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Effective Communication

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Unit 1: Developing Effective Communication In Health and Social Care It is imperative for health and social care workers to have excellent communication skills to enable them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. As they will be supporting and caring for a broad spectrum of service users with differing needs and from diverse backgrounds and cultures, they need to be able to recognise, understand and develop a vast range of communication skills and interpersonal interactions. The following are the types that have been observed: Verbal Communication Verbal communication, also known as oral communication, is the process of being able to express and transmit thoughts with words and is defined as spoken language or speech. Examples of this type of communication include conversations, speeches, presentations, class discussions, one-to-one basis between individuals, voice chat over the Internet, telephone conversations and voicemail. Sign language is also considered a form of verbal communication. An advantage of verbal communication is that you can ascertain immediate response or feedback. However, there is no proof of delivery. Speech is a more personal and direct way of communicating and can be enhanced through tone, volume, pauses, word choices, speed and clarity of speaking. Non-Verbal Communication Non-verbal communication is the process of sending and receiving messages without using any spoken words. By studying a person's non-verbal communication, it can be quickly established how they are feeling or what they are trying to convey. Set out below are a few methods of how non-verbal messages can be sent: Facial Expressions - A person's emotional state and attitude can often be communicated by facial expressions. Fear, anger, happiness, sadness and surprise can be conveyed through various parts of the face. ...read more.


6. Message Understood: It is now the opportunity of the receiver to give their response, if applicable. They now become the sender and need to abide by the communication cycle and make sure that no steps are missed out along the way. When faced with having to communicate difficult, complex and sensitive issues it is important that a great deal of careful thought and consideration is given, especially for the recipient's feelings. Whilst breaking unfortunate news to a person, it is best to find a quiet place to sit them down as they may not want their business publicised, free from interruptions and distractions. It is also important to explain using language and vocabulary that is appropriate for them to understand using a soft tone of voice and open body language. Scenario A sensitive communication may involve a doctor having to inform parents that their child has been diagnosed with dyslexia. Message Aimed: A doctor needs to inform Mr and Mrs Smith that their child is dyslexic. He needs to give them the relevant information backed up with leaflets, support group and forum details and his reassurance. Message Encoded: The doctor knows he has to do this in a tactful way, in a quiet environment and in a language in which the parents are going to understand their child's problem. He gathers his thoughts, finds leaflets, and writes down support group details in preparation of their appointment together. Message Transmitted: On their arrival, the doctor ensures that the parents are seated comfortably and are giving him their full attention before breaking it to them gently that their child is dyslexic and what exactly that means in terms they would understand. ...read more.


Assumptions and Stereotypes Stereotyping people is destructive as it can create a barrier of misunderstanding between service user and provider. Assumptions are made as to the wants and needs of the client and this can drastically interfere with communications. For example, the elderly can have a slower response rate but some people analyse this as them being confused or demented and form decisions on their behalf instead of having a little patience. Emotional State and Behaviour The emotional state of both service user and service provider can cause problems in communication. If the client is aggressive towards the carer, it could inhibit the latter. If the service user is shy or suffering from depression or low self esteem, they might not feel comfortable or confident enough about approaching the service provider and asking relevant questions. Care workers must be very professional and forget about their own personal problems as they can influence their performance at work with a backlash on their communication skills. They have to remember to have a good, positive attitude which will reflect in their messages. They must learn to ignore provocation and to be assertive. Use of Signs and Symbols Messages can be communicated through gestures, written symbols or diagrams. Braille (a system of raised marks that can be felt with the fingers) provides communication for visually impaired people Sign Language The British Sign Language (BSL) provides a full language system for the deaf and people who do not use spoken language. Technological Aids to Communication Information technology offers a huge array of facilities to assist with communications. For people with visual impairment, there are enlarged visual displays and voice feedback aids. Electronic aids to communication can transform speech into writing. Text messaging can also provide an essential form of communication for people with hearing disabilities. Reference: Online Diagramming & Design (2009) Cycle Template Available at: http://creately. ...read more.

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