There are a myriad of factors that should be considered when promoting effective communication.
The most obvious is the method used to communicate. This could be verbal, sign language, makaton, pictorial aids or others but should be in line with an individual’s personal preferences.
The environment is another factor to consider as an improper environment could make an individual feel uncomfortable. Are they too hot or too cold? Is the lighting too dim or too bright? Are there any distractions (e.g. T.V, radio, other people)? Does the individual feel safe? Adjusting these environmental factors could have a positive or negative affect on an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. By understanding and learning about an individual’s personal environmental preferences, it is possible to create the optimum conditions to communicate with them.
Demonstrating active listening is another factor that helps to promote effective communication. Active listening involves focusing attention on the person doing the speaking, listening to what they say and then repeating back to them in your own words what you think they have just said. This ensures that the listener fully comprehends what the speaker is saying and can prevent misunderstandings. It is also a great tool to encourage an individual to open up more as they will be aware that you are listening to what they have to say.