Effective Communication

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Writing Pages: 5 (1973 words) Published: March 12, 2014
This assessment will identify two methods of communication which would have maximised the impact of the outlined communication setting. Reference will be made to relevant literature and a short reflective account will explain how the chosen forms of communication can be useful as inclusive strategies for service users. Two months ago I was asked to attend a Family Forum meeting at my current place of work. These provide an opportunity for friends/relatives to come together with several staff members (including a manager) every month to discuss any developments within the service, or any other business affecting them and their family members. Once everything on the agenda was covered, I took my cue to highlight the topic of activities within the Nursing Home. This was a good opportunity to ask family members if they had any new requests for activities for their relative living within the Nursing Home. Almost instantly the manager chairing the meeting replied that she thought there was more than enough being done in that area and dismissed the topic. Overall the meeting had been going well up until this point, but I felt that service users interests weren’t being promoted during. 'Effective communication is not just about exchanging information; it's also about understanding the emotion behind the information.' (www.help-guide.org.) It is a '...transaction whereby participants together create meanings through the exchange of symbols.' (Fielding 2005). In meetings effective communication is important because regular meetings are a great way to improve communication and even increase staff competence and performance. (Rabinowitz 2011.) Setting up a structured forum is important for ‘addressing challenges, maintaining morale and communicating best practices.’ (Rabinowitz, as cited by Miller, 2011) How we put our point across in situations may depend on how effectively we assert ourselves. If we are too shy or retiring people may take advantage of us. On the other hand if we are too pushy or over bearing we are at risk of making people isolate themselves from us. (Thompson 1996). Looking back on the meeting, assertive verbal communication on my part could have maximised the impact of the communication. Dismissal of my question annoyed me since such a big deal had been made to have an activity staff member in attendance and the only point I expressed wasn’t taken into consideration. (Ellis 2003) states that assertive behaviours help protect both parties' rights. My rights weren’t acknowledged in this case and I was left to feel at a loss. Transactional Analysis may attempt to explain my lack of assertiveness during the meeting. Eric Berne developed the psychological model which is focused on the idea that we store events, emotions and feelings within us which can be recalled as if they were stored on tape (Ellis 2003.) The ‘tapes’ from our childhood are extremely important – these can be relived, for example by recalling our childhood observations of ‘parental’ behaviour. (Ellis 2003.) Berne further suggested that three 'ego' states can be seen in human behaviour: the child, parent and the adult. Several different behaviours can be displayed under these states. Transactional Analysis maintains that the 'Critical Parent' state can initiate the child state. This may explain my lack of assertiveness during the meeting; it could be argued that my decision to say nothing displayed these childlike behaviours in response to critical parent ones. Another method which may have maximised the impact of communication is non-verbal communication. This type of communication involves using our body language to send ‘an additional set of signals above and beyond the verbal messages given.’ (Thompson 1996 p93). In this interaction specifically there was a lack of eye contact. Perhaps orientation and the layout of the meeting was the reason for this. (Thompson 1996) suggested that a lack of eye contact could signify disapproval, boredom, a lack...

Bibliography: Ellis, R, (2003) Communication Skills: Stepladders to success for the professional. Bristol: Intellect Books
Fielding, M, (2005)
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/effective_communication_skills.htm [date accessed: 11-11-13]
Rabinowitz, E (2011)
Scottish Social Services Council, (2009)
Skills You Need: Non Verbal Communication http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/nonverbal-communication.html [date accessed 03-11-13]
Thompson, N (1996)
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