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including hands-on report and interview with Kathleen Löpke and Felix Block, trainers at the IQ Service Centre "Vielfalt in der Arbeitswelt" Westmecklenburg

Explain visually – make it memorable!

The visualisation training concept helps advisers to present complex material to their clients in a simple, comprehensible, and memorable manner

Starting point/challenge

Advisers constantly face the challenge of explaining complex material in a comprehensible manner. The high demand for training in the use of plain language provided by the subproject "IQ Service Centre Vielfalt in der Arbeitswelt Westmecklenburg" offered one proof of this. The new visualisation training from the provider Verbund für Soziale Projekte gGmbH in the Network IQ Mecklenburg-Vorpommern aims to meet this need.

Putting the "Visualisation in advisory sessions" training into practice

Visualisation can complement plain language as well being used on its own terms. The guiding principle behind both topics is, "How can I explain my material in the most simple and memorable manner, so that it becomes ‘noteworthy’ to my conversation partner?"

Gaining acceptance for this approach can be particularly challenging in government authorities, as visualisation methods at first seem to be far removed from everyday tasks. However, many advisers already use aspects of visualisation in the form of highlighting things or hand- written calculations. The training builds on prior experience, expanding these competencies in a systematic and structured way.

The core message for advisers is: Feel free to use pen and paper if the person you are talking to does not understand what you are trying to explain. Specialist content has to be communicated when giving advice, but it also has to be understood. Structured visualisation can greatly aid this process. The training is particularly aimed at people who regularly have to explain complex information in conversations, for example advisers at employment authorities or similar institutions.

The aim is for participants to learn how to present their guidance topics visually, thus supporting their explanations. They test various visualisation techniques and are encouraged to use them when providing guidance. The approach is focused more on the logical structure of visual representation than on the quality of illustration. This also distinguishes the training from ready-made visual aids, which are also developed and used with the Network IQ. The goal is to enable participants to express themselves individually instead of depending on ready-made drawings.

Conclusion

Once the training session has been devised, the resources to be used take the form of a manageable one-day training event for a trainer tandem. The benefit to participants justifies the time invested. Three one-day training events have been carried out since 2019, one as an open event, two as in-house events in the job centre and an advice centre for migrants. The pandemic necessitated online workshops for all IQ trainers in 2020. The result was that the IQ Service Centre Westmecklenburg incorporated the training concept into its future plans.

Addressees for transfer:

Employment authorities, advice centres

"Visualisierung im Beratungsgespräch" ("Visualisation in advisory sessions") training concept

The more complex a topic, the harder it is to make it comprehensible. This is often the case in advisory situations, for example at employment authorities or other institutions. It is not always easy for those seeking advice to absorb information, especially if there are language barriers or other obstacles. “Visualisation in advisory sessions” therefore examines the use of visual support to aid spoken explanations. Participants learn about various visualisation techniques and can use them as support in specific advisory contexts.

Project

IQ Service Centre "Vielfalt in der Arbeitswelt" ("Diversity in the World of Work") Westmecklenburg

Provider

Verbund für Soziale Projekte gGmbH (Society for Social Projects)

Project contact

Kathleen Löpke | Felix Block; Mecklenburgstr. 9; 19053 Schwerin; +49/385/55572030; Email: iq.loepke(at)vsp-ggmbh.de | iq.block(at)vsp-ggmbh.de

Provision

More information on “continuing training for pedagogical occupations in Germany as a land of immigration” as well as important dates are available at www.iq-mv.de/interkulturellestraining/vielfalt-in-der-arbeitswelt