This page is designed to answer the following questions:
For a care lead or senior care worker, as well as being able to communicate effectively yourself, you must also be able to promote effective communication to others.
To do this, it is important to understand the factors that can help promote effective communication. These include:
- Environment – An uncomfortable environment can make communication difficult. Think of things like lighting, temperature, noise levels, seating etc.
- Basic needs – Similarly, if an individual is uncomfortable due to not having their basic needs met, they may not be open to communication. For example, if they are hungry, tired, thirsty etc.
- Language – To communicate effectively, individuals must share a common language so that each can be understood. This can include languages such as BSL or Makaton. Sometimes interpreters may be needed. Accents and dialects as well as unfamiliar words from jargon and slang can make communication more difficult.
- Attitude – Individuals may not want to talk if they feel that their views are not being listened to or taken seriously. Active listening, compassion, empathy, being non-judgmental and using techniques to minimise misunderstandings can all contribute to effective communication.
You may need to share your experience of communication to others in order to help them overcome their own barriers to communication.
Example question and answer
Describe three factors to consider when promoting effective communication
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.