The importance of interpersonal communication in the carer's role is a critical aspect. This is because we need good clear communication to develop interpersonal skills that lead to building relationships with clients and co-workers.
Having a strong relationship with clients and other staff members enables you as a carer to have a better understanding of what their needs are and also enables them to express themselves freely without any discrimination against sex, race, age, religious beliefs, culture or political views. Some ways in gaining good communication skills with clients and co-workers is to ask questions, observe, listen and show empathy. For communication to be effective, the non-verbal part of our message must reinforce the verbal content.
If a client who tells you something and is modifying their message non verbally, you need to be aware of this so that you can act accordingly to what you know about the whole message not only the verbal part. For example if a client's facial expression displays depression or sadness while verbally stating they are fine, observation of this client would be recommended. As Sigmund Freud (1905) said "No mortal can keep a secret". "If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips-betrayal-oozes out of every pore". When communicating with clients that are strictly non-verbal our body language is very important. We need to be observant and be aware of any changes in body language. Body language includes facial expression, hand gestures, posture and positioning. (Farren 1999)
One needs to offer his/her clients communicating aids such as pen and paper; cards with pictures and words on them or whatever aids are useful and suitable to the client. As a carer we need to always practice an active listening skill, which means we must be courteous and show respect by looking the person in the eyes while they are speaking and not to be judgmental in what they are saying. We need to be quiet and still and try to avoid any distractions, also for many clients repeating back what they have said or shown us can also reassure them that we understand. Assertiveness is an important part of a carers communication role. What I mean by saying this is we need to stand up for our personal rights and be able o express our thoughts or beliefs in an appropriate way.
This way we will develop respect amongst our co-workers and clients and feel free to defend our rights and rights of others. Clients and co-workers need to be able to show that this is what "I" think, feel and how we see the situation. We also need to aim the assertive behavior to satisfy the needs of both parties involved and to always show respect. Our daily lives are filled with all types of relationships. We are surrounded by a society requiring us to interact with individuals on a regular basis. In doing so we create relations of many levels and ...