I-SPEAK Your Language©: Communications Style Training Program:

Helping figure skating coaches increase communication effectiveness.


June 1, 2013

   In The Loop Extended Articles

Why is it that at times we easily resonate with certain individuals while at other times we find ourselves frustrated with others? Quite obviously we may be speaking different “languages.” Communication style or “language” often has a great impact on how effectively we work together and on what we can accomplish both on and off of the ice with our students.
Learning about personal styles will help you get a deeper understanding of your own preferred style of communication. But it will also help you understand each skater’s best communication style. This will improve your ability to more meaningfully interact with your athletes and will positively influence how they perceive what you are asking them to do.
The I-SPEAK Communications Style program explores four styles, helps coaches discover their own personal style and teaches new ways to communicate with others. The I-Speak goal is to develop greater awareness of other styles and create more productive, effective working relationships. The bottom line: Increase your coaching effectiveness in a shorter amount of time.
The program is based on these premises:

  1. People have recognizable and preferred communication styles.
  2. It is possible, after relatively short exposure to a person, to identify his/her style.
  3. People communicate most effectively with individuals whose styles are similar to their own, and they have greater difficulty with people who exhibit dissimilar communications styles.
  4. People can modify their styles to “speak the language” of others.

I-SPEAK teaches coaches how to determine communication styles (both their own and those of others) and helps them to use this knowledge to foster enhanced communications. These skills are readily applied to your skaters as well as other adults you communicate with both in and outside of the rink.

Each of the four personality styles has unique strengths and qualities as well as potential weaknesses and “blind spots.” No particular style is “good” or “bad.”

Can you recognize your primary style of communication?

Style                          Behavioral Function

INTUITOR  Conceptual, synthesizer, idea people, problem solvers, leaders and long- range thinkers. Intuitors derive great satisfaction from considering the world of possibilities. Often their input serves as a catalyst for those around them. They assume others see things as they do, they expect their actions and communication to be self-evident and understood by most.
(Intuitors intuitively make leaps of logic that others may find difficult to follow.)
THINKER   Analyzer, systematic, logical, step by step, concrete and sequential. Thinkers place high value in objectivity and orderly inquiry. They are disciplined and deliberate decision makers. They assume others see things as they do.
(Thinkers are results oriented individuals and value thoughtful examination.)
FEELER  Perceptive, facilitative, responsive to others, big hearted, supportive. Feelers enjoy personal relationships and are responsive to the needs of others. They are keenly attuned to subtle changes in other’s moods and are astute in “reading between the lines.”
(Feeler types place great value on the personal experience and want harmony.)    
SENSER Concrete, pragmatic, detail oriented, realistic, quick to put into action. They are here-and-now oriented and thrive on getting things done in the present moment without time-consuming deliberations. They are known for their ability to get things done and are likely to express a direct and energetic approach to work and life.
(Sensers enjoy making things happen and want concrete and immediate feedback.)

As individuals come to recognize and acknowledge the influence of their own style on their thoughts and actions, each begins to appreciate the importance that other people’s styles hold for them. This understanding improves the ability to more meaningfully interact with others, and will positively influence how others perceive you.

Interestingly enough we all tend to alter our communication style a bit when under stress. So do your skaters! Think of the advantage you can have if you know how your skater can best take in information during heightened and more stressful times such as at competitions and in preparing to take a test. The I-Speak program offers a 15-minute self-assessment which will determine, with greater accuracy, an individual’s specific day-to-day communication style and their style when under stress. Consider the advantages for both you and your skaters.

Merry Neitlich of the Coach’s Edge is an approved I-Speak trainer. Depending on your needs, we can provide test administration and results interpretation in either a 2-hour or 1/2 day program.

For questions or to take the I-SPEAK Personal Styles Inventory please contact Merry at merry@coachsedge.biz    www.coachsedge.biz