July 28, 2013
Effective communication is an important role in the success of every professional relationship, especially in the health care profession. Being able to communicate effectively, especially in the health care profession, helps people to better understand a person or a situation. Effective communication enables a person to communicate both positive and negative information without creating conflict or destroying trust within a working relationship.
Effective Communication and It’s Elements
Effective communication combines the basic elements of communication to provide for a successful professional and personal connection. The first skill that is applied for effective communication is the skill of listening. Successful listening means not only understanding the words or the information that is being communicated between people, but also understanding how the person that needs to communicate information feels about what they are saying. A second basic element of communication that is incorporated in effective communication is nonverbal communication. Communication that is translated through body language, facial expressions, body movement and gestures, eye contact, tone of voice and even a person’s muscle tension and breathing say as much, or more, than the spoken word. It is imperative to make sure that your nonverbal skills are saying the same thing as the spoken word.
Managing stress is another important element of effective communication. If stress is allowed to become constant and overwhelming it can hinder the ability to have effective communication, to think clearly, and to act appropriately. The health care profession is a stressful field and it is vital to be able to effectively manage stress in order to communicate effectively.
There are certain ways in which basic elements of effective communication fluctuate from the basic rules of health care communication. There are some specific things that must be avoided when communication within the health care profession. It is important to not use jargon or ambiguous terminology with people who would not understand such terms. It is also important to not interrupt someone when they are talking and to not lose your patience. When communicating in the health care profession, there are going to be difficult situations, conditions, and conversations, it is important not to lose your temper and to also be direct with the negative news. There will not always be good news to convey, when the news is negative, be direct, clear and concise. In addition, regardless if you are communicating positive or negative news, make sure to use simple and clear speech and be open-minded to feedback.
In some situations, it may be difficult for a provider to encourage a reluctant consumer to communicate truthfully. There are a few methods that a provider can use in this situation. Make sure to ask the right questions and listen to the consumer. Open ended questions allow room for more information to be given as opposed to yes or no questions. It is also important to pay attention to your language and attitude and the effect that these have on the consumer. By bringing the consumer’s thoughts and wishes into the conversation, the consumer will be more likely to openly communicate. It is important to see yourself in the consumer’s perspective. This enables a provider to understand the wants and the needs of the consumer. By following these few guidelines, candid and open communication can take place between the provider and the consumer.
Cultural differences can influence effective communication. It is important to remember that all