This resource has been compiled to give a general introduction to effective communication for practice educators. The key components of the communication process will be discussed. The basic skills required for effective communication will be explored in the next few sections, and some specific contexts for communication, including giving presentations and feedback meetings, will be examined.
On completion of this resource, you should be able to:
• Identify the key components of the communication process. • Identify some typical problems that can arise in the communication process and demonstrate knowledge of skills to overcome these. • Demonstrate increased awareness of forms of communication and social behaviour. • Identify and use strategies for managing specific contexts for communication, including giving presentations.
As we progress through our careers in the health or social care environment, the sorts of skills that are critical to our success can change and evolve. Many of us are first responsible for performing specific practical tasks, linked to our developing knowledge base. Our effectiveness centres upon our actions and our growing expertise at performing these. Proficiency at such tasks is often the initial focus.
However, as we continue to progress, it is likely that success will depend more and more upon our interpersonal skills and our ability to develop effective working relationships with key others. Jobs that include a managerial, supervisory or a mentoring role can involve complex relationships with people. Demands can be made that are sometimes conflicting and ambiguous. A practice educator’s job can involve reconciling and managing these demands. Not surprisingly, interpersonal and communication skills often rank among the most critical for work related success. In its most straightforward sense, effective communication may be understood as occurring when the intended meaning of the sender and perceived meaning of the receiver are the same. Yet the level of skill required for effective communication to occur, belies the simplicity of this definition. After examining studies involving hundreds of large organisations, Goleman (1997) concluded that a high level of individual success at work was characterised by ‘emotional intelligence’, or skills of social awareness and communication. Typically, these included the ability to motivate and influence others, to give honest feedback sensitively, to empathise and develop relationships, to monitor ones own behaviour, to handle emotions both of self and others and to read interpersonal situations and organisational politics. However it is important to note that emotional intelligence, or the skills of social awareness and communication, can be developed and honed. This resource aims to give a basic introduction to the area of effective communication and will seek to increase your awareness of forms of communication, communication skills and social or interpersonal behaviour therein. Communication (from Latin commūnicāre, meaning "to share") is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or more living creatures.
One definition of communication is “any act by which one person gives to or receives from person information about that person's needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or non-linguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes.” Communication requires a sender, a message, and a recipient, although the receiver doesn't have to be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can...
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