internalizes the message.

f. Feedback occurs – Did the receiver hear the message? Are the intended and perceived meanings the same?

3. Barriers to Effective Communication – Anything that prevents an understanding of the exact ideas, information, or feelings intended by the sender.

a. Types of Barriers:

1) Physical Barriers – physical hearing difficulties, external noise, inappropriate location, etc.

2) Psychological Barriers – emotions, psychological values and filters, fear of punishment or failure, etc.

3) The Message Itself – the message itself can be a barrier if not phrased correctly or it is phrased ambiguously in a way that can be interpreted to have multiple meanings.

b. Overcoming Barriers to Communication.

1) Identify the barriers present.

2) Understand what others need to know.

3) Evaluate and modify the environment where necessary.

4) Understand the psychological factors that affect communication and be aware of how they are coming into play.

4. Improving Listening Skills:

a. Prepare to listen.

b. Focus on how the role of speaker and listener changes.

c. Focus on the main ideas, significant points, and the purpose of the message.

d. Take notes if necessary to keep your mind focused.

e. Plan to provide feedback.

5. Providing Feedback:

a. Use feedback to clarify the message.

b. Focus on the sender’s point of view first.

c. Describe the message you heard before evaluating and critiquing it.

d. When you are in doubt as to what was said, asks questions to clarify them.

e. Paraphrase when it necessary to achieve understanding.

6. Set the Stage for Interpersonal Communication:

a. Face the other person squarely.

b. Adopt an open posture.

c. Lean towards the other person.

d. Keep good eye contact.

e. Show your genuine interest in what the other person has to say.

Counseling Techniques for Field Training Officers:

1. Counseling is talking with a person in a way that helps that person solve a problem or helps create conditions that will cause the person to improve his character, behavior, or values.

2. Four Basic Psychological Forces:

a. Attitudes – Consist of beliefs and sentiments about people, things, and ideas.

b. Perceptions – What we see or hear in a particular situation.

c. Emotions – Complex patterns of feelings and behavior.

d. Motivation – The psychological force to act toward a goal.

3. Trainee Reactions to Counseling:

a. General Reactions:

1) Nervousness.

2) Cooperation.

3) Rational disagreement.

4) “Too easy” agreement.

5) Determined to argue.

6) Attempts to shift blame.

7) Loss of temper.

8) Desire to quit.

b. Defensive Reactions – Keep in mind that people will often react in a manner similar to the action taken against them. Most people will react defensively when they feel threatened. Some defensive reactions are:

1) Denial – A common reaction to a mild threat is to deny that the problem even exists.

2) Rationalization – Involves justifying the behavior so as to remove the threat.

3) Displacement – Involves a counterattack directed at those who present no threat.

4) Withdrawal – The threatened person avoids all contact with the source of the threat.

4. Active Listening:

a. Determine the trainee’s problem.

b. Hear his side.

c. Know how he feels.

d. Listen to what he thinks is the solution.

e. To be a better listener, the FTO must adjust his attitude.

f. Guidelines for improved listening:

1) Good eye contact.

2) Sympathetic facial expressions.

3) Interested posture.

4) As a follow-up to listening, restate what they have told you.

5. Use of Criticism in Counseling Trainees:

a. Use with great care.

b. Understand that criticism is a form of discipline.

c. Some factors that may indicate the need to use criticism:

1) Game playing attitude by the trainee.

2) Self-centered and ego driven.

3) Deviation from the standards for unknown reasons.

d. Basic principle of criticizing:

1) Validity – must be related to the issue at hand and there must be a good reason for it.

2) Reasonableness – the punishment/criticism must fit the crime.

3) Clarity – the criticism must be crystal clear.

4) Considerate – it must be tempered with kindness and courtesy and you must consider its effect on the trainee.

6. Directive versus Non-Directive Counseling

a. Directive Counseling – Centers on the counselor who asks questions to determine what will be decided, instructs the person counseled about an assignment, attempts to get agreement, and concludes with what should be done. It is most appropriate when:

1) The FTO’s greater experience and knowledge is necessary to the solution of the problem.

2) Regulations, policy, and procedure dictate a uniform approach.

3) A less direct approach has already been tried and failed.

4) A task has been done very poorly or not at all.

b. Non-Directive Counseling helps the trainee himself determine the problem and choose a course of action. It has two primary purposes:

1) To help the trainee express himself fully and recognize all dimensions of the problem.

2) To help the trainee think through the problem and come up with the best answer.




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