Annual Conference of the Association for Bah'
Studies, North America
Presented by IrshatMadyarov,
Teaching assistant inthe Intensive English Program,
SuccessfulConsultation Skills Activity
The idea was adapted from the Unfortunate Teacher Typesactivity offered at a Teacher Training Seminar facilitated by Kevin McCaugheyat Orenburg State University, Russia, March, 2001.
Level: intermediateto advanced.
Time: 50 min.
The purpose of thisactivity is to provide students with necessary skills for an effectiveconsultation and give an opportunity to practice these skills in acollaborative task.
The pushy ones arealways bursting with ideas, but are too enthusiastic and preoccupied withthemselves to let anybody else suggest anything different from their own ideas.They might get offended when interrupted or opposed by others. However, theyhave immense potential to be successful negotiators if they are encouraged tolisten to others and respect their opinions.
The conformistsdread suggesting anything new. Rather, they tend to agree with others. Mostlikely, these negotiators underestimate their capacities. They should bereminded that however crazy or silly their ideas might sound they allcontribute to the solution of the problem. In fact, these types of negotiatorscan be excellent peace-makers in the group, provided they learn how to beindependent of others.
The side-trackersmight seem like the Pushy ones in that they are often full of energy. However,the trick about these negotiators is that they enjoy unpredictably switchingthe main topic of the discussion to a completely unrelated area ending upsharing a story or a joke they heard the other day. Their enthusiasm should beused for the benefit of the consultation. So make sure you politely interruptthem and bring them back on the right track.
The under-explainersseem to know something important but either for the lack of confidence orcommunicative skills nobody can get their point. Its a good idea to be patientwith them, encourage, and support them by asking clarifying questions. Despitetheir indecisive look, they might suggest unexpectedly valuable ideas.
The over-explainersare the opposite of the previous. They indulge in getting across their ideas.Their explanations are too long, detailed, confusing, and often discourageothers. They should be politely reminded to stick to the point.
The hurriers go muchtoo fast. This can make the consultation tense and panicky. Sometimes, they arebig troublemakers. They should be calmed down and reminded that hurrying wontdo any good. In fact, their participation can be really helpful when theconsultation gets bogged down in useless details or is affected by theSide-tracker. Here, they can significantly accelerate the flow of thediscussion.