Effective communication is the sending of information through verbal or non-verbal means that has not broken down at any of the key points of communication. The key points of communication are as follows:
1. Information is sent
2. Information is received through one or more of the five senses
3. Information is interpreted and understood
4. Information is returned
5. Information is received
6. Information is interpreted and understood
If there is a breakdown in any of these six steps, communication is considered ineffective as some information wasn’t given or understood. There are only four core types of communication however: Listening, speaking, reading and writing. Some disabilities prevent people from experiencing some of these. This is why we need other ways of communicating effectively. There is a range of techniques used to communicate, both verbal and non-verbal. Some examples include: One to one verbal communication – An example of this is simply a conversation between you and a friend. Group communication – This is similar to the above but it is done with multiple people but there are small differences in the interpretation of information that make it unique. Writing – An example of this would be a letter to a friend.
Braille – This is a type of tactile writing that consists of raised dots on a page that form words using code Body language – Everything from shrugging your shoulders to eye contact (or lack thereof) Sign language- A type of communication developed by the hearing impaired using gestures and hand signals to communicate
Not all communication is speech and writing. Body language takes a surprising large part of how we relay information. 70 – 80% of our communication is body language if you haven’t heard that fact already. So it’s rather important to get it right. Eye contact is one factor in body language; too much or too little can create an awkward situation. Generally speaking around 2-3 seconds of eye contact is ideal to convey confidence and interest in the conversation partner, but it does vary on the situation at hand. Posture is also very important in the conveyance of mood and interest. Displaying a very open posture is seen as caring and receptive. A closed posture i.e. crossed arms is seen as negative and uninterested. Facial expression is the main factor when determining the mood of a person.
You can make an almost snap judgement on how the person is feeling just by looking at the angle in which their eyebrow is piqued. Why effective communication is important in a Health and Social Care setting. The people that you deal with in a Health and Social care setting e.g. hospitals, schools and care homes are often disabled in some way. Those in hospital are physically disabled for the most part, those in schools are of a young age and are therefore incompetent is some parts of communication and those in care homes can be hearing impaired and physically disabled etc.
Because of these factors it is fundamental to the functioning of the care system that effective communication is upheld. Certain parts of effective communication are lost on those less able. These parts are called interpersonal interaction. Interpersonal Interaction is the small details of communication e.g. formality, trust and Para-linguistics. Effective communication that will lead to strong and positive Interpersonal Interactions is believed to come about using SOLER theory. This theory is a type of posture guideline to make your body language positive and open.
SOLER theory is one way of developing good relationships between those you are caring for. Good relationships are the cornerstone of being a good care worker/teacher/doctor etc. because if there is no trust in care settings, how can you expect them to be comfortable being so vulnerable around you? Interpersonal interaction is extremely important when it comes to dealing with people. Interpersonal interaction is used to: 4 Give and collect information.
Influence the attitudes and behaviour of others.
Form contacts and maintain relationships.
Make sense of the world and our experiences in it.
Express personal needs and understand the needs of others.
Give and receive emotional support.
Make decisions and solve problems.
Anticipate and predict behaviour.
The first lot are obvious and I have explained before. But one is very important when dealing with those with physical disabilities such as a paraplegic. If you don’t regulate the power in this context the disabled person could feel disempowered and therefore not respected. This would relinquish any trust you may have shared with this person if you aren’t careful. Assessment of the role of effective communication and Interpersonal Interaction No form of communication is perfect and so it’s a delicate balance to find an effective means of communication when dealing with such vulnerable people. One part of communication is Jargon/ technical language (Jargon is the word used for language used in a specific field to describe an item or action). You must be fairly careful when using jargon, when with colleagues and other professionals: Great! You are communicating your message in a concise manner.
But, when dealing with those less able and less clued up to your Jargon it may come across as disrespectful and not very helpful. So you must be patient and explain carefully in order to convey your message effectively. Formality can make or break trust in interactions. Informal communication can be seen as disrespectful towards some and will be taken less seriously. Whereas formal language and gestures show respect and will be taken seriously. However, formality can make one seem rigid and less comfortable. That is why it is important to uphold a caring and respectful nature. Various types of languages and communicative methods have made the jobs of those in hospitals, schools and care homes etc. much easier as they bridge the gap in understanding that existed previously.
They give care workers an effective means of communication with the less able. An example of this would be Sign language. Since deaf people cannot hear themselves talk, they have immense difficulty in controlling the pitch, volume and tone of their voice. Sign language offers a means of communicating without using speech which is incredibly helpful when dealing with deaf or mute people. It is important to be aware of your body language at all times because after all it does take up most of our interpersonal interactions. All of the other techniques and forms of communication are useless with retaining an open posture and being genuinely caring and interested in what the client has to say.
2 http://www.psychai.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/f0041-01.png 3http://communicationsinsider.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/5/6/2156875/8814897.gif?550×446 4 http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/interpersonal-communication.html