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Young Man in Therapy

Communication Skills

For us to truly teach effectively we need to be able to communicate effectively this doesn't mean just speaking. 

Many of us listen but don't always take in the information - is this the fautl of the student or the teacher? neither!

But working together we can achieve a balance where both parties understand their roles. 

When we are faced with a decision its important to use our BRAIN - take a moment, dont rush into a decision - STOP, THINK then ACT!

Identifying Your Personal Communication Skills

Communication Skills

Before we can begin to communicate effectively with others we must first explore our own strengths and weaknesses in communication. Even before reading through these units, it can be helpful to start out with an inventory of what skills we feel we do well, and which we could work on.  By identifying our own personal weaknesses we are more likely to understand others.

Communicating positive feelings, such as excitement and joy, praise, is relatively straightforward. However, many people find communicating deeper emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, or disappointment, or expressing dissatisfaction more difficult. When these feelings are intense, they can be even more difficult to express.

Speaking and acting assertively rather than passively or aggressively

Body language, both your own and others'

Active listening

Articulating ideas and feelings (finding the right words)

Perceptions of the person you are communicating

Sensitive and appropriate language

Obtaining Communication Feedback

When the student has been given the information, he sends feedback to the Teacher, weather its is verbally or in their body language, the Teacher is  than able gauge how effectively his message was communicated. The feedback from the student might tell the Teacher many things, including:

  • The message is understood.

  • The message is no longer relevant.

  • The message transmitted is not clear enough for any action to be taken.

  • The message is not what the receiver wants to hear.

 

Understanding this feedback helps the Educator to know  whether they are can continue  or to cover the material again.

1

Understanding Our Own Feedings/Beliefs

This is one of the most important parts of exploring You own your feelings! Your mother owns her feelings. Your partner owns his feelings. Your clients own their feelings. We are all personally responsible for how we feel. No one else can make us feel something, nor to control what we believe.

Each of us take full responsibility for our own feelings.

Showing confidence in our own feelings, lets other know we have thought things through and have made our own decision.

2

Practise What You Teach

Think of how you would feel if you were told be someone not to smoke and they are sat puffing away on a cigarette? The respect for your teaching would be totally out of the window. If we are teaching healthy eating during pregnancy and have a table full of fizzy drinks and chocolate for the interval?

3

Creating a Supportive Enviroment

Scenario … Just Imagine a mum in your class has told you she is miscarrying. You have spoken to her during your classes formally.  You have just met in the local high street. You are now listening to her crying because a friend has told her it’s probably for the best and that there is usually something wrong with the baby.  Consider how she must feel; how hard it would be for her to open up to you. To reach out!  Consider how hard it must be for her to express herself and open up in such an environment ….. what would your reaction be? How could you console her?

4

Open & Honest Communication

One aspect of the effective of communication is being open and honest as well as approachable.

If we are only communicating part of how we feel, and fail to speak up, because we're worried about conflict or about hurting others' feelings,  Will that take away from the effectiveness of our communication because we're not speaking the whole truth?

Effective communication is sensitive communication, but this doesn't mean that there is no the potential for both speaker and listener to experience challenging feelings. 

Learning:   What about an Educator - Do we have the right to express our feelings?

5

How to Gain Trust & Respect

We are living in a society that says we all have views and have the right to express them openly.

Is that true? Being honest is a great way to build respect1. But that doesn’t necessarily mean expressing your feelings and views in an open, honest, and sensitive way is crucial for building trust and commitment among the people you work with. If each one thought of the others feelings – would that gain respect?

When we are working with  other childbirth educators, or part of a team this is especially important to not only gain but give respect.

 

Many Educators are extremely passionate about their work and many have strong opinions, but showing we care can help with covering over misunderstandings.

 

Being honest and open with communication its important in both our professional and personal relationships.

6

Managing your Feelings Effectively

The way we communicate our feelings often depend on who we are speaking to.

If we are concerned about being ridiculed or laughed at, we will be more apprehensive about how much we share and who with. We may also be concerned about the result of trying not to express feelings, such as crying when we are angry or laughing with embarrassment at an inappropriate time.   

"We all use language to communicate, to express ourselves, to get our ideas across, and to connect with the person to whom we are speaking. When a relationship is working, the act of communicating seems to flow relatively effortlessly. When a relationship is deteriorating, the act of communicating can be as frustrating as climbing a hill of sand."

- Chip Rose, attorney and mediat

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