Training and assessing communication

Training in communication is typically included as a module of crew resource management (CRM) training. Typically, this covers aspects of communication such as listening and clarity of expression, non-verbal communication, assertiveness and the other features of communication described above. However, Kanki and Smith (2001) propose that when communication is taught as a standalone module of CRM, this is missing the overarching importance of communication to both the technical and non-technical aspects of performance in high-reliability organisations such as aviation. They propose that communication training should be separated into three objectives. These objectives are described below:

  • Communication to achieve technical objectives. Communication training should be combined with technical training. The use of standard terminology and phraseology should be reinforced during technical training.
  • Procedural communication. Standard procedural communication should be memorised, rehearsed and used. For example, from when they first enter a cockpit, aviation students are taught to perform a positive three-way communication when handing the controls from one pilot to another (i.e. pilot 1: ‘I have the controls.’, pilot 2: ‘You have the controls.’ pilot 1: ‘I have the controls.’).
  • Communication to achieve CRM objectives. As outlined earlier in this chapter, communication underpins all of the other non-technical skills. Therefore, communication training should be blended into each module of CRM training.

Communication can be assessed for effectiveness using techniques such as behavioural observation scales (see Chapter 11). Observed communication can then be assessed against these exemplars. Beaubien et al. (2004) present a behavioural checklist for communication (see Table 4.8):

Table 4.8 Behavioural observation scale for communication (Beaubien et al., 2004)

Communication example behaviours:

Team leader:

• establishes a positive work environment by soliciting team members’ input

• listens without evaluating

• identifies bottom-line safety conditions, and

• establishes contingency plans.

Team members:

• verbally indicate their understanding

• verbally indicate their understanding of contingency plans

• provide consistent verbal and non-verbal signals, and

• respond to queries in a timely manner.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >