3.5 Explain how to use communication skills to manage complex, sensitive, abusive or challenging situations and behaviours

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

Effective communication skills are essential when dealing with situations that are complex, sensitive, abusive or challenging.

Maintaining a calm outward composure, a nonthreatening posture and using a soft but assertive tone of voice can help diffuse difficult situations. Keeping sentences simple and reducing the number of keywords used can aid understanding and comprehension.

Sensitively listening to an individual with empathy and compassion can help them to open up and establish trust. Particularly in cases where abuse is suspected, it is important to listen more than talk so that an individual’s account of what has happened is not inadvertently prejudiced.

Distraction techniques, such as asking if they want a drink or something to eat or changing the subject to something that they like to talk about can be useful.

Knowledge and experience of the individual’s communication needs are paramount and this information should be available in their care plan.