"The benefits of Building In-car Rapport and it's importance in Client Centred Learning."
Given that Client-Centred Learning is an approach to learning that takes into account how the learner prefers to learn. How will you know what a pupil thinks unless you are getting responses to the questions you are asking?
We know that when people learn in a Client Centred way they are more likely to retain information and skills. Pupils are also more likely to keep learning if they are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning at an early stage – this is the second aim of client-centred learning.
Working with a pupil in a Client Centred way requires Q&A, listening skills and effective feedback from the pupil (and the instructor) to establish what a pupil thinks, feels and believes. This helps them understand, find and develop their own solutions to a problem from what they currently know, or seek answers to what they don't know.
When faced with a pupil that is 'shrugging shoulders' when you ask your most thought provoking, information seeking question this can be hard to understand. It may be that they don't know the answer to the question and that this is their normal response. However, this might not be the case.You might be thinking.. What's wrong with them? Why are they not pouring all this valuable information out non stop when you ask them a question?
Faced with an unresponsive pupil. It would be quite easy to assume that 'CCL' "isn't for everyone" or "CCL just doesn't work." I see these sorts of comments occasionally in some Driving Instructor Facebook groups.
However, being able to communicate effectively is crucial to developing a positive in-car learning relationship.
The problem here is not that you have a 'shoulder shrugger' that is unresponsive and it's them that's the issue. The actual problem is one of poor or undeveloped levels of 'Rapport' between you and the pupil.
It's only when you have developed confidence and trust through developed Rapport that a pupil will start to tell you their opinion. Until this trust develops they may fear a 'backlash'. This may have been their prior experience when telling others what they think, feel or believe. Perhaps in a home setting, how they were parented or how a peer group reacts to them.
No one likes negative feedback right!
So, the pupil may be 'actively' guarding their views to protect themselves from that actual or assumed 'negative' feedback from others, including thinking they are going to get it from YOU!
What! I hear you say! But you're an instructor. You don't shout! You are kind and considerate. You are there to help them. You want them to succeed. You care about them and their goals! You're a nice person, they have nothing to fear. You won't criticise or ridicule them. You may even be upset to think that they think those things might be true of you.
Simply put, they just don't know you or trust you yet. They may also feel you don't know them either.
So, what's the answer...?
...it's about building great Rapport!
People are more receptive towards others who are similar to them or have similar backgrounds to them. You may be from another planet in their view. A different age. Different background. You like 'Bach' instead of 'Stormzy' You might speak differently 'innit'. Live in a 'posh' house wiv a garage not a high rise council flat. You have different friends to them. Move in different social circles. They watch Youtube, you watch the 'BBC'.
When you don't have these similarities, your job is find a connection that will help you build a strong rapport and trust.
Once you have Rapport with someone, there is a mutual liking and trust. This can cross all social and experience boundaries. Trust is crucial
Having a strong rapport with someone will mean that they will be much more likely to want to share information, tell you what they think, how they feel and what they believe. All the things crucial to developing a client centred learning relationship.
Once a pupil understands that you 'value' their opinion, that they are not going to be told (as they may think) they are wrong or stupid, be ridiculed or laughed at. The relationship now changes.
This person is now more likely to support your ideas and recommend you to others.
You've turned your 'shoulder shrugger' who is blocking you, into a person happy to share what they think.