Explain the role of effective communication

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1 April 2016

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A common form of communication is texting. This electronic form is used every day and can be used as a replacement for voice utilized conversation if the communicator is unable to speak. Another form of communication is drama. Drama is an expressive art and is often used as a way to allow people to express themselves emotionally in meaningful ways or to relay a message. Sign language is an important form of communication as it aids communication with individuals who are unable to hear or speak. It consists of the use of the hands forming different shapes, movements or symbols to represent a word or phrase and it becoming increasingly popular. In health and social care, effective communication is essential and significant as it ensures that workers are doing their jobs correctly and patients are in good care. This means that workers need to communicate with a wide range of people such as colleagues, professionals, workers from different agencies and patients.

When communicating with colleagues, health and social worker need to make sure they are being polite and respectful as not only does this build a strong working relationship, but it is also a way of practicing how to speak to patients and others who use the services. Having a strong working relationship with colleagues ensures that health and social workers are able to listen effectively which is highly important as they will need to know and remember important information about their job and patients. It also helps to build trust as, like with patients, workers must try to keep and respect the confidentiality of others. People who work in professions often have ‘language communities’. A ‘language community’ is a professions individual form of communication that contains unique words and phrases that are particular to that profession. When health and social workers are communicating with people from different professions it is easy for them to misunderstand each other, there for it is important for the workers to listen carefully and check to ensure that they understood correctly to avoid and problems later on.

Likewise, health and social workers also need to make sure that when they are communicating with patients and others who use the services that they are explaining themselves properly and not using their community language so the patients will understand. Also, when communicating with professionals from different agencies, it is important for health and social workers to be aware that not everyone is from the same language community so it is necessary to take extra care and communicate in a way that everyone will understand. There are two types of interpersonal interaction; verbal and non-verbal. Verbal communication most often refers to speech. People from different areas, backgrounds and professions often have different variations of speech depending on the words and phrases that they use; this is known as a ‘language community’. Although this brings people together, it can also shut them out and make people feel excluded.

An example of this would be that health and social workers are all part of a language community however this could be a barrier to those who are not such as patients for example. In speech many people use their mother tongue or first language which is the language that they grew up knowing and speaking. However, some people are open to a second language that they may have learnt later on. Although this has its advantages, it is said that people who use their second language as opposed to those who use their first, cannot communicate their thoughts as effectively. Non-verbal communication can take many forms such as a person’s posture and body language, the gestures they use, their facial expressions and their ability to listen. Through non-verbal communication, people can often tell how others are feeling, for example happy, sad or even tense. A person’s body language can include their posture, proximity and movement which all send out messages. Sitting up straight can often mean a person is listening and they are attentive where as if a person was to slouch it would send out the message that they are bored or not paying attention. This is similar to other movements such as nodding your head.

The way a person moves also conveys messages such as walking quickly may be recognised as stress or a lack of posture may mean a person is tired. The proximity between two people when they communicate also reveals information. If two people who are socially distant or do not have a close relationship are talking, they may stand further apart as to be polite and not get into each other space however if two people are very close they may feel they can close the distance and be a little more intimate.

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