WAXAHACHIE — Applying effective communication skills for both the workplace and school settings, two local educators are providing a service to bridge the gaps of miscommunication.

“We are in the business of interpersonal communication coaching, and we decided we would combine our talents to do seminars in communications for schools and small businesses,” explained Jane Ann Shipp, co-owner of Interpersonal Communication Coaching (ICC).

“We’re really excited about what we’re doing,” expressed Margaret Felty, co-owner with Shipp. “I’ve been to a few seminars in my lifetime that’s like watching paint dry. So we don’t want to do that. We want to engage our audience and have them be a part of it and leave with hope and take something we’ve taught them.”

Beginning April 2017, Interpersonal Communication Coaching (ICC) is a small business that specializes in all things communication by conducting workshops and training seminars to enhance relationships and leadership capabilities.

From public speaking to counseling and technology etiquette, ICC personalizes in productive strategies with an emphasis in interpersonal and public communication.

“We’re going to be teaching the basic model of communication and how many things influence the way we communicate,” Shipp began. “One aspect is our environment, people come from different places in life, and the environment can be physical, cultural or emotional, and what we see today is a lot of miscommunication from an environment.”

“We live in a day and age where you have different generations working in the same place. They were born in a different time, so they’re going to have a different work ethic than Millennials, Baby Boomers, or Generation X generations,” she acknowledged. “So in any situation, you’ll have anybody from 18 to 60 working at the same place, and there can be some communication problems that exist based on the fact that each generation communicates differently.”

“School environments can also be a great problem because you’re dealing with students that have an expectation of communication and mature teachers have an expectation as well,” Felty jumped in. “How we interact with one another can cause conflict between peers or coworkers if you have a different way of communicating and interacting with each other. Sometimes certain things will be offensive to one person when it’s not offensive to the other. So there are all kinds of different people that you have to learn to communicate with."

From teaching how to make a good first impression to proper body language and communicating with confidence and clarity, Shipp and Felty are combining their knowledge to better serve their community.

“We want to incorporate and have people realize that you can change the way you communicate, like a paradigm shift. Most of us go into communication, and if someone says something to us that we don’t like, we go into ‘shutdown mode,’ we become defensive or aggressive, or manipulate the conversation by changing the direction of it,” Shipp described. “And these are all things that we want to teach people not to do. But to listen to what the other person is saying and respond in an appropriate way to redirect the conversation."

“We’re trying to help the cross communication gap and teach listening skills,” Felty added.

With over 30 years of experience in education, Shipp is currently a retired public school teacher for both high school and college level students, knowing the ins and outs of generational communication.

With a background stemming from a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree from Texas A&M Commerce, Shipp is well-versed in both speech communications and school administration, teaching English Language Arts, Speech, Theatre Arts, and Technology Systems.

“We’ve known each other for years and have done a lot of things together in the community, like Community Theater where we met,” Felty recalled. “We just enjoy each others company, and we agree with a lot of the information that both of us have learned throughout the years and liked sharing it. So that’s how we came together."

“We’ve known each other for a long time, and I think our backgrounds blend perfectly,” Shipp affirmed.

To complete the duo, Felty is a licensed counselor with a bachelor’s degree in Vocational Home Economics Education and a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Guidance from Texas A&M-Commerce.

With over 30 years of experience as a life and dream builder coach, Felty has not only worked within the education system but has also served with multiple non-profits.

Now a homebound teacher, Felty also maintains a private practice while teaming up with Shipp in an endeavor to better help Ellis County residents in their communication practices.

“We’re getting positive feedback from the education and business world,” Shipp mentioned the effect of their seminars.

Passing the mantle of knowledge to the next generation, Shipp and Felty are lining up their calendar with events for staff development conferences in schools, as well as in other businesses.

“What we’re hoping to do is bring the conversation to the forefront and help people not only pay attention to it but communicate with it,” Felty stated.

“There’s a need for communication everywhere, and we’re here to help and teach effective communication skills,” Shipp added.

To connect with Interpersonal Communication Coaching, visit interpersonalcommunicationcoaches.weebly.com or call (972)-921-1181 or (972)-841-3746.


Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer