The communication skills of the diving instructor
Diving can definitely be a personal challenge. Scuba diving takes you underwater, a completely new context where you will have to learn again to feel relaxed and calm. Breathing under the water and feeling the weightlessness is a wonder, but it requires some patience and getting used to calm down in a new context. Also, the more relaxed you are, the more slow your breathing will be and the lower the air consumption. Therefore, you can enjoy more time underwater.
Especially during diving courses, but also in any dive, the communication skills of the diving instructor are key to create a climate of confidence.
To be a good diving instructor, it is recommended that you should:
- Provide relevant information and not lie: having all the information, both of the good points and of the possible weaknesses or risks, help to manage the expectations and to solve possible challenges during an immersion. Having the right expectations about the experience you are going to live generates confidence and helps you find a good way to react agains any difficult situation.
- Use a clear language: we need to convey the messages using clear and direct language to make it understandable. And we have to adapt it to the audience we have: it is not the same to talk with experienced divers, with people who are learning, individuals who put themselves in water for the first time, children…
- Reinforce nonverbal language: it is important that we control how we behave and communicate physically, so that it is aligned with our verbal message. We have to be calm, feel safe and show it to our audience.
- Show empathy: we have to place ourselves in our interlocutor’s mind and show understanding of their mood and emotions.
- Be humble and recognize that we do not know everything: we may be asked complicated questions or issues that we do not dominate. There is no need to invent the answer or presume certain knowledge we do not have. I don’t see any problem to say that the question can not be answered at the moment but it will be investigated to try to provide an adequate response as soon as possible.
- Give constructive feedback: there are likely to be skills or knowledge that need to be improved by the client. And obviously, by the instructor. Nobody is perfect Therefore, it is important to discuss about it and find ways to improve it. And it’s good to emphasize possible solutions to achieve a continuous improvement instead of feeling guilty or pointing somebody as the cause of a problem.