The PSIA presented the People Skills pillar of their Learning Connection Model (LCM) at the 2023 InterSki congress held in Levi, Finland.

The other pillars of the LCM are, Technical Skills, and Teaching Skills.

In the workshop Kevin, Ann, and Mike highlighted how the PSIA are developing people skills to help the ski schools of America retain snow sports guests. In part this was motivated by the results of a study the PSIA presented at the 2019 Interski in Bulgaria, whereby they polled first time skiers in the USA at major resorts and found the number one reason first timers would return to a lesson was because of their instructor. However the instructor was also the number one reason why first time skiers would not return to skiing. The PSIA also found instructor complaints were never about the skiers technical ability but about the instructors people skills.

This lead the PSIA on a mission to create a people skills pillar in their LCM and figure out how to train, develop and assess these skills. During this endeavour the PSIA learnt a lot about how they could tangibly quantify these people skills. This is where the Situation, Behaviour, Impact model (SBI) helps out. This model has been borrowed from the Center for Creative Leadership, and is used with success to train behaviours for the PSIA.

During the workshop we participated and viewed one of the PSIA team members act out scenarios where they demonstrated lots of different behaviours at two ends of the teaching spectrum, controlling and overbearing, and open ended and student lead. We then reflected on these scenarios and discussed the impact these demonstrated behaviours had on us. This allowed us as participates in the workshop, to have a go at using the SBI model.

Overall, the decision the PSIA has made to quantify and develop people skills is a great stepping stone to ready instructors to deliver great on snow experiences worldwide.

By Interski Team Member, Josh Duncan-Smith