Tayloring learning: the power of talking

Lets talk inscription. Talk show neon signboard. Coluorful handwritten text.

Daniel Taylor talks and talks about talking and talking. Oh, and a bit of listening too!

I love to chat and natter with friends. This kind of talking feels so easy. Yet talking can also feel tough. Maybe you are unable to communicate how you view something, or you feel that you are just not heard. How about when you watch politicians on TV, a debate or your favourite reality show, such as Married at First Sight: are they really listening to each other talk, or simply waiting to talk?

As a coach I am often blown away by how coaching can support someone and help them to affect real, meaningful change. This comes down to something as simple as talking and having someone listen to them. Coaches add in some insightful, maybe even tough, questions to get them to think through their challenge.

Animated talking

It sounds simple, when I say ‘just talking’, but opening up to someone can be challenging. When a person really opens up you can see the connections fizzing between you both, which reminds me of Charlie and Nick in the simply wonderful “Heartstopper” on Netflix. You can literally see them building a friendship and how this develops into a relationship, with talking at the heart of what they do that results in fizzing, flowers, rockets and more all animated on screen to bring it to life.

At the recent World of Learning Summit that I attended, there was lots of talking, from conference speakers, exhibitors and delegates. But was anyone really opening up and being honest? I find that its great to network and connect, but do you really connect with someone?

That’s why one talk, titled Navigating the Spectrum in a Neurodiverse World and delivered by the brilliant Leena Haque from the BBC, was a wonderful example of someone being open. Leena was explaining her experiences of being neurodiverse and how the neurotypical world can be different, plus how life is made so tough.

There have been very few seminars, talks or conference speeches that have brought tears to my eyes, or where I have seen a standing ovation. I am sure it would have been a nerve-racking experience but, wow, it was so worth it. I hope that she took away some positives from delivering the session. I found it to be so informative that its helping me to reshape my practice as an L&D professional and a coach and it really demonstrates the power of talking.

Human reminder

Leena highlighted how talking can really help us to understand each other’s differences and how we are all human, with so many things in common. This is especially important when you see what is happening in the world around us.

I am also reminded by Action for Happiness who always highlight this power, such as “tell a loved one, why they are special to you”, or “tell a loved one about the strengths that they have”. I particularly love this as it focuses on helping someone to understand and to grow.

As a coach and facilitator I am reminded of the power of effective communication and how this can support, help and shape someone’s development. Helping them to overcome barriers, imposter syndrome, or to tackle the exciting but slightly daunting challenges that they face.

Avoid getting lost in the process, or over-complicating a session, but focus more on the individual and what they need. So keep talking, but really listen. Communicate, but don’t create noise, and see where this will take you.

Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor is Learning and Skills Development Manager at the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a Coach / Facilitator at Daniel Taylor L&D

Daniel Taylor

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