Selling soap: buy our soap and you will always be clean and you’ll smell awesome, even after working a day in the stables. Or selling air: come to our institute and you will never again experience communication problems in Dutch.
It is unrealistic in both cases. But it is in any case an illusion if the brutally dictatorial inner voice of a trainee predicts that a language training is going to fail.
This voice comes from deep inside and can be taken seriously from the very start. This is why our institute is called Dutch in Dialogue. We are neither only dealing with the dialogue between a client and us, nor only with the dialogue between trainer and trainee, but with the inner dialogue of a person: How much room is there for an inner dialogue for the trainee as well as the trainer? How do I behave in a dialogue with myself? Can we talk about a motivating inner dialogue, or are we dealing with a harsh inner voice that covers up everything that is going to bloom otherwise?
Successful coaching does not ask much from the trainee, except commitment. When two or three language guards in terms of bad previous experience with learning a language are sitting on a participant’s shoulder it is unrealistic to promise that the participants will experience a relaxed time. The commitment consists of learner readiness and starting a dialogue – between coach and coachee, but also internal – which leads to getting rid of one, or even two or three guards off the shoulders of a learner. The same counts for a defeatist inner voice: does it sound screaming? Maybe there is a good DJ who is able to turn down the volume. Does it sound bland, monotonous? Well, maybe there is a different, softer, and more well sounding voice, that inspires? This is not about the promise of shutting down the screaming voice once and for all. And it is not the superficial always happy smile on the outside. It is a continuous dialogue that looks to find the colors on the palette of style.
Language and communication do not only have a voice to the outside. Much of our inner voice, our inner dialogue stays on the inside. Maybe this is also an advantage: not everything needs to be said out loud. Rules and regulations for what to say and what not are often neither surprising nor helpful. Of course, a language training is very different from a therapy session, but that does not mean that we have to neglect the inner dialogue. The inner dialogue is crucial for motivation and for the success of the whole communication adventure.
No, we definitely do not promise you that communication will be without challenges after completing a course. Misunderstandings, layering, and ambiguity are unique to each form of communication from the very beginning. But think about this: Without the many layers, there is no music, no balance, no humor. Even not a little laugh about ourselves when we have picked the wrong word with dead precision. Do you have music in language?
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