by Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker, M.S., ESL RULES Co-Founder Accountability is a big part of our work as accent modification consultants/trainers.
- Money is invested into our accent and communication programs and services
- Clients/Executives are granted time away from responsibilities to participate in training
- Measurable, positive results are expected
Thus, as consultant/trainers, we give our utmost to help our clients achieve the desired goals: We evaluate strengths and weaknesses, observe, critique, educate, and motivate.
But we are only part of the equation.
The other part? Our clients have to practice or the expected positive results will not be achieved. Getting in the way of that are the usual excuses: lack of time, work/family imbalance, lack of discipline, you name it.
How can we assure that all parties are satisfied at the end of communication skills training?
- Set clear, realistic goals from the beginning. Then, make sure everyone - client, trainer, managers- are all on the same page about what can be accomplished in the designated time frame.
- Sign agreements with the economic buyer stating that specific improvements cannot be guaranteed. Explain the variables that influence the outcome, such as strength of accent, related communication challenges, responsiveness to training, insight, commitment to training programs, etc.
- Maintain close contact with managers throughout the entire process: Provide initial, mid-term, and final documentation. Be sure to support each piece of documentation with audio/video records.
- Help the client develop a disciplined approach to independent study. A simple checklist will help clients be accountable for the time they should devote to practice. (We've attached the checklist that we use with our clients, as an example.) These documents can be shared with managers, should results fall short of expectations.
Accountability on all sides will ensure the best results!
Lynda Katz Wilner and Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker formed ESL RULES, LLC in 2006. Through this joint business venture they provide workshops and produce and distribute their unique training materials for accent modification and communication training. Their line of products address critical and frequently confused English grammatical, semantic, and syntactic rules of speech and pronunciation for nonnative English speakers in the financial/business, scientific/medical, information technology, hospitality, and religious/spiritual settings.
For more on the ESL RULES line of products, please visit www.eslrules.com.