There is no doubt working in the diving industry is all about people. As SCUBA diving instructors, your job relies on communication above and below the waterline.
We are privileged to be in a business that connects so many diverse people and is united in a common subject.
it also means that our communication skills as a Diving Instructor need to be up there with our diving knowledge and like all skills, it takes some time to get it right
Take every opportunity you can to communicate with people to test and hone your skills.
When you are looking for a Diving job you are going to have to communicate with strangers during your interview
Try some scenarios that make you feel a little uncomfortable. communicate with people that you would not normally interact with
Do you have some time on your hands – how about some form of community volunteering or maybe being a hospital visitor?
Give yourself a lighthearted goal to steer the conversation to a certain subject or the task of finding something out about a person such as their first job or favourite pet.
Later, look back and give yourself an appraisal. How did it go? Is there any way you would have handled the conversation differently – did you talk too much or not enough
Believe me; it’s not as easy as you might think. Here are some pointers for you 🙂
You hear, but do you listen. To be a good listener, you need to be an Active Listener. An active listener joins in with the conversation, asks questions and clarify anything unclear. Often repeat back what was said to check understanding.
Words only make up a small percentage of the message we are seeking to put across. Less than 10%
Your body language is a major communicator along with your tone of voice, hand gestures and eye contact. Just don’t stare.
A friendly, open manner in all areas will encourage the conversation.
We need to be masters of nonverbal communications as we descend to our office
Be Clear and Be Concise
Make your point using a few words as possible without being rude. It’s important not to ramble, which often leads to confusion.
A simple smile and asking a personal question will help along with the tone of the conversation. A simple “how it is your day or weekend” is enough.
This is important if you are job prospecting by cold calling in person to dive centres
Make eye contact, have a friendly but firm tone and be mindful of those non-verbal clues.
Empathy is the art form of being able to share the feelings of another person.
Even if you disagree with the person you’re communicating with; you must understand and respect their view.
Always Have An Open Mind
Always start with an open mind. Use your empathy skills and be an active listener. Who knows you might just learn something.
For the person and their opinion. Use their name and be receptive, not dismissive to their idea. Stay focused on the conversation.
Give an Receive Feedback
Keep it constructive but give Feedback and take Feedback from the other person. This can be a hard skill to master so work at it. Ask questions for clarification if needed.
Communication takes practice. Like all skills, it can be learned and with practice, perfected. Active Listening does not come naturally to most of us. As SCUBA educators we should make this part of our tool kit
You can find out more about Active Listening here
Come and join us on our Facebook Group lots of good communication on our page. There are all sorts of snippets of information about Diving work and employment.