InterferenceBarriers to effective communication are usually under the direct control of the instructor.However, interference is made up of factors that are outside the direct control of the instructor:physiological, environmental, and psychological interference. To communicate effectively, theinstructor should consider the effects of these factors. Physiological interferenceis any biological problem that may inhibit symbol reception, such ashearing loss, injury or physical illness. These, and other physiological factors, can inhibitcommunication because the student is not comfortable. The instructor must adapt thepresentation to allow the student to feel better about the situation and be more receptive to newideas. Adaptation could be as simple as putting off a lesson until the student is over an illness.Another accommodation could be the use of a seat cushion to allow a student to sit properly inthe airplane. Environmental interferenceis caused by external physical conditions. One example of this isthe noise level found in many light aircraft. Noise not only impairs the communication process,but also can result in long- term damage to hearing. One solution to this problem is the use ofheadphones and an intercom system. If an intercom system is not available, a good solution is theuse of earplugs. It has been shown that in addition to protecting hearing, use of earplugs actuallyclarifies speaker output. Psychological interferenceis a product of how the instructor and student feel at the time thecommunication process is occurring. If either instructor or student is not committed to thecommunication process, communication is impaired. Fear of the situation or mistrust betweenthe instructor and student could severely inhibit the flow of information. Developing Communication SkillsPage 18of 24
Communication skills must be developed; they do not occur automatically. The ability toeffectively communicate stems from experience. The experience of instructional communicationbegins with role playing during the training to be an instructor, continues during the actualinstruction and is enhanced by additional training. Role PlayingExperience in instructional communication comes from actually doing it. This is learned in thebeginning by way of role playing during the instructor's initial training. A new instructor can tryout different instructional techniques with an assigned instructor in the case of a flight instructorapplicant, or with a mentor or supervisor in the case of a maintenance instructor. A new instructoris more likely to find a comfortable style of communication in an environment that is notthreatening. For a prospective flight instructor, this might take the form of conducting a practiceground training session. The new instructor is naturally most concerned about developing flightinstruction skills. But it also is essential that he or she develop good ground instructional skills toprepare students for what is to transpire in the air.