It is essential that you can create opportunities for ongoing learning that will help your clients achieve their goals. A very simple and effective way is to brainstorm and help the client to define what they are going to do - mind maps are a useful tool that can help clients create options that will allow them to demonstrate and practise. Your role is to create safe learning opportunities where the risk is managed and they are able to focus on their learning.
When designing an action plan with them you are helping your client explore their concerns and opportunities. This engages the client and encourages them to explore alternative ideas and solutions. It is the start of them learning to self-evaluate and make decisions. Our job is to create a thinking driver, which at times is challenging, especially if the client expects you to do all the thinking for them e.g. 'just tell me what to do'. Self-evaluation through reflection will help them learn from their mistakes. We know that every new driver will make mistakes when they pass their test so creating the tools for them to reflect and consider their actions, will help create safer drivers.
We are trying to create learning situations that promote active experimentation and self-discovery. This is also a life skill and not just helpful in promoting safe driving for life because they learn to apply what has been discussed and learned during sessions to work in their own everyday lives.
We are wanting to create a 'do it now' frame of mind, as procrastination is a killer for motivation. For example, the theory test is a stumbling block for many new drivers as the procrastination takes over. By holding a conversation with them around their action plan you are helping them think, this provides support for them as they organise themselves to take steps forward to achieving their goals. This should encourage a comfortable pace of learning that will stretch them and challenge them.
We can also challenge our client's assumptions and their perspective to help provoke new ideas and find new possibilities to help them deal with new situations. Rapport is essential, if we are challenging our clients. Sometimes we get it wrong and we should be prepared to back track and listen carefully to what the client is saying. Clients can change their opinions and beliefs but you can't make them change, they can only discover change for themselves.
Celebrate your client's successes and their capability to develop further, sometimes this is all too often overlooked in a fault-based society. Creating action plans and developing your client's thinking helps them make safe and sensible decisions. Our role is to help facilitate that learning and understanding and create a thinking driver who is responsible for their own actions.
In the next short article I will look at planning and goal setting.
I hope you find these articles useful and that they help you think about your training and self development - as the saying goes, every day is a learning day.
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