Effective Communication and Interpersonal Interaction in Health and Social Care Of the two theories I considered, the one of greatest relevance to practice was Argyle’s Theory. This theory was most relatable to experience and the logic of it made it understandable in terms of how it was applied in practice. There was nothing irrational about the way this theory worked, it was straightforward and accessible to a reader who wished to take a particular circumstance into consideration and apply the theory to it. In comparison, Tuckman’s theory was relatively vague and did not consider anything to do with how interaction took place outside of a group setting. The Communication Cycle of Argyle’s also made each stage of the process easier to consider and I could also think about how dependent each stage was on the latter or next, in terms of its potential outcome. One thing I did consider a disadvantage of Argyle’s Theory, was the fact that Argyle did not consider the actual context of where the communication took place. For example the way that furniture was arranged in relation to where people communicated with one another. It was quite mechanistic and structured whereas human communication often is not. Argyle has expressed that eye contact is vital and facial expressions are the key to communication, however he makes little mention of how this can be achieved in relation to the cycle and how environment and context influence the way in which people are able to communicate. If people are unable to define facial expressions because of shadows and lighting in a room then what they are trying to express is lost. If there is a need to be able to make eye contact and define facial features then the need should be there to be in the right setting in order to be able to distinguish between the non-verbal communication they are making and the potential for misinterpretation in what they are conveying needs to be acknowledged. One example of how Argyle’s Theory is observable in practice is in the hospital setting, for example on an orthopaedic ward. The communication would start when an idea occurs; the orthopaedic patient is bored, he thinks it a good idea to buy a crossword. The patient would then secondly code the message. This would be the patient putting their wish to buy a crossword puzzle book into whatever medium they chose wish to communicate with. This might be in the form of a text message to their family, words to the nurse on the orthopaedic nurse or in through sign language. Thirdly the Patient would send the message; by this point the patient has conveyed the message through communication that they would really like a crossword puzzle book. Next would be the message being received, This is where the family of the person they are planning to visit in the afternoon receives the text message, or the nurse on the ward hears that the patient would like to make a request for something. The message would have been decoded at this point. This is when the relatives or the orthopaedic nurse must now decode what is being asked of them. This example is relatively straightforward but it should also be remembered that if someone has difficulties in communicating what they want then the message might be lost in translation along the way. For example if the person with the broken leg has had a stroke and their speech has been affected then what they want and what they are actually able to ask for might be two very different things. If the message is decoded wrongly by the patient’s carer who wants the crossword puzzle book then he might not actually get what he wants. Finally the message would be understood; if decoding has occurred correctly then the message about what the orthopaedic patient wants will have been understood and the cycle can begin again. Tuckman’s theory can also be applied to practice. For example; four health care practitioners; an occupational therapist, a mental health nurse, a ward nurse and a consultant are...
References: Cassidy, K. 2007. Tuckman revisited: Proposing a new model of group development for practitioners. Journal of Experiential Education 29, no. 3: 413–7.
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