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What is communication and why is it important to us?

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Charlotte Walker Communication What is communication and why is it important to us? Communication is a word used to describe messages that are passed between two or more people. Communication is a complex process, in which we use many different ways to try and describe our message to the other people involved. The people that are involved in any type of communication form a type of bond because both are trying to make sure that the other person understands them. When communicating ideas and meanings we do it in many different ways such as verbally like speech and singing but also through non-verbal behaviours such as body language and eye contact. You can think of communication in terms of a series of circles or levels. There are several elements that need to be considered whilst trying to communicate with another person known as the three levels of influence. The first level of influence is how we treat people as individuals and on a personal level, the communication environment is the second level of influence which is how we adapt the environment we are in. Level number three is the social and political and cultural environment, this is the way society sees people and how it treats them. Similar to this how we treat someone depends on how society treats them. Communication is only effective when all of the levels are equal and in balance with each other, when we are trying to communicate and one of these levels outweighs another there is an imbalance, this can cause problems because one level is ignoring the information at the other levels. ...read more.


The flow of conversation is often regulated by non-verbal communication as it can tell someone to be quiet and let me speak or I have finished speaking now. Non-verbal communication is a form of language. It needs to be interpreted carefully and sensitively, instead of just being seen as simple code. It can normally tell us a great deal about a person?s state of mind and emotional state. It can be seen as an interactive process, which is when one person?s non-verbal behaviours will be influence and influence by someone else. Body language is a type of non-verbal communication it is the way we sit or stand, our posture, orientation, proximity, touch and fine movement that can help us communicate. Our posture is important because slouching on a chair can show a lack of interest in what is going on and folded arms can suggest that you are feeling negative or defensive about a person or situation. Whilst a relaxed posture can help other people feel relaxed and can also help to release tension and defuse potentially dangerous situations. Orientation refers to the direction in which are body is facing when we are talking to someone. If we are facing away from someone who is talking to us they might pick it up as a lack of interest, disapproval or even a snub. Whereas facing towards a person who is talking to you can make them feel that you are interested in what they have to say. How close we get to people when talking to them is something that acts out how interested we are in what they have to say, if we stand to far away from someone we appear to lack interest or are very ...read more.


1. Makaton Makaton is a language programme device which uses images and words, designed to provide means of communication for those who struggle to communicate effectively. For example people with Down syndrome and autism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makaton) Symbolic communication is also a very effective way of communication with people as again it makes them feel more relaxed, symbolic communication is done through play and drama. In a health and social care setting play is often used with young children to describe where they are sore or where they injured, whereas drama is used to act out certain scenes for example those DOE advertisements because they are used to put people of driving fast. Symbolic communication is used for all types of people because it helps everyone describe how they feel in detail without having to open up to much. Communication using IT is when emails, video conferencing. These are good in a health and social care setting because consultants can send test results from one part of the hospital to the other in no time, which makes people stay in hospital a lot shorter. Communicating this way is also good for things such as getting blood tests back because when you couldn?t communicate this way it took up to 9 days to get your results back whereas now you are able to get your results in up to 3 working days. So communicating using IT makes diagnosis and treatment so much faster in the health and social care setting. It also makes the share of knowledge and expertise faster. In conclusion although there is more than one way to communicate, each one has a role to play in the health and social care setting. They all help the people you are communicating to feel more relaxed and make them open up more to who they need to talk to. ...read more.

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