1.1 – AN IDENTIFICATION OF THE DIFFERENT REASONS PEOPLE COMMUNICATE
Communication is a key element in every aspect of our lives. We all require communication whether this is verbal, non-verbal or written.
From the moment a child is born communication is vital. The child uses it to bond, express feelings, feel safe and secure, and to understand right from wrong. I strongly believe that from birth to five fundamentally makes us the people we are to become. Children’s brains are sponges – not only soaking up knowledge and information, but learning through our peers; if communication is limited in the early years then this could have a detrimental affect on how we live our lives.
As mentioned before, there are various ways to communicate. The main way would be verbally, this could be face-to-face, over the telephone, or even through media i.e. radio and television.
People are social animals and we all have a need to communicate with other people, let’s face it, if we spent our days not talking or even seeing other people it would be an extremely lonely existence.
When communication is verbal, tone of voice is usually of high importance. When using your voice to communicate what you want; emotions, urgency, questioning, etc, these come across through your tone, or how you say what you want to say. For instance, when a person’s name is said, it could be said in an abrupt manner which would be perceived as meaning the person had done something wrong, or that there was a danger/hazard that needed drawing attention to i.e. “Name!” Using a softer tone, would indicate that the urgency wasn’t required to draw our attention.
Listening is an extremely important communication tool, a good communicator can be described as an “active listener”, which means, not only listening to what is being said to you, but also thinking and acting on what has been said, or indeed not said. To be able to observe body language and gestures when a person is saying something, rather than just focusing on what has been said.
Non-verbal communication can be demonstrated through a number of ways:
Raising your eyebrows, rolling your eyes, smiling, smirking, sneering, turning your nose up, stifling a yawn or looking bored. When certain facial characteristics have been gestured the recipient will instantly understand what the person is communicating even though no words have been said. It is possible that these understandings are inaccurate if the person giving the facial expressions has limited communication/listening skills.
Eyes are used as a communication tool, a lot of people acknowledge that looking in the eye, is a sign of honesty and trust. Although you must make sure that you do not stare, as this can make people feel uncomfortable and threatened. However, in some cultures looking in the eye is seen as quite a sensitive issue, and you must be aware of this so as not to cause offence.
Touch can be used as a very expressive communication tool, but as with eye contact, it has to be used in a sensitive way. Some people are very tactile, and do not mind a touch of a hand or a hug, other people would back off completely if anyone came into their private space. Most people would give off signals as to how they are to be handled.
When communication has broken down, due to language barriers, then an interpreter or signer may be required. It may be that the person can still be spoken to but in a quiet room or at a slower pace.
People who have hearing/speech impairment require an alternative use of communication. In a world of silence or limited hearing, it is essential that close family, friends, carers, key workers, etc, all have an ability to communicate through lip reading or sign language. This could be through British School of Sign Language (BSL), Makaton, simple hand gestures or...
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