2 Objectives To consider verbal and non-verbal communication methods To understand and practise effective listening skillsTo communicate in clear, respectful and non-judgemental waysTo know when to seek advice
3 What is Communication?The process of communication is what allows us to interact with other people; without it, we would be unable to share knowledge or experiences with anything outside of ourselves. Common forms of communication include speaking, writing, gestures, touch and broadcasting.
4 Verbal vs. Non-Verbal Can we communicate without words? Voice attributesWhat are they and how do they affect communication?Physical attributesWhat could be considered here and how do they affect communication?The power of touchWhat and when is OK?Which is better, verbal or non verbal?
5 The Communication Equation What you hearTone of voiceVocal clarityVerbal expressiveness % of the messageWhat you see or feelFacial expressionDress and groomingPostureEye contactTouchGesture % of the messageWORDS … % of the message!
6 Understanding Communication We are going to consider:The 2-Way communication processEffective communication skillsBarriers to effective communication
7 Communication Skills Communication skills involve: Listening to others (Receiving)Asserting/ Expressing (Sending)Barriers to communication can lead to misunderstanding and confusion
9 Effective Communication Skills Eye contact & visible mouthBody languageSilenceCheckingfor understandingSmiling faceSummarisingwhat has been saidEncouragementto continueSome questions
10 Barriers to Effective Communication LanguageNoiseTimeDistractionsOther peoplePut downsToo many questionsDistanceDiscomfort with the topicDisabilityLack of interest
11 The Art of Listening“If we were supposed to talk more than listen, we would have been given two mouths and one ear.”Mark Twain
12 Listening Skills Active listening Responding Paraphrasing Asking questions for clarificationMirroring the other person’s language
13 Active Listening 1. Restating To show you are listening, repeat every so often what you think the person said — not by parroting, but by paraphrasing what you heard in your own words. For example, “Let’s see if I’m clear about this. . .”2. SummarizingBring together the facts and pieces of the problem to check understanding — for example, “So it sounds to me as if . . .” Or, “Is that it?”3. Minimal encouragersUse brief, positive prompts to keep the conversation going and show you are listening — for example, “umm-hmmm,” “Oh?” “I understand,” “Then?” “And?”4. ReflectingInstead of just repeating, reflect the speaker’s words in terms of feelings — for example, “This seems really important to you. . .”
14 Active Listening 5. Giving feedback Let the person know what your initial thoughts are on the situation. Share pertinent information, observations, insights, and experiences. Then listen carefully to confirm.6. Emotion labelingPutting feelings into words will often help a person to see things more objectively. To help the person begin, use “door openers” — for example, “I’m sensing that you’re feeling frustrated. . . worried. . . anxious. . .”7. ProbingAsk questions to draw the person out and get deeper and more meaningful information — for example, “What do you think would happen if you. . .?”8. ValidationAcknowledge the individual’s problems, issues, and feelings. Listen openly and with empathy, and respond in an interested way — for example, “I appreciate your willingness to talk about such a difficult issue. . .”
15 Active Listening 9. Effective pause Deliberately pause at key points for emphasis. This will tell the person you are saying something that is very important to them.10. SilenceAllow for comfortable silences to slow down the exchange. Give a person time to think as well as talk. Silence can also be very helpful in diffusing an unproductive interaction.11. “I” messagesBy using “I” in your statements, you focus on the problem not the person. An I-message lets the person know what you feel and why — for example, “I know you have a lot to say, but I need to. . .”
16 Active Listening 12. Redirecting If someone is showing signs of being overly aggressive, agitated, or angry, this is the time to shift the discussion to another topic.13. ConsequencesPart of the feedback may involve talking about the possible consequences of inaction. Take your cues from what the person is saying — for example, “What happened the last time you stopped taking the medicine your doctor prescribed?”
17 Responding Responding checks to see if your perceptions are correct. This is also a way to further communication.
18 Paraphrasing Paraphrasing is a skill used in responding. It is a way for you to ensure that you are correctly understanding what the person is saying.You re-word what the person is saying and ask if that’s what they’re saying.This skill is very helpful when you want to:1. let the client know that you are listening and understand what they are saying,2. clarify confusing content,3. highlight issues by stating them more concisely, and4. check out the accuracy of your perceptions as the counselor
19 Asking Questions for Clarification The four main types of questions are:1. Leading QuestionsFor example, “Would you like to talk about it?” “What happened then?” Could you tell me more?”2. Open-ended QuestionsUse open-ended questions to expand the discussion — for example, lead with: “How? What? Where? Who? Which?”3. Closed-ended QuestionsUse closed ended questions to prompt for specifics — for example, lead with: “Is? Are? Do? Did? Can? Could? Would?”4. Reflective QuestionsCan help people understand more about what they said — for example, someone tells you, “I’m worried I won’t remember. . . ” Reflective Q: “It sounds like you would like some help remembering?”Source: National Aging Information & Referral Support Center
20 Mirroring the Other Person’s Language Mirroring body language is a way to bond and to build understanding. It is a powerful tool that we use instinctively without even being aware of it. The most obvious forms of mirroring are yawning and smiling. When you see someone yawn, or even if you just read the word “yawn”, you are likely to yawn immediately, or during next 30 seconds.
21 Communication Blockers These roadblocks to communication can stop communication dead in its tracks:1. “Why” questions. They tend to make people defensive. 2. Quick reassurance, saying things like, “Don’t worry about that.” 3. Advising — “I think the best thing for you is to move to assisted living.” 4. Digging for information and forcing someone to talk about something they would rather not talk about. 5. Patronizing — “You poor thing, I know just how you feel.” 6. Preaching — “You should. . .” Or, “You shouldn’t. . .” 7. Interrupting — Shows you aren’t interested in what someone is saying.
22 Individual Differences What individual factors could affect the way a person “sends” or “receives” a message?Is gender/ age a factor?How can we adapt if we have a problem ourselves orthe other person seems to have a problem?
23 Cultural DiversityWhat do we know about the communication styles of different cultures?Consider verbal and non verbal, including dress constraints, language difficulties, taboos.
24 Group ProcessesIn groups there are obviously more people, so good communication skills are paramount.Be mindful to practise:Observing non verbal cuesListening, responding, clarifying, paraphrasing and summarisingIdentifying barriers to communicationRemember, silence is goldenANDNo one is perfect!
25 Constraints on Communication Legal ObligationsAnti DiscriminationPrivacy LawsCode of Conduct of OrganisationConfidentiality and GossipSeeking Advice