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Category Archives: Teach People not Courses series
Come and get all of my secrets on how to be a successful PADI Instructor
I just checked on the PADI website. I was amazed to find that over the years, I have now taught well over 4000 PADI Certifications.
My life has been fantastic, I have visited many places in the world, and have met many Instructors. I have learnt a lot from my travels.
Over the years, I have seen many PADI Dive Centres flourish, and some fail. I have seen successful Instructors, and have seen some unsuccessful ones. I have learnt a lot from all of them.
I have made many mistakes in my own life, and I have learnt from all of them.
I have studied the art and the science of how people learn, and I have learnt a lot from it.
I can pass all of these lessons to you. Ideally, I’d like to teach you to become a PADI Divemaster, then PADI Instructor. Then, I can be sure that the foundation for teaching is taught solidly and the transition to becoming an Instructor is fluid.
Even if you are already an experienced PADI Instructor or a PADI Staff Instructor, my “Power of Words” course will be a revalation to you! you’ll be surprised at how using a different approach to your teaching will make a lot of difference to the way that people learn. I’ll teach you some fantastic ways that you can allow your
students to learn, by getting them to visualise their progress and correcting their own mistakes. Teaching is so much fun!
Please contact me for more detials on how you can learn from my experience. I’m passionate about what I do, and I’m really looking forward to passing on my secrets to you. I’ll be teaching a “Power of Words” course very soon.
Yesterday, the PADI IDC candidates learnt how to teach in the classroom. Concentrating on how to plan a lesson and practicing delivering that lesson.
During a Steve Prior IDC, their learning is guided very carefully and their confidence grows quickly. The candidates retain their own personal style of delivery and the results are astounding.
Today, the candidates prepared and delivered another lesson in the classroom and the improvement on yesterday is amazing! This is accelerated learning – WOW!
Following the cut the crap theme of Steve’s PADI IDC, today we learnt a cut the crap method of briefing confined water skills. Once again the learning is guided very carefully.
Steve says,”When I’m teaching scuba instructors I tell them to be where their student needs them and I follow the same thinking when I’m teaching. I’m guiding my scuba instructor trainees closely because 5 minutes of quality teaching when they are first learning new skills will save 20 minutes spent correcting problems later down the line, it’s really that simple!”
“I love this day of a PADI IDC.” Says Steve, “Because I get so much pleasure from teaching people myself and now I’m teaching people how teach people. I hope that they get as much out of it as I do.”
Much of the time is taken to explain concepts and communication techniques. There are no fob off’s, like, do it this way and you’ll pass your PADI Instructors exam. Oh no, everything is explained fully because everything we say has a valid concept behind it and Steve goes to great pains to make sure the class understand the power of their words when they speak in a teaching capacity.
A practical example of the power of words comes when Steve discusses the power of visualisation. The class particularly enjoy the visualisation workshop in which they learn memory retention techniques that make their teaching far more effective in the real world.
This lesson is not just about the theory of teaching, it’s practical too! Each of the IDC candidates prepares and delivers their own teaching presentation. Along the way they learn more
about the PADI system, how courses are structured and sequenced for maximum effect and what materials are available to help them to be effective teachers.
All this together, along with careful nurturing, results in a visible growth in their confidence. Yes, it’s been a good day at the office today.
There are some very simple things that all PADI Instructors can do to make thier courses more effective, and make themselves more personable to their Students.
I’m teaching a PADI IDC right now that is packed with great psychological tips that can help your students learn quicker and more effective.
But I’ve just seen this TED talk video on the Facebook page of a very good friend of mine ( Thanks KAT!! ) I know that if you want to improve your teaching, this is one tip that you will be interested in.
If you’re interested in improving your techniques, please ask me about my all new, “Power of Words” course that is full of wonderful simple ideas that will be certain to make you more successful, and help your students to learn faster and easier.. It’s a lot of fun too!
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.
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.
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!
Kevin, Will, David, Anthony, Simon and Keith. They all turned up to our latest PADI Instructor Development Course expecting to find out how to pass an Instructor Examination.
How wrong they were!
They have learnt so much more than that! They have learnt how to show their future Students a brand new life!
To be honest, passing a PADI Instructor Exam is pretty easy! It’s the same as all other exams; if you know the answers – then it’s easy. If you’re not properly prepared - then it’s difficult.
Being a PADI Instructor is NOT about passing an exam. It’s about keeping your customers happy.
+ teaching them to be safe and careful divers,
+ giving your customers a new and exciting lifestyle,
+ being able to solve their problems in a quick and empathetic way,
+ using teaching methods that suit each individual person.
+ and much more….
Of course these IDC Candidates are prepared for their Instructor Exam in 2 days time.. but most of all they are prepared for the “Real World” of teaching.
“Bring it on” they are saying.. not only for the Exam, but for Life Ahead!
All too often I hear of people that think that an IDC is full of things you need to do to pass an Instructor Exam, and then forget everything and follow Instructors who have been teaching in the same way for many years!
What a waste of time and money that would be!! I make sure that everything that I teach on the Instructor Development Course is relevant in the “Real World” I teach techniques that modern Industries use in developing their management teams. I teach the same methods that have made me a very successful PADI Instructor over the past 20 years.
If you are already a PADI Insructor and want to find out about some really effective and fun ways of teaching, why not ask me about details of my next NLP for Instructor Course?