The Communication-Skills Assembly Program

What's it about?

Who may attend?

What's the purpose?

Does it work?

Evaluating the Program?

Logistics and Administration?

Brochures?

Facility?

Agreements?

what

What's it about?

The Communication-Skills Assembly Program is a six-session, three-hours per session, experiential, discovery-learning educational process for 8th - 12th grade students.

Very few students communicate openly, honestly, and spontaneously with adults. Most students hide thoughts (especially perpetrations) from their parents. Some students, like myself, never communicated with anyone during K-12. Also, very few teachers have been taught how to communicate at the level of skill, specifically so that all students do the homework and pass. Many teachers sincerely believe it can't be done. The same communication skills, the same communication model, that effects open and honest communications with one's parents, friends, and teachers, also works for teachers when it comes to communicating homework and subject matter.

Kerrith H. (Kerry) King
Interpersonal/Organizational
Communication Consultant/Coach
President, Community Communications

The assembly program is about accelerating the communication mastery process. It's a highly participatory, fast moving, entertaining educational process.

We begin by looking to see exactly what conditions must be present in order to create space for communication to take place. We draw attention to the difference between communicating and talking and we notice the effects, the results of each. We have lots of conversations that produce observable measurable differences.

The content of each session is generated from the students and faculty who participate equally together. The assembly also gives everyone a direct experience of what it would be like to tell the truth all the time. Students and teachers alike will begin to notice that homework always gets done when it's "communicated" and many times doesn't, to a desired standard, when it's not.

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who

Who may attend the Assembly Program:

The program is presented to junior and/or senior high school students, their faculty and staff. The principal must attend. School board members are strongly encouraged to participate as are the administrative staff and custodians. Participants agree to attend all sessions.

Optional by majority vote:

Parents may be invited to attend the last session. Parents serving as volunteers are enrolled to handle phones, security, etc. while teachers and staff are in the assembly auditorium.

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purpose

The Purpose:

The purpose of the Communication-Skills Assembly Program is to experience an expanded ability to create mutually satisfying communications.

The purpose, unlike a goal or an objective, continually expands and is directly experienced beginning from session one. Put another way; one's experience of communication is transformed not just changed.

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promise

Our Promise:

Our promise is that the majority of participants will report that they are communicating "better" or more effectively with one or more people.

  • A significant percentage will report that they hugged their parents for the first time in a long time or, that they told their parents they loved them.

  • Teachers will report that more students are doing their homework and doing it neater.

  • The majority of participants will report they have a new, more precise, language with which to get to the truth.

  • All participants will acknowledge a transformed ground-of-being regards agreements; both teachers and students will report that more people are creating and keeping more agreements.

  • Teachers will notice a significant shift in student responsibility. This will be evidenced by less excuses, reasons, and lies, for why things don't get done or not turned in on time.

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We predict that there will be a significant decrease in teen pregnancies and an actual improvement of long-term sharing of financial responsibilities for those students that do have a child.

We also predict that the records will show fewer absences allegedly related to health. That is to say, the Assembly Program introduces participants to an Acknowledgment Process. The process may be used anytime to free a troubled "stuck" student's mind of lies, deceits, perpetrations and withholds. The premise being that students misbehave, fail and sometimes get sick to draw attention to something for which they need to be acknowledged.

Participants will report that they have a common ground-of-being from which to relate with fellow Assembly Program participants. This allows one to cut through the stuff that usually clouds an issue; it supports getting to the truth, the source of, and disappearing a problem.

The program is non sectarian and does not endorse nor not endorse any philosophies or lifestyles. The communication model used throughout the program is consistent with, and can be readily applied towards, the ideals and beliefs of all religious practices. Swearing is not condoned. The Assembly Program supports open, honest and spontaneous mutually satisfying communications.

If at any time during any session the principal wishes to terminate the session/program he/she merely walks down a side isle. The remainder of the program will be politely transferred to the principal, without comment, as though it were meant to be.

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evaluation

Program Evaluation:

Near the end of the first three-hour session we hand out a Completion Form. The primary purpose of the form is to elicit thoughts and feelings about the presentation. We ask if the participant would like us to come back for the remaining sessions. A school staff member does the tallying. If 90% vote "Yes" we then have an agreement to complete the program, the remaining five sessions, one a month for five months in a row. A total of six sessions.

Near the end of session-six we hand out another Completion Form. It includes a question asking if the participant recommends the program to other schools.

Participants are not required to stand and share however many do. No one is called upon however there is an implied agreement that teachers will willingly participate verbally. Participants may post messages to the facilitator on the private Assembly Program Forum, and be assured of a written acknowledgment.

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logistics

Logistics and Administration:

There is no fee. Outer-island schools must pay to cover transportation and lodging expenses.

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brochures

Brochures:

There are no flyers or brochures about the program nor are there any handouts or outlines for the sessions. It is a series of conversations. We do not know what specific aspect of communication we will be covering until we know the collective concerns of school body. 

The content is merely the vehicle used to bring clarity to words such as communication, model, communication model, responsibility, cause, effect, agreement, integrity, out-integrity, abuse (verbal and nonverbal), talking, completion, context, results, intention, space, truth, lie, experience, concepts, power, control, victim, point of view and many other words. These are words that one will hear being used frequently and with accuracy by participants throughout and after the six sessions.* The underlying theme is communication theory and strategies. Much of what gets communicated is an introduction to responsibility, ethics, and integrity, as they apply to communication.

* For example: Whereas before the program if one asked any member of the school the definition of the word responsibility one would get as many different answers as there are school body members, after the six session program, one will get almost the same definition, and an example, from everyone.  

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facility

Facility:

The sessions are conducted with movable chairs set up auditorium style with a center aisle. 

The following is desired and optional: 

The facilitator is best viewed on a raised platform. The stage is set up, when possible, with two large white boards and a chair/stool and end table. 

For student bodies with more than 50 we use a sound system. Unless the school has one we will use our own lavaliere microphone. We will use one or more standing floor-microphones for participants who have questions or wish to share.

The Communication Skills Assembly Program is best delivered in a facility that allows for chairs to be moved so that students can turn their chairs around to face each other during one-to-one or paired sharing communication skills exercises. Fixed auditorium seating can be made to work by having participants pair off with the person next to them.

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agreements

Agreements:

At the beginning of session #1 we co-create the participation rules and agreements. We guide participants to make an agreement to the effect that if they hear anything that in anyway feels, sounds or looks like it is an abusive, offensive or inappropriate communication to immediately raise their hand and wave it. This stops the conversation and we put in correction. In this way a student, teacher or principal may voice his/her considerations and alter the direction/outcome of any conversation.

Another agreement we support is having each participant grant the other participants permission to experience upset, anger, grief, confusion, uncomfortableness, uncertainty, happiness, love, wanting to quit, rage, sadness or joy. We demonstrate, at the beginning, how to be when another participant is experiencing emotions. In short the sessions are a safe space for one to experience the entire range of human emotions.

Bathroom break midway.

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Note to Assembly Program Coordinator:

You may print this page and use it to present the program to your committee. We do not provide brochures, outlines, or references.

Once you have approval from your committee/supervisor you may then request a one page Application Form via email.