Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

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Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

5 Final course reflection

You are about to view the summary of this final session and take the final quiz. Hopefully, in finding out more about effective and ineffective communication practices this course has surprised you in places and enhanced your understanding of your workplace and working relations in your role.

On occasion, your analysis and interpretation of the materials will have taken you in unexpected directions: into hospitals, a motor racing team and scenarios in which there is confrontation and conflict. One of the most powerful ways of using what you have learned is to use your increased knowledge to reflect on your own communication practices. However, this final film outlines how reflection is at its best when it focuses beyond any deficits that you or others identify.

Activity 3 Getting the most from reflection

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch the following short ‘Role of reflection’ film and identify what Professor Tony Ghaye conveys about learning from experience, beyond just using a deficit approach to reflection (focusing on things that don’t go well).

Download this video clip.Video player: e119_2018j_vid095-640x360.mp4
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We're going to have a discussion really about different ways that we learn. For example, we've seen how we can use other people to help us learn. And obviously, we can learn from information sources like books and journals on the web. But in particular, are there any other ways people learn how to be an effective coach or an effective instructor?
Yeah, there are many ways. And I guess one of the critical ways is to try and get good at learning from your experience. And although that sounds quite easy, it's actually quite tricky because, underneath that statement, there are questions like, well, what kind of experience would you want to learn from. So there are good experiences and bad experiences. So when we talk about learning through experience, we have to be quite selective. We have to think what bits of our experience, given that one definition of experience is something you've gone through in the past, what bits you want to select, what bits you want to choose, and for what reason. It's called a deficit-based approach to reflection that you actually focus on. If that were that good, why do we have the performance issues we do? Why is it so difficult to sustain success and so on? So we have to balance that out with what's called a strength-based reflective approach. And that is we have to be able to do three things. First of all, in the hearts of minds of those people that work with athletes and performers, we have to try and convince them that reflecting on success is every bit as important as reflecting on failure. But most people would say that's a bit frivolous. We don't need to do that. We don't need to reflect on what went well. We need to reflect on what didn't go well.
End transcript
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Ghaye suggests that you need to select what parts of good and bad experience you want to reflect on and learn from. The deficit approach to reflection is often highlighted as the way to learn, but if it were that simple he asks, ‘why do we still have performance issues?’ He suggests that a strength-based approach is also needed to provide a balance since sustaining effectiveness is equally as difficult to achieve as correcting failures. Focusing on what makes communication and working relationships successful is valuable, just as much as any negative experiences.

In addition, by completing this course you may have developed more confidence in studying online: this style of video-rich learning means that you can easily make connections and apply links between ideas and practice. A similar approach is used on a similar badged course on OpenLearn, Exploring sport coaching and psychology [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , and the BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching.

A final likely course outcome is the increased self-awareness of your own communication. This will increase the chance of your participants or colleagues becoming more engaged in what you say and perhaps even increase their and your satisfaction.


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