Communication M1

Topics: Communication, Health care, Communication theory Pages: 5 (2372 words) Published: May 1, 2015
M1- Assess the usefulness of theories of communication within health and social care environments.

The SOLER Theory

SOLER is a theory of communication, created by Gerard Egan, which describes essential points to ensure we can communicate effectively such as body language. If idea is that if we use SOLER when communicating with others we can make the atmosphere more calm and relaxed and make everyone feel more comfortable. Sit attentively at an angle - (This can help to convey interest as you can look at the person directly and makes the situation less formal and you won’t appear as intimidating as you would if you sat squarely) Open posture - (If you have closed posture it can signal that you’re defensive or anxious whereas open posture can make someone more inclined to elaborate any concerns they may have) Leaning Forwards - (This can also convey interest and while doing this a lower or quieter tone could be used) Eye Contact - (This can demonstrate interest and help you focus on the message being communicated. You can also develop a sense of someone’s emotional state) Relaxed body language - (This can show that you are not in a rush and have time to listen to their concerns) SOLER can benefit the service user as well as the health care professional. Some benefits for the service user when using SOLER can be the atmosphere and conversation being more comfortable and relaxed as the behaviour used in SOLER such as body language can demonstrate interest in the conversation making the service user more willing to elaborate any concerns. They may feel happy that they can share the information as SOLER can help the health care professional build a rapport with the service user making it easier to confide in them. Some benefits for the health care professional could be being able to use the techniques to defuse a hostile environment and let the service user know that you’re listening so as not to create any aggressive behaviour and open up more about any concerns. A lot of the points of SOLER help the health care professional to show interest to what the service user is saying such as sitting attentively at an angle or leaning forwards. If this theory is used the service user may be more inclined to reveal information as they will feel comfortable around you and will know their concerns are important if you express concern back or use the skills in SOLER to express interest. By using the correct eye contact skills, such as varying the eye contact so as not to intimidate the service user, you may be able to develop a sense of their emotional state so you can judge the extent of their problem enabling you to deal with their issue in the correct way. This is also a useful way to build up a rapport with someone for easier communication which could benefit the health care professional as they could have a stronger bond with service users and other health care professionals. This would be helpful in a case where a service user visits the health care professional frequently as they will understand why they may visit this much and how to deal with them and also the service user may be more comfortable telling someone they know about their issues than a health care professional they hardly know. This may occur in a doctor surgery when visiting your GP. Those were just some of the positive effects of SOLER but if it is misused it could create negative effects. Eye contact and leaning forwards could create possible negative effects. If eye contact isn’t varied and the health care professional keeps their gaze fixed on the service users eyes it could create a tense and awkward atmosphere and make the service user uncomfortable and anxious. This could be resolved by varying the eye contact to look at other parts of their face or glance at areas of the room as long as it doesn’t appear that you’re staring off into space. You should change your gaze every few seconds that helps to minimise any negative effects of staring at someone...
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