NEI TEC Talk: Human Week – “Interpersonal Communication Skills”

Welcome to TEC Talks, by the Natural Encounters, Inc. Training and Education Center (NEI TEC)!

Join us at 2:00 pm EST on Monday, December 7th, and Wednesday, December 9thfor Dr. Susan Friedman’s 2 part presentation, “Effective Interpersonal Communication Skills: Applying What We Know from Contemporary Animal Training to Human Relationships,”  and on Friday, December 11th for our NEI TEC in Conversation panel discussion with our faculty members as they wrap up the week by sharing their final thoughts and answering attendee questions.

“Effective Interpersonal Communication Skills: Applying What We Know from Contemporary Animal Training to Human Relationships.” Part 1 and 2 – Dr. Susan Friedman (Monday and Wednesday, December 7th and 9th, 2:00pm EST; 1-hour seminar, 30-minute Q&A)

A simple saying to describe our most basic animal training principle could be, “Feed (reinforce) the behavior you want; don’t feed (don’t reinforce) the behavior you don’t want.” Along with our focus on establishing dialogue, building trust, and empowering animals, the relevance of this approach to human relationships resonates with this story:

A Native American boy was talking to his Grandfather. “What do you think about the world situation?” he asked.  The grandfather replied, “I feel like wolves are fighting in my heart. One full of anger and hatred; the other is full of love, forgiveness, and peace.”  “Which one will win?” asked the boy, to which the Grandfather replied, “The one I feed.”

In this two-session presentation, we will first merge our understanding of the ABCs of learning and behavior with key obstacles and solutions to effective communication described in the book “Crucial Conversations” by Patterson, et al. In the second session, we will consider the importance of feedback, and how to give and receive feedback more effectively.

Yellow sticky notes-to-self . . .

  1. When you know the basics of how behavior works, you are in a unique position to build and maintain interpersonal relationships.
  2. Most of us have learning histories that are absolutely counter to this goal.
  3. We tend to be better analysts of others’ “misbehavior” than our own.
  4. We can’t blame ourselves for doing what we’ve been taught to do.
  5. Change the focus: Ask, “What did I do (or not do) to contribute to this problem? What can I do (or not do) to influence a better outcome?
  6. We can create a new learning history with our knowledge of how environmental conditions influence all behavior.
  7. The question is why? What’s in it for you to develop strong communication skills?
  8. What antecedent arrangements will make the right behavior easier?
  9. What reinforcers are there to make learning these skills worthwhile?
  10. Imagine if the animals we train felt depressed, or like imposters, given how much they have to learn to be successful!

NEI TEC in Conversation: Dr. Susan Friedman, Steve Martin, and Ari Bailey. (Friday, December 11th, 2:00pm EST; 90-minute Q&A)

Join us for a panel discussion of NEI TEC faculty members as they gather to have a conversation about their thoughts on the presentations and questions from the previous sessions. The panelists look forward to sharing their final thoughts and answering attendee questions.

CEUs may be available for IATCB (CPBT-KA and CPAT-KA), IAABC, CCPDT (CBCC and CPDT), and KPA – if you are interested in CEUs for another organization, please contact them for additional information. Contact if you have any questions.

NOTE: If you miss a webinar, don’t worry! Access to the recordings of all three of these webinars will be sent in an email to registrants within 24-48 hours after the last webinar ends.