Five Acre School’s weekly newsletter is sometimes adorned with little gems that add to the “Hey, this is the fun and learning we had this week,” and give a glimpse into the nuts and bolts of how the school works. Last week’s had one such gem. It began with, “Some parents have commented recently on the magic of some of our teachers. What they are observing is Enterprise Talk at work…” and then went into a brief explanation of a communication approach which I had witnessed unconsciously around the teachers at school, but never really realized that I was watching a very well thought out technique in action. Those professionals make it look so easy, don’t they?
According to the creator of the technique, Tom Drummond, the approach came about by simply attending to “those adults who led with a grace that I did not understand.” So, really, he’s created a set of reminders to help us behave like the best of us already do by nature. Drummond calls it “a handrail to integrity and authenticity,” which helps place those two values in the foreground when relating to children. “The goal is to simply communicate authentically as one person relating to another person without power and with integrity.”
The approach also has three “prohibitions” which peaked my interest, as these three things are just about all that I heard when I was growing up. The prohibitions are no directions, no questions, and no praise. That took a bit to wrap my head around. But, fortunately, Drummond explains these concepts very well on his website. He provides a handy overview of Enterprise Talk, as well as a full article with more detail and, more importantly for me, explanations.
At the end of the day, I feel that what he’s expressing is something that we really already know in our hearts. It’s just that, in my case anyway, my head often seems to get in the way, and the reminders outlined in Enterprise Talk are a big help in getting back on track. Drummond is, in my opinion, not only worth a read for any parent, but also for anyone who just wants to communicate more genuinely with people.