3.2 Effective communication

Performance indicator

  • I am able to listen actively and try my best to understand and accept problems raised by stakeholders.
  • I am able to use language that is suitable and understandable for the audience
  • I am able to communicate with other actors in a positive, goal-oriented way.

Learning objective

  • I can listen actively, which improve communication with colleagues and students.
  • I solve my own communication barriers.
  • I know different phrases/strategies that improve how we respond to others.
  • I know the e-mail etiquette and learn the do’s and don’ts of communicating with colleagues, students, teachers, etc.

Activity 1 - Methods for an effective communication



Become a better coach. Learn how to improve your communication skills and your contacts with students and colleagues. Coaching depends on effective communication. Read the document about “Communication skills: Tips to improve your coaching skills

Further exercises to improve your communication skills can be found in the WiKi. 

Self-evaluation method

Discuss with your colleagues, in your team the methods to improve your communication skills. 

Activity 2 - Work-out examples from the students daily life



Communication is everywhere. To understand the basic rules in this daily communication life you as a coach please discuss these rules with the students. Let find students examples.

Students should find examples from their daily life.

  1. The laws of remembering
  • We remember best what we heard last.
  • We repeat the most important part of a message especially in conversation.
  • We remember what we hear most often.
  • We remember people we see every day.
  • We remember things that are presented dramatically, such as a nice film.
  • We remember most of the things we need regularly, such as passwords.


  1. Common barriers in listening
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Thoughts easily wander
  • Filter out unimportant parts of a conversation
  • Prematurely having a response before the person is done speaking
  • Arguing and debating


  1. Common barriers in communication
  • Fear of offending
  • Feeling uncomfortable about expressing your emotions
  • Messages are misinterpreted by listener
  • Lack of knowledge about a subject/topic being discussed
  • Nonverbal behavior

Self-evaluation method

Discussion and assessment

Additional exercises

  • Poor communication skills
  • Envy, being jealous
  • Power of body language
  • The guessing game
  • Origami
  • Developing effective communication skills
  • Label me

Activity 3 - Test the 5 key elements on active listening



Collaboration is all about bringing people together from different teams. It is a process, but collaborating well is a skill that’s improved over time.

Please read the document about “How to improve essential collaboration skills?” 

Please write down the 7 reasons why collaboration is important for your working situation and use the 6 necessary skills for that.

Students use the tips from these 5 key elements in one of your next meetings with the focus on active listening skills.

  1. Pay attention
  • Look at the speaker directly
  • Put aside distracting thoughts
  • Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal
  • Listen” to the speaker’s body language


  1. Show that you are listening
  • Nod occasionally
  • Smile and use other facial expressions
  • Note your posture–important!
  • Encourage the speaker


  1. Provide Feedback
  • Your role as a listener is to understand what is being said.
  • Reflect on what has been said by paraphrasing:
    Example: “What I’m hearing is” or “Sounds like you’re saying”
  • Summarize the speaker’s comment periodically, it helps you to stay focused
  1. Defer Judgment
  • Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
  • Don’t interrupt with counterarguments.


  1. Respond Appropriately
  • Active listening is a model for respect and understanding.
  • Be candid, open and honest in your response
  • Assert your opinions respectfully
  • Treat the person in a way he or she would want to be treated.


Additional exercises

In the Wiki you can find additional exercises to improve your communication and collaboration skills. Select one (or more!) and have fun to play it with your group.

  • Poor communication skills
  • Envy, being jealous
  • Power of body language
  • The guessing game
  • Origami
  • Developing effective communication skills

Label me.

Self-evaluation method

Discussion and assesment


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