I am going to use the role of a T.A for the purpose of explaining the importance of communication and relationships simply for example purposes. (A) Communication has always been the most important skill when socialising and building relationships with people. When first meeting or approaching an individual, be it a child, young person or adult, body language and facial expressions can form good vibes between individuals. By bearing this in mind, a T.A can form a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in which to work upon and follow up with good verbal communication. On the flip side, cold and expressionless body language could create an instant barrier between people meeting for the first time, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. It may be that the other individual may struggle socially, and become nervous, fearful and feel the T.A is unapproachable just by judging first appearances. Friendly eye contact can compliment good use of body language and contribute to putting the person at ease if nervous. If addressing a group, eye contact with each individual can make the person feel equally as important as the next. These principles can be followed up by perhaps having the chance to talk on a one to one basis with the individuals and getting to know a bit about them. Communication is a two way track and listening is equally as important as talking. This gives the chance for the individual to feel heard and valued. Body language again of the T.A plays an important part, i.e. nodding and making appropriate facial expressions according commenting or reacting appropriately to the individual’s topic of conversation. This again can make the person feel valued and respected. Through the above examples a T.A should quickly use good judgment to determine the person’s strengths and weakness and individual needs or characteristics. What is meant by this is the T.A should adapt their form of communication to accommodate the needs of the person. Bringing down the level of communication to the person’s level of understanding can avoid intimidation and misunderstanding. The individual may have: •Learning difficulties
•An introvert or extrovert personality
•Social issues or behavioural problems for whatever reason •Various levels of abilities
•Visual or hearing disabilities or speech disorders. (Makaton or sign language can be useful for the deaf if qualified) For those individuals who do struggle to communicate perhaps due to the above examples, patience, empathy and nurturing can contribute to building up trust between the person and the T.A. Failure to apply appropriate attention to a person’s needs could possibly result in the person resorting to negative forms of communication or behaviour in order to gain attention, particularly in children.
Clear instructions when requesting tasks, and relaying or checking the task is understood, can prevent a breakdown of communication. Communication between staff is equally as important and can pose as a good source of role modelling. Individuals, especially the young, can witness how appropriate behaviour and communication can create a happy and positive atmosphere, as well as displaying respect towards each other. Parents should not be forgotten when communicating. Involving the parents can potentially improve a child’s progress through support at home. This may involve helping with homework, listening to their child read, helping with tests and so on and giving necessary feedback regarding the student’s progress where appropriate.
The principles of relationship building can be broken down into sections and put to use appropriately in order to build a positive relationship with children, young people or adults.
Using appropriate body language, tone of voice and facial expressions to initially put the individual and ease, break...