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Author Archives: Steve
There is a recession! There is bad news everywhere! There is doom and gloom with every conversation.
How refreshing to see that PADI has opened up a wonderful, open, large, modern new office in Bristol, big enough to be the new EMEA centre, but also big enough for major expansion.
How refreshing to see that PADI are taking the industry seriously and taking huge steps to help the membership, and help the customers.
How refreshing to see new programs, new ideas and new media products. All designed to take our industry to new heights.
Janet and I spent a wonderful day at PADI’s new offices in Bristol. I was very impressed by the building, the attitude of all of the staff and the positive comments made by all of the invited attendees.
Our Slogan has always been “Don’t teach Courses – Teach People” And throughout my life, I have been very successful as a PADI Instructor because I have followed this practice. My students have learnt quickly, efficiently and have remained motivated because my focus has been directed at each and every person, regardless of different personality types in the class.
Last Friday, I taught a group of experienced PADI Instructors how I did this. The day was packed with tips and suggestions on how to keep each student focused from the time that you first meet them right through their entire diving life.
NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programing. But of course the real question is: “Why is the choice of words that we use so important when we’re teaching?”
We all know that all top sportsmen use visualisation techniques to achieve their highest achievements. On Friday, we looked at some simple techniques to get your students to imagine themselves successfully reaching their goals. This makes your teaching incredibly effective and efficient. At the same time, the new diver remains focused and inspired.
Steve says, “I love teaching my NLP for Scuba Instructors course because I can take instructors who are already competent and capable and improve their performance. I get energised myself when coaching experienced instructors because we fire each other up with ideas to increase our teaching ability
“Talking theoretically about different ideas in the classroom is one thing. But it’s important to practice these new skills in our in-water coaching session because instructors get to try out their new methods and they have to “re-program” themselves before trying out the techniques on real student divers.”
Tracy, Geoff, Istvan and Darren are all smiles at the end of a successful in-water coaching session.
Please get in touch with me if you want to find out more of this, and need details of our next course.
There will be a very special event at Planet Scuba and it would
be lovely if you could make it. Next month it will be
their 10th birthday, and I would like to invite you to
come and join the party.
The celebrations kicks off at 10.00am on
Saturday 29th June at the Planet Scuba
Dive Centre, Bishops Stortford, CM23 5NZ. (We are a mere five minutes drive from Stansted Airport and we benefit from ample free carparking.)
AUP (Hollis /Oceanic ), blue o two, Mares, Ocean Optics
Photography and Scubapro have all said they
will be attending, and they will be bringing a
selection of their latest shiny toys for you to play with.
I’ll be giving a talk about becoming a diving professional,
whilst David Jones will be discussing Plastic
Come along for the BBQ and bring your
significant other. Non-divers, family and small
people are also very welcome. (We have
arranged for a Bouncy Castle and Face Painter
to keep them entertained).
It will be great to see you! Please RSVP to Planet Scuba by Friday 21st June.
How to contact them;
Stephen Manton # 615783
Planet Scuba (S-35028)
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development & Rebreather Centre
Unit 2, The Links
Tel: 01279 466011
Come and learn some fantastic teaching techniques on our next EFR Instructor Course. Not only will you learn how to teach other people first Aid Skills, but you’ll also learn some fantastic psychological teaching ideas that you can use whenever you’re teaching another person anything.
If you’re heading towards your PADI Instructor Development Course soon, this is an invaluable course to take.
Don’t hesitate to contact me to get more details.
In many parts of the world, Dive Centre managers want their Dive Instructors to speak more than one language. They want their Instructors to be able to communicate with their customers. But is it enough just to speak to future students in a language that they understand?
Are we really connecting with our customers? Have you ever heard that People interpret information in accordance with their learning styles? usually these fall into one of 3 main learning styles? Visual, Audio or Kinaesthetic?
When we look carefully at this, we find that unless we make sure that we are talking to people in their preferred style, very little learning will take place, and a lot of time will be wasted!
When my IDC Candidates first learn about this, they usually ask one of the following questions:
What does Kinaesthetic mean?
What style do you think that I am?
Does any of this matter?
If it does matter, then how can I improve my teaching style to make sure that I am communicating to all people?
I’ll try to answer some of these questions.
Let’s look at Visual learners first. Have you noticed that when you speak to some people, they often reply with a statement like: “I SEE what you mean”? or “I get the picture”?
Well, these people are giving a clear indication that they are VISUAL learners. When they say that they “SEE what you mean” they usually literally have an image in their mind of what is being discussed. These people often learn best by looking at pictures, videos or other images.
If, on the other hand, they reply ” I HEAR what you are saying” or “that rings a bell” or “That SOUNDS feasible” then they are giving an indication that they are AUDITORY learners. Auditory learners often prefer to read books, or listen to the spoken word to get information.
KINAESTHETIC learners on the other hand, are far more practical, and prefer to learn by doing things. They can often imagine the “feeling” of doing something before they actually try.
It’s important to remember that we don’t neatly fall into one or the other of these systems. We will probably fall into all 3 categories from time to time, but will generally have one dominant style.
So the next question is: Does any of this matter?
Well to answer this question, let’s look at a possible scenario in a Dive Shop.
Let’s imagine that a woman walks into a Dive Shop. She walks up to the assistant and says:
“I’ve just seen that BCD in the window, it looks just what I need! It’s the right shape, and the right colour! Can I take a closer look at it please?
Now the woman is clearly using terms like “look” “see” and “Shape” to suggest that she is a VISUAL person.
The man behind the counter, however, has been diving for many years. He is very Kinaesthetic, and answers:
“Good choice madam!” That BCD is an excellent model. It’s got a fantastic lift. When you’re at the surface, you can inflate it and it will hold you very high in the water.
The woman, is a little confused by this reply, but never-the-less takes a closer look. She studies the BCD, and then says:
“Well, it looks OK, but does it come in a lighter shade of blue than this? It don’t think that it will look right with my wet suit.
The assistant is slightly amused by this trivial reference to colour and replies:
Yes, I’m sure that it comes in other colours, but you need to experience how comfortable the Low Pressure Inflater feels in your hands. It’s perfectly designed. Just hold this in your hand and notice how easy it is to reach the buttons.
The customer, now even more confused than before, looks at the back of the BCD to see how the tank band will look on her cylinder once it’s fastened.
The assistant, sensing that the customer is not quite as enthusiastic as she was when she first walked in tries to redeem the situation by saying:
“Why don’t you just slip it on? You’ll feel how comfortable it is. You can imagine how secure you’ll feel when it is inflated.
The woman now takes one last look at the BCD and decides that on reflection, it’s not exactly what she wanted. She leaves the shop quite disappointed. The BCD looked really nice in the window, and although she can’t quite put her finger on why, she doesn’t think that it’s the BCD for her.
The shop assistant is also very disappointed. The customer was so enthusiastic when she first came into the shop. He felt that he couldn’t have helped her more; the BCD was an excellent model. He can’t really understand why she didn’t buy it.
So! we can clearly see that although they were both speaking in English, they weren’t speaking to each other in the same language! Neither could understand what the problem was, but they just knew that things “weren’t right between them”
It’s interesting to note that a lot of Divers are Kinaesthetic. You might be surprised to hear this. But if you were to ask a diver what their last dive was like, you might imagine that they would answer by telling you what they SAW.. But try it out!! ask a few divers that same question, and you’ll find that most will tell you how they FELT during that dive. They’ll use words like: Comfortable, Cold, Warm, Good Buoyancy, Frustrated, Cautious, Relaxed etc….
So, as PADI Divemasters, PADI Instructors or AI’s we need to make sure that we are communicating with all of our customers. Fortunately all PADI materials make sure that all learning styles are covered. Pictures, words and scenarios cover all of the bases.
But what about talking face to face? Do we have to analyse every customer? Do we have to work out which style to speak in? Well according to some books on teaching, this is exactly what they suggest we do! But of course in reality, this is very difficult and very impractical!
BUT the answer is very simple! All we need to do is to be empathetic with each of our customers. We just listen to what they say, and speak back using the same words as they use. Most of the time this is a very natural process. The important thing is to LISTEN and take an interest in WHAT the person is saying. We don’t need to analyse, nor evaluate, we just speak back naturally. It will work most of the time.
Good luck! you don’t need to do anything else other than be aware that people are different! We talk about this a lot on our EFR instructor courses, and also our PADI Instructor Development Courses. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
We’re running our next PADI Instructor Development Course at Emperor Divers in Sharm el Sheikh in May. I’ll start with EFR instructor course on the 22nd May. Then the courses will run right through until the PADI Instructor Exam on the 5th and 6th June.
Usually most people take a long term view to becoming an Instructor. Some book up a year in advance, and others a few months. This gives them time to make sure that they are fully prepared, revising all of the subjects and making sure that their PADI Standards knowledge is up to speed.
However, on this PADI IDC we have several “last minute” candidates! They still have time to complete my “Distance Learning” Preparation course, and still have time to get medicals and other administration in place.
But it’s also very exciting! in a very short few weeks time, they will be PADI Instructors. Not only will they have passed the Instructor Exam, but they will have all of the wonderful “Prior Knowledge” tips that have made so many instructors successful right from the start of their new life.
So, If you have the time, and you have the passion to become a PADI Instructor, give me a call and maybe you also can come and join the team! There is still time!
Kat has a wonderful life ahead of her in the following months.
In just a few days time, she is heading to South Africa for 5 Months where she will be leading dives in Shark infested waters!
Kat is fascinated by Sharks and is really looking forward to showing customers all of the different behaviours that Sharks exhibit.
Kat is also passionate to become a PADI Instructor. She will be joining our PADI Instructor Development Course Later this year at Emperor Divers in Sharm el Sheikh.
Today on the EFR instructor course, Kat got a “taster” by learning some wonderful psychology methods that top instructors use to teach their students.
Kat learnt that instead of trying to correct people, often it’s best just to “Allow People to Learn” She learned several techniques that encouraged this to happen.
Once again, Prior Knowledge comes to the rescue. Martin came to see me on Saturday. Martin is a PADI Divemaster heading towards his PADI IDC. As usual, Martin’s head is full of numbers, confusion, equations and formulas. None of which make sense.
So why is this problem so common? When you look at the way that these subjects are first taught to people, it’s not difficult to understand why even the most intelligent of people are confused.
First off. Barriers are put in front of people right from the start:
“Oh you’ll find Physics difficult!” is a common prelude to learning. “PADI DM Physics is SOoo confusing!” None of this helps! Immediately these phrases put a barrier up in front of the learner. Then words are pounded into the brain without proper explanations nor order.
“Weight of an object” “1.03″ “Displacement” “Partial Pressure” “0.97″ “Gauge Pressure”"V2=P1 X V1 divide by P2″ etc.. etc…
So the learner has to juggle words in his head, most of them he doesn’t even know what they mean. The result is confusion and frustration.
When people come to our Training Sessions. Most of the time I don’t teach anything! I do my best to get people to “Un-Learn” all of the nonsense that is floating around in their minds. I just leave the relevant bits.
Then I show them the way that I would teach a new PADI Divemaster these subjects.
I start from the beginning, explain in simple terms the methods, the reasoning behind the methods, and in ways that are logical. The result is that new DMs can easily answer questions and retain the simple methods in their heads for years.
Martins reaction was very normal. First off he was amazed at how simple PADI Physics was, this emotion was immediately followed by anger. “Why has it taken so long for someone to explain this to me?” – and THAT is a very good question!