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Ways in which communication underpins effective service operation

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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Effective communication underpins all aspects of professional practice. For this assessment criterion, you will be required to explain the impact of communication on several different areas of service provision. Some areas that you may wish to discuss are included below.

Sustainable relationships – internal and external

Partnership working and collaboration are essential for the effective provision of services and communication is crucial for establishing and maintaining sustainable relationships built on mutual trust and respect. In addition, a good leader will have strong communication skills to inspire and engage their team.

Working relationships can be both internal and external to your organisation. Internal relationships include the relationships you have with your co-workers and managers and external relationships include those you have with outside agencies, such as the local authority and health professionals. Partnership working also includes the service users you support and their families.

By communicating effectively with all stakeholders, you can achieve shared goals that result in positive outcomes for service users.

Positive outcomes for individuals, families and carers

Positive outcomes can be thought of as the improvements to an individual’s health, well-being and quality of life as a result of their healthcare provision. Therefore, it is important that the experience of receiving care is positive, safe and effective.

Positive outcomes can only be achieved with effective communication from the outset. This involves collaboration with individuals and their families and carers to identify what is important to the individual and developing plans to support them to achieve their goals. Communication must be clear, compassionate and empathetic to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and develop bonds of trust between all stakeholders.

Leadership and management of teams

Effective communication with respect to the leadership and management of teams ensures that all team members are working towards the same goals, are clear about their roles and responsibilities, are committed to the organisation’s culture and values and are able to participate in some decision-making.

Conflict management and resolution

Communication during conflict management and resolution often requires a high level of Emotional Intelligence because feelings can be intense and create a barrier to dialogue. This means having self-awareness and self-regulation of your own emotions as well as having empathy for the emotions of others.

By remaining calm and understanding, you are more likely to be able to discuss the issues of the conflict and work together to find a mutually beneficial solution or compromise.

When emotions are running high, sometimes it is better to postpone communication until all parties have had the opportunity to calm down.

Partnership working

As mentioned earlier, partnership working is necessary to ensure the best possible outcomes for service users. This means working together with other agencies to achieve shared goals.

Each stakeholder will have different strengths, skills and experience so strong communication skills will be needed to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to express their views and make collaborative decisions. Information will also need to be shared between stakeholders (see below).

Information sharing

Information sharing between stakeholders will require shared communication systems that are secure and robust as well as policies that guide how, when and what information can be shared. Confidentiality should remain a priority and information should only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis.

Working environments

The working environment may present barriers to communication that can have a negative effect on service provision. For example, if the environment is noisy then people may not be able to hear what others are saying clearly and misunderstandings can occur. Or there may be a lack of facilities for having private conversations that can impact confidentiality.

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