Effective communication is the process of transferring information or thoughts to someone or a group of people by way of speaking, writing or body language. According to “Livestron.com” (2014), “Effective communication extends the concept to require that transmitted content is received and understood by someone in the way it was intended. The goals of effective communication include creating a common perception, changing behaviors and acquiring information” (para. 1). It is important that the person receiving the information be able to clearly and concisely understand the information from the sender. The most effective and ineffective techniques for sharing information, techniques that can be applied or modified in a health care work environment and ways in which technology may affect these processes will be discussed in this paper.
Effective Communication Techniques
Effective communication begins with encoding, or being able to clearly and concisely relay the message so that the receiver will be able to decode the message. Another important part of effective communication is making sure the receiver properly understands the message that was being sent. When considering the context of the communication it improves the effectiveness. Context includes age, religion, sexual orientation and intellectual abilities of the receiver. Body language, or non-verbal communication includes eye contact, facial expressions, posture and position of the hands and arms. When body language is consistent with verbal content it improves understanding, and when body language is inconsistent with verbal content it creates confusion about the message. Emotions can interfere with effective communication. For example: messages maybe negatively affected if the sender is angry.
While working in community mental health industry, an individual will be faced with constant changes in the way they communicate with each other, whether it be with the psychiatrist, counselor, patient, drug representative or another health care provider. I found the most used forms of communicating with other people were face-to-face communication, phone, e-mail and faxes. I feel the most effective way of communication is face-to-face because communication signals can provide insight to what is critical in gaining an understanding of other’s perspectives.
Ineffective Ways of Communication
Ineffective communication can be any disruption or failure in the communication process. Language is an obvious communication barrier because if a person does not understand the language the communication fails. Another barrier is when a person has an idea but lacks the confidence to speak up the communication process fails. According to “Chron.com” (2014) “Removing barriers will increase your odds of communicating effectively. Both senders and receivers should pay attention to others in the process, making eye contact, listening intently and avoiding distractions. By being empathetic, you are imagining what it is like to be in the other person’s situation, which helps the communication process” (para. 5).
How These Techniques Can Be Applied or Modified
Communication is the key to succeeding and will allow coworkers in a health care environment to work well together. “A team is a small group of people with complementary skills, who work together to achieve a shared purpose and hold themselves mutually accountable for its accomplishment. Teamwork is the process of people working together to accomplish these goals” (Lombardi, Schermerhorn, & Kramer, 2007, p. 91). Team members need to start out slowly in order to accomplish good communication skills. All team members should learn how to work with their team and be able to control any conflicts that might occur.
How Technology Affects the Communication Process
Technology has impacted the health care field in a positive and rewarding way. For instance, the electronic medical record allows the user to exchange health care information electronically and can help provide a higher quality and safer care for the patients while creating enhancements for the health care organization. The electronic medical record provides up-to-date, accurate information about patient at the point of care which allows quick access to patient records for a more coordination of care. There are so many things that technology has provided the health care industry: MRI’s, CAT Scans, ultrasounds and laparoscopic surgeries. Technology will always bring change and a positive outlook to the health care industry.
In conclusion, effective communication helps to better understand a person or situation. It enables us to resolve differences and build trust and respect. This paper covered the most effective and ineffective ways for sharing information and ideas, techniques that can be applied or modified in a health care work environment and how technology impacts the communication process.
Chron.com. (2014). Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effective-ineffective-communication-56100.html Lombardi, D.J., Schermerhorn, J.R., & Kramer, B. (2007). Managing Teams: Leading and Developing Work Teams that are Efficient, Focused, and Flexible. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Livestrong.com. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/69309-effective-communication/