It is important when communicating with people to observe their reactions, this is important for many reasons as it can give us some insight and indication to whether a person has understood us or not, if we have given any direction or are trying to pass on information. By looking at a person’s reactions we get an idea also to how what we are saying is being received. For example if we say something to a colleague or parent we can tell by a person’s reaction if what we have said has made or is making them happy, sad, confused, angry, outraged, worried or excited.
If the persons face starts to change to look cross or frown then there is a chance you may offended, upset or made them angry, whereas if a person is smiling, laughing, joking or bright eyed they may be happy or excited. If we can learn to notice and judge these reactions we can adapt and adjust our communication by our tone or language we are using accordingly.
It is not only important so you can determine whether what u have tried to convey has been understood. Reactions and body language are a person’s unspoken words or feelings and can at times be up to 30% of communication. If there was someone in my setting whose reactions and or body language become or was different to that of their normal behaviour or that of expected normal behaviour and I was concerned it would be part of my job role to pick up on this and also to communicate this to my appropriate senior within the setting.
In our settings there may be many barriers a person might face in terms of communicating with one another. A common barrier is language. Others might include a learning difficulty, hearing impairment, emotional state of a person, intellect of a person, noise a sight and/or speech impairment. The list is endless some barriers are social barriers, some emotional, some environmental. Not only is it part of our role to recognise these barriers it is also our responsibility to try to reduce overcome and eliminate them when trying to communicate effectively.
An example of this would be if I had a child, parent or colleague in my setting who had a problem speaking or understanding English I may use body language and facial expressions as a form of communicating and conveying a thought or feeling. Another way I could overcome a language barrier might be to make use of one of the services the setting provides like a translator or interpreter. All of these methods are acceptable and effective ways of overcoming language barriers.
Another example of a barrier to communicating would be if I was trying to have a confidential talk with a parent but my environment was crowded and noisy, the noise would be a barrier as it might prohibit us from fully hearing one another and if it is crowded we may not be able to talk confidentially without others hearing or listening so to eliminate the barriers it would be necessary to go somewhere private and less noisy. Confidentiality means information that is privileged private not to be shared or exposed to or by anyone. This could be something that is said, a letter, a document a piece of information that is confidential. In our setting it is essential anyone disclosing and sharing information with us know that we will not share this information unless it is for the well being and safeguarding of the child. In our setting we are constantly being given confidential information whether it be medical need dietary needs educational requirements of or child protection issues.
Generally we do not share confidential information with everyone but it is so important that the appropriate people and or organisations are informed and aware. If a child had special dietary requirements we would need to share this information with the staff who supervise the meal/snack times and also the staff in the kitchen. Another time you might share information would be if you had concerns about a childs protection and wellbeing outside of the setting. In these circumstance it is our role to sensitively disclose any concerns, information or observations on that young person to our line manager supervisor or someone in a higher chain of command at the setting to us.