Clear communication provides the basis for building and sustaining helpful relationships with your co-workers. It underpins every stage of a Support Worker’s process and draws on a wide range of knowledge and skills. Without effective communication skills Support Workers will be less able to:
Find out what service users, carers or other professionals are thinking and feeling
Provide the kind of information others need
Interpret complex situations accurately
Negotiate, mediate and intervene sensitively, authoritatively and appropriately
Communication is a two-way process, and it may not work where there are problems with conveying or making sense of information, therefore effective communication requires a team of Support Workers to be capable and knowledgeable in a range ways, with the ability to engage with, and form effective and trusting relationships with other service providers and carers. It also means being comfortable with strong emotions, including your own. As a Support Worker, you may also need to consult with groups or communities to inform wider service planning.
Below is an outline of ways to assist you to link different aspects of Support Work practices, and how to better understand the vital role of communication between co-workers...
Planning and Arranging:
Records and Report Writing:
Case Conferences and Discussions:
Empowering Support Service Users:
Finally, not every technique above will be appropriate for each co-worker. Different people prefer different strategies. It’s important to talk to and treat each person as an individual and respect their views, so in turn, they will respect yours.