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6.1a Describe the different ways that people communicate

Communication is an integral part of our daily lives, and it’s an important part of your work as a care worker as well. Good communication can help you develop your knowledge and understanding about the individuals you care for and can also help build working relationships where each person’s views are heard and valued. However, not everyone communicates in the same way. Here are some of the different ways that people can communicate:

  • Talking/Verbal communication-The most common form of communication. Differences in how you speak such as the tone and pitch of your voice can change how your messages are taken in. You should avoid using jargon or complicated words and terminology when talking with individuals and always speak in a respectful manner.
  • Body language-A type of nonverbal communication that is made up of many different parts such as gestures, facial expressions and eye contact. It can communicate information to individuals often without them even realising it.
  • Facial expressions-Facial movements that often show reactions or feelings. They can give you valuable clues about how an individual is feeling.
  • Gestures-Hand or arm movements that emphasise what is being said as an alternative to speaking.
  • Eye contact-Looking directly into the eyes of the person you are communicating with. Important for showing that you are engaged and listening.
  • Position-The way that we stand, sit or hold our arms.
  • Written communication-Writing down what you are trying to say on paper, an email or something similar. Often used to send messages, keep records or provide evidence.
  • Sign Language-A system of communicating using visual messages and signs which is often used by deaf people.
  • Makaton-A form of language that uses a large collection of signs and symbols which is often used by those with a hearing impairment or learning and physical disabilities.
  • Braille-A code of raised dots that can be read through touch. Is often used by the blind or visually impaired.

You should keep all these different ways of communicating in mind while working as good communication is vital for your work.