In my role will use verbal and non-verbal communication. Non-verbal means including the use of sign and pictorial methods as well as written forms of communication. Some do’s and don’ts when communicating verbally:-
Cover your mouth when speaking as some people may be lip reading to support their understanding.
Use inappropriate language.
Use offensive language
Use overly complex language
Use jargon and slang
Speak clearly and slowly
Be culturally sensitive and conscious of diversity
Use intonation, tone and volume to add expression to my voice and communicate clear messages. Use paralanguage (communicates non-verbal elements of speech e.g. Pitch, speed, hesitation, noises, facial expression and gesture.) Ensure the words I use make sense and are meaningful to the person/ people I am giving the message to. Be mindful of abbreviations and acronyms (these are words formed from the initial letters of other words, and are used for quick reference) If people don’t understand what it is you are saying they will feel left out of the conversation and not believe that they have anything of value to contribute. They may lose confidence in me and my ability to understand their support needs and aspirations. This kind of miscommunication could mean that I support people incorrectly, which could put me and them at risk of harm. Active listening is a method of listening that involves understanding the content of a message as well as the intent of the sender and the circumstances under which the message is given. Blissymbol is a series of meaning- based symbols and pictures used by people who are unable to communicate verbally. Other sign and pictorial communication methods can be found on the internet. Non-verbal skills include:-
Body language such as facial expressions, posture, the positioning of my body, eye contact and the use of gesture. Signs and pictures, for example blissymbol, British sign language, Makaton and braille. Assisted technology, such as speaking clocks, electronic sound boards and computer software. Use of proximity and touch.
Words are power; people have the right to communicate their needs and their preferences and to make decisions and choices to improve the quality of their life. Having the means to communicate empowers individuals. (Empowerment means to give someone more power, usually making them more confident in controlling their own life, claiming rights and overcoming barriers to participation.) It also promotes their rights; freedom of expression is in itself a human right and is essential that people are provided with opportunities to express their views. Working holistically ensures a person centred approach. Person centred services and self- determination are key principles of personalisation, along with human rights, citizenship, choice and control. To empower people, they will need the skills to speak up and be involved in the design and delivery of their support.