Communication is about making contact with different kinds of people and being understood. Communication is really important in health and social care because it shows how they are feeling and their emotions. In order to be able to work with people you need to be good at communicating with them. To work effectively with the diversity of people within the health and social care settings, a wide variety of forms of communication will need to be used as different contexts require you to communicate in different ways. Within health and social care, communication involves a lot more than just giving and receiving information – it can be formal or informal, verbal or non-verbal and consideration needs to be given to any barriers to communication to make sure it is effective as this can have a great impact on the people involved.
Verbal communication is when one person speaks and another person listens. Within health and social care, verbal communication can be used to find out about a person, ask question, respond to questions, provide support and deal with problems. Effective verbal communication is a two-way process; it has to involve speaking and listening. Listening is crucial and involves a lot more than just waiting for the other person to stop talking.
Non-verbal communication refers to the messages that we send and receive without the use of words. Non-verbal communication involves things like your facial expression, for example whether you are smiling or frowning. It also involves things like eye contact, gestures, proximity and posture. For example, leaning forward can show you are interested, maintaining eye-contact can also show you are interested and paying attention to the other person. Within health and social care it is important to be aware of non-verbal communication and the effect that it can have on different people. For example,