The W I N D Model
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- The WIND - Model
- Basic Introduction to Soft Skills
- Speaking Skills
- Crafting Questions
- Awareness about your Mind and Intention in Conversations
- Being open to reflect on own abilities
And welcome to the full Version of the WIND Model.
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This course is about soft skills. Not just talking, this is about speaking that you are heard, listening actively, crafting questions, knowing what to tell to whom, what it means to prepare your mind and knowledge and ultimately also how to say it.
In other words, this is an introduction to communication.
It gives you a broad foundation of practical tools and tips to become a better speaker and listener.
You will not learn how to warm up your voice with tztz and pkpkpk sounds -I rather point out that warming up will become important once you have longer or more important public speeches.
I do not tell you how to manipulate someone towards a certain intent - I rather show you how to craft questions and speak in a way so that the other person reaches the conclusion themselves.
Thus, the WIND Model is a visualisation of how your mindset, the knowledge that you have, what you say and what questions you ask are at the core of communication and that this can get you to the point where you will be able to talk with everyone about everything. Not because you know about it, but because you know how to ask, associate, build knowledge and show genuine interest so that people are sure you are interested and will gladly tell you enough so that you get to know more about them.
WIND stands for
Wonder (Open Mindset)
Interrogate (Crafting questions)
Natural Talk (Speaking skills)
Deep Dive (Knowledge)
My aim is that you get a solid foundation with this course, that you reflect on your weaknesses and strengts, and that you are inspired to practice and deepen your knowledge in the aftermath.
See you at the end of the course
(The test-version in german that was online between 07.2019 -05.2020 is no longer available)
- All that want to start learning more about communication skills and look for a broad foundation
- People with little experience that could use practical tips to survive their negotiation and networking events
- Those that want to lead a conversation without manipulating it
- First time entrepreneurs that seek an all-round crash course in communication to boost their skills in a short time
An overview about what is thee and how the course is structured.
What are soft skills and why are they useful?
Societal intelligence, understanding and dealing with emotions and personalities, leadership skills, saying what you have to say in a way people understand you and listen to you, not acting on pure emotional impulse in a conversation - These are skills than can be learned, and they create a distinct advantage to the ones that learned them.
Starting to learn about communication, you should know
- what means active listening
- what are communication channels
- why closing the communication loop is important
- communication does not equal speaking only
- the more precise you become, the more likely you will face adversities and conflict. Which is good.
Active listening is the very core that communication builds upon. It is indispensable.
And it is strenuous - it takes energy, demands reflection, asks for clarification and it has to be patient.
- you forget less what the other said
- you make sure that you understand the core points and arguments of the other
- you build rapport and respect because you are patient and show interest to understand the others point of view
A brief introduction to the basic communication model.
Note: I leave out the interferences that change, distort or interrupt the message. These things are called "noise" or "static", they disturb the message. for instance, if you are in a video call and the signal breaks up or the audio skips. This 'noise' makes it harder for you to understand or hear the message.
The communication overhead or communication channels is the amount of channels you have in a team. The point of this introduction is to create awareness about the rapidly increasing possibilities of miscommunication in any team. If you want to become a team leader or build your company, you have to be aware of this.
The last basic essential is a reminder that we always communicate on several levels.
We have hierarchies, we dress up, we use body language, we speak, we have biases, are culturally indoctrinated and have morals and beliefs that are rooted in how we were raised and so on. The more open, less biased and better you listen, the more you will catch these things and become able to send signals that you want to.
If a team forms you want them to build trust. Fast. For this you need them to speak honestly and truthfully, which inevitably will lead to conflict. Mediating that is one of the most rewarding act in team building, as they will learn to speak up, be confident to search for solutions and also communicate them, tell when you enter dangerous zones and so on. This is what propels a project forward.
Staying with trust one last time to make a point for the importance of good communication, we focus on you as the team leader that wants people to participate about equally. You seek the dialogue and speak up yourself so you understand the motivations that your team has.
With this you are far more likely to realise when personal agendas come into play. Admittedly, we should agree that betrayal is a lowlife tactic and if someone harbours evil intent, you will not come out of it unscathed.
This visualisation is the core part of the course. The most logical and "this is obvious"part of the course.
It is a descriptive interpretation of how the mindset and your knowledge work together to decide how you react regarding what and how you say something, or what you ask to continue the conversation in a direction that is more favourable to you.
Each branch signifies a section of knowledge that you can learn more about individually.
If your mind, language and attitude are positive, you will influence your surroundings to adapt to you. There will be people that leech from that, but in the long run, people follow others because they are inspiring and enthusiastic, not because they are a piece of toast lying around and spreading negativity. Yes, this is a weird allegory.
There is power in how you phrase your statements.
Negative statements can often be interpreted in a way that you do not wish they were. State them affirmative and positive, thus, express what you want instead of what you don't want.
Using neutral wordings or neutral langauge to point out difficult statements helps to avoid the personal-opinion statement bias that people can have.
The primary intention behind a question is to gather information of any sorts.
In order to understand the exact point that you heard you may need different ways of rewording.
You can paraphrase, summarise, reflect or summarise.
The idea is to leave out inflammatory language and focus on the underlying issue.
You can find more on this in the book "The Mediators Handbook. See the literature section.
Don't ignore emotions or accusations. Put a label on them, point them out using neutral language to get to the core of an issue.
And then continue with "w" questions: open-ended questions.
You can find more on this in the books "Never Split The Difference" as well as in "The Mediators Handbook" and in "Non-Violent Communication". See the literature section.
This is a list of helpful books that can inspire you to continue to learn more about the topics we discussed during the course.
I am not affiliated with any of these, this is a personal recommendation.
I have five in particular that are the extension to this course, in a way, as they cover similar topics but with focus on their individual approaches. I made 2minute summaries for Youtube and added the videos here as well. For more summaries you can head to my YT channel, I upload one book every week. Well, I try to.
Voss, Chris (2016), Never Split the Difference. Negotiating as if your life depended on it, Harper Collins Publishers.
A practical book about negotiation, behaviour, talking, manipulation, neutral language, trapping and communication in general. You will find topics such as mirroring, labelling, tactical empathy and neutral language in the book.
Rosenberg, Marshall B.(2015), Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (3rd. Ed), Puddledancer Press.
Focusing on empathy the Non violent communication approach uses assumptions to quickly find the underlying statements and issues of a situation, with a focus on being aware of how you feel, your emotions and how to express and receive them concretely.
Treasure, Julian (2017), How to be heard. Secrets for powerful speaking and listening, Mango publishing.
Let us talk about your voice.
Everything I presented, Julian does as well, with a focus on sound and how to prepare as a speaker. If you are interested in the prosodic features you will find a more extended description and presentation of them in this book.
Beer, Jennifer E. & Caroline C. Packard (2012), The Mediator’s Handbook, New Society Publishers.
A textbook that covers almost everything that you need to know for mediation. Thus, if you are interested in conflict management , neutral speaking and behaviour, this book has a great variety of practical tips and concrete examples.
I used the German edition:
Lothar J Seiwert & Friedbert Gay (2005), Das 1x1 der Persönlichkeit. Sich selbst und andere besser verstehen mit dem DISG Persönlichkeitsmodell, persolog GmbH.
In English it is called: The Behavioural Blueprint.
A practical book about the personality model with many tips on how to approach different types and how they might react according to their tendencies.