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  7. Identify Different Reasons Why People Communicate

Identify Different Reasons Why People Communicate

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2021 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

Effective communication underpins high-quality care because it means that you will be able to establish and maintain positive working relationships with the individuals that you care for, their family, your colleagues and other professionals. Communication is an essential requirement for effective partnership-working.

Why people communicate

There are many different reasons why people communicate. These include:

  • Pleasure
  • To socialise
  • To make and maintain relationships
  • To ask questions
  • To request information
  • To offer choices
  • To advise/guide
  • To give support/reassurance
  • To express a need, desire or preference
  • To express a feeling
  • To share ideas
  • To share experiences
  • To discuss and debate
  • To show compassion/empathy
  • To give instructions
  • To encourage/motivate/persuade

These can be broadly split into four main categories:

Social

Social interaction very much depends on communication. Without it, it is very difficult to make and maintain relationships with partners, friends, family and even colleagues.

It is useful to remember that social communication is not just chatting with people that you know. Hugging, pats on the back and kissing (if appropriate) are all forms of communication, as are writing letters, emails etc.

For many people communicating socially is generally a very pleasurable experience, which helps relieve stress and anxiety.

Expression

Communication can be used to express or vocalise things such as ideas, feelings, needs, desires, preferences or wishes.

Again, this does not have to be verbal. For example, a piece of music can communicate the writer’s (or player’s) sadness or happiness. Or the British Sign Language (BSL) sign for ‘tea’ can express the signer’s desire for a drink.

Information sharing

Information is shared between people using communication. This may be sharing ideas, advice or experiences or to ask questions or request specific information. It also includes giving someone instructions for performing a task.

If I were to ask you the time and you were to tell me it is noon, that is an example of using communication to share information. Another example would be a team meeting where you brainstorm ideas to come up with a solution to a problem.

Support

Reassuring and supporting others is another way to utilise communication. As well as offering understanding and an arm around the shoulder, you can also demonstrate compassion and empathy.

How people communicate

We’ve already touched upon some of the ways that people may communicate. Examples of how people communicate (both verbal and non-verbal) include:

  • Speaking/listening
  • Reading/writing
  • BSL
  • Makaton
  • Facial expressions
  • Body language (e.g. posture etc.)
  • Braille
  • Audio
  • Text-to-voice apps/devices
  • Voice-to-text apps/devices
  • Blinking
  • Email

This list is by no means exhaustive – communication is an integral part of our lives and there are many reasons for and methods to exchange messages with others.