OPEN 8am - 5pm EVERY DAY | 530-885-0862 | 11251 B Ave. / Auburn, CA 95603 | Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4162 / Auburn, CA 95604


Welcome to the your first communication training with Gold Country Wildlife Rescue! This is an online, self guided process. Once you complete each section of this lesson, your results will be evaluated by our training manager to better help our team grow. Your results will not be shared with any other staff member in GCWR.

This training course will go over the following topics:

The Think Model

The THINK Model is a communication acronym to help individuals communicate more effectively and more positively in a work place environment.

The Communication Cycle

The Communication Cycle refers to the system in which a message is conveyed and received. This cycle will help you learn how to best communicate your message in a constructive and clear manner.

The Communication Contract

This section will explain The Communication Contract. This contract is a tool in which businesses may agree as a unit to speak in a more constructive and open way. This section will depict the 10 clauses and the purpose for the contract in GCWR.

Time Management and Problem Solving

Here you will get a brief lesson in Time Management and Problem Solving. Learn one of the most used step-by-step models in finding solutions to issues, and find new ways to relieve workplace issues.

T.H.I.N.K. Model

The T.H.I.N.K. Model is meant to help staff communicate in a positive manner with coworkers and volunteers. 

When communicating with others, it is important to remember that we share a common goal: helping wildlife!

Carefully review the following information and consider what you say (and how it is said) before communicating the message in any form.

THINK Graphic - Kindness in our Communications

The Communication Cycle

Whether you’re writing an email to a co-worker, delivering on-the-job training to a new team member, or giving an important presentation to the board of directors, you must communicate in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Communication Cycle

The Communication Cycle is a process in which a message is conveyed and received. It is performed via the Communication Process.

The Communication Process is composed of the steps we take in order to achieve successful communication. 


The five key stages in the Communication Cycle are: Message Creation (FORMULATE), Transmission  (SEND), Reception (RECEIVE), Translation (DECODE/UNDERSTAND) and Response (FORMULATE AND RESPOND).

The first stage in communication is the Creation of an idea or the message. It is the process by which the sender decides what he/she wants to communicate and selects the channel through which to convey this information. [Email, text, in-person, social media, etc…]

The second step is Message Transmission. This process may be as simple as meeting with the recipient and orally communicating the information, or communicating with the intended recipient over the phone.

The Reception stage involves change of communication responsibilities between the sender and the recipient. The receiver obtains the information by reading the information in written format or listening carefully to the message when delivered orally.

The next stage is Translation. During this step, the recipient encodes the message into a form that he easily understands. This may involve an individual listening to or reading the message and paraphrasing it in his head.

The final stage in communication cycle is Response. It fulfills the requirement of an effective communication as a two-way street. After receiving the message, the recipient crafts a response and communicates it verbally or in a written format.


Tips to Establish an Effective Communication Cycle


For the Sender:
– Before the message is sent, the sender must be clear on what they wish to communicate. If the sender lacks clarity of thought, the crafted message will reflect this.

– The sender must think of what the target of the message is. This will help formulate the message in a manner that is most appropriate.

– The next priority of the sender must be to choose the manner of communication, based on the target of the message. The urgency of the message, and the cost factor may also influence the mode of communication.

– Having formulated the message and chosen a method of communication, the sender must dispatch the message at the appropriate time, and ensure it has been received.

For the Receiver:
– The receiver’s most import duty is to give the message appropriate attention.

– In case of an audio message, the receiver must listen carefully. It would help to take notes or listen to the message more than once.

– Use all abilities to decode the message. Although the sender is expected to draft it as clearly as possible, it is the receiver’s duty to give it the proper attention.

– In case the receiver encounters any doubt, they are advised to get it clarified from the sender, instead of interpreting it in an incorrect manner.

– Once the message is completely and successfully decoded, the receiver must begin formulating the feedback.

– With this step, the receiver becomes the sender, and has to apply the same clarity of thought while formulating the feedback.

– The correct channel of communication must be chosen to send the feedback, and it must reach the original sender promptly.

– The cycle of communication is complete with the sender receiving the feedback.


To make communication effective, all stages MUST BE FOLLOWED. The sender must receive a response, or the entire cycle is ineffective.

The Communication Contract

As our Wildlife Technicians are our organization’s day-to-day leaders, it is expected that all staff run as a unit. In order to keep the organization ethical, effective, and efficient, staff meetings should be run through the guide of a communication contract and its 10 ground clauses.

  1. Sincerity Clause: Communication must be honest and accurate. Intentions must be good, never purposefully withholding relevant knowledge, intentions or information.
  2. Relevance Clause: Communication must be relevant. Conversations should be guided by agendas and directed towards organizational/meeting goals, topics and objectives.
  3. Continuity Clause: All members of the staff are responsible for participating in unified conversation to reach common goals (such as developing a plan to resolve a specific problem). Staff members must effectively consider other members’ propositions, arguments and stances, thus allowing greater team efforts.
  4. Clarity Clause: Staff members must be effective in their communication by expressing their thoughts clearly, concisely, and decisively. Staff must strive to ensure that their expressed thoughts are relevant and conducive to the topic at hand. Verbal and non-verbal communication (such as body language and tonality) should be monitored by each member in order to keep conversations clear, effective, and efficient.
  5. Prudence Clause: Information presented to the board must be reliable, verifiable and true. The information must be spoken in good faith and originate from credible sources.
  6. Tolerance Clause: All communication from staff members must be presented and received respectfully, addressed with patience, openness, and consideration. Sincere and constructive comments must not be dismissed.
  7. Openness Clause: Staff should create an environment that explicitly encourages open communication, both verbally and non-verbally. Establishing this open environment will allow not only staff, but all individuals in the organization to express their thoughts (suggestions/comments/criticisms) to those in a management position. This environment will require all individuals to listen to opinions, both in agreement and in contrast to their own stance, and respond respectfully and professionally.
  8. Prompt Resolution Clause: Communication should allow all thoughts/suggestions/opinions/etc… to be dealt with without delay. Staff members of all levels should be prepared to provide employees and other members of the organization feedback in a timely manner and help to resolve issues to the best of their ability.
  9. Balanced Speech-Time Clause: In meetings, staff must strive to avoid monopolizing time. Each staff member will be permitted a set amount of time to have their own concerns addressed.
  10. Optimal Timing Clause: Time is an important, finite resource, which must be utilized efficiently. Conversations in meetings should remain relevant and staff members should actively strive to use time wisely.

Time Management and Problem Solving

The Heuristic Model depicted in the following image strives to first clearly understand a problem before attempting to solve it.








6 steps of problem solving:

Step 1. Understand the problem.

  -To clearly understand a problem needing to be resolved, break step 1 down into 4 sub-steps.

  1. Identify: Correctly determine what problem(s) exist. 
  2. Analyze: Once a problem is identified, the problem must be broken down to determine what smaller issues may be contributing to the principal issue.
  3. Evaluate: After identifying and breaking down a problem, the problem will need to be assessed to determine its urgency. Is the problem significant? Should the problem be dealt with immediately? Is the problem able to be handled by the direct manager, or does top-management need to be involved?
  4. Determine: What conditions surround the issue? What parts of the organization are affected by the problem? Who is being affected and to what degree?

  – Gathering as much information on a problem as possible allows problem-solvers to arm themselves with the tools necessary to efficiently and effectively resolve the issue.

 Step 2. Devise a plan.

  -When creating a plan, problem-solving meetings should involve a variety of different individuals and perspectives. Those who are affected by the problem should be part developing the plan (including non-mangers).

Involving volunteers/other staff in decision making and problem solving processes may first help develop the knowledge and competence of individuals by providing them with opportunities to work through problems and decisions typically occurring at higher organizational levels.

Second, it increases teamwork and collaboration by providing opportunities to solve problems as part of a team.

Third, it increases identification with organizational goals by giving volunteers and staff a voice in making significant decisions in the organization.

 Step 3. Carry out the plan

  – Those with the power to put the plan into action must be responsible for seeing it followed through with promptly and relentlessly. If both technicians and management does not enforce the plan, those without such power (such as volunteers) will be unable to do their part.

  Step 4. Evaluate the plan.

  -Once a plan has been successfully implemented, it must be evaluated to determine if it has positively affected the problem.

  The plan may be completely successful, partially successful, or utterly ineffective or misguided.

Upper management must be responsible for figuring out what part of the plan is or is not working and work with others to revise the plan to accommodate the results, often returning to step 2 and trying again.

 Step 5. Check the results.

  -Once a plan has been adjusted and evaluated, the results must be confirmed as being reasonable and sensible. If management determines the results are ineffective, the team must start over, returning to step 1, and once again attempt to thoroughly understand all aspects of the problem.

Step 6. Reflect on the process/outcome.

  -Solutions to problems are not often found easily. Once results appear to be correct and positive, management must reflect on the process and outcome in order to be certain that as little information as possible is missed or handled incorrectly.



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