Effective Communication

Claire Lawrence

Unit 301
1.) Unit 301, outcome 1, assessment criteria 1.1a,b,c (301.1.1a,b,c).
Why is effective communication important in developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults

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All relationships between people are begun, based and maintained by communication and therefore it is important when trying to promote a positive relationship that the communication is effective. For communication to be effective it has to be clear and easily understood by the receiver, it is a two way process where the information or knowledge is conveyed by the sender and that message is received and understood. It is also important to adapt the content to suit the person or situation you are in and understand how the person that you are interacting with may interpret that message.
To develop a positive relationship using effective communication it is important to establish trust. The child, young person or adult needs to feel at ease, to be given the opportunity to communicate back with comfort and confidence. It is important to listen and to promote a positive rapport. It is important that the person feels that what they are saying is important and acknowledged. Listening can be verbal or non-verbal. Body language is key; if a person feels that what they say is valued this will be conducive to a positive communication experience, this can be shown by nodding, leaning forward, good eye contact and facial expressions. A person needs to be shown that they have your full attention; repeat, react, question and respond to what has been said and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. If respect and consideration is a there a positive relationship will be established.
A person needs to understand how to communicate effectively in order to form positive relationships, it is important that the coding (such as language, posture, facial gestures) used by that person can be accurately decoded and a listener can understand what has been communicated. These ???codes??™ can be influenced by things that interfere with an accurate message being sent. Language can be a problem and a communicator needs to be clear and concise remembering the age and needs of the receiver, if the receiver can clearly understand because of appropriate vocabulary and a correct tone a positive outcome is more likely. A younger child may need a more caring tone, more physical contact, and a much simpler vocabulary. Cultural differences can also interfere in a positive relationship being established, and it is important that customs, meanings of words, pronunciation and accents to be carefully considered. A person from another culture may be offended by a gesture or even of how the communicator is dressed. Communication in all of its forms needs to be carefully considered including appearance.
The context of the communication is important; to form a positive relationship it needs to be relevant, appropriate and not confrontational. The subject matter needs to be relevant and age appropriate and the receiver??™s views and perceptions need to be considered.
It is important to use every opportunity to communicate, in the classroom you should always have a communicative intent and encourage dialogue with students, this needs to positive and if effective communication is used in words, actions, body language and context this will be more likely to be achieved. Adults need to show positive relationships with each other in front of children and young people so that the child can copy this behaviour and it helps demonstrate what is expected and acceptable in relationship building.

2.) 3012.1.2
What are the principles of relationship building with children, young people and adults
Principles are fundamental truths or laws as the basis for reasoning or action; they are a personal code of conduct. The term ???relationship??™ is rooted from the word ???relation??™ and is defined as a mutual affiliation or connection between two people. In answering the above question I am trying to establish the rules or codes of conduct when building connections or associations with other people. One of the principles or rules of relationship building is finding a mutual understanding between individuals. If people have a common interest it can lead the way for building a relationship. Shared ideas and interests can pave the way for strong, positive relationships providing the foundation to begin that relationship and plenty of building blocks thereafter to build a strong relationship. To make a connection with a child or young adult that you may not have a lot in common with you may need to investigate and gently probe to find out their interests and then use this information to begin the process of relationship building.
Another important principle is trust. A person needs to feel assured and trust someone before a relationship can be built. To establish this trust a person needs to be reliable, fair, honest and caring. These qualities promote more open communication. When a person feels that they can rely on you they will open up and a relationship will be built because of a certainty that the relationship will be one underpinned by integrity and honesty. When establishing a relationship with a child extra care and warmth needs to be used, children are developing their concepts of the world and their place in it and trust needs to be deep and true, a child needs to feel safe and valued, you need to show respect and give them your full attention to show that child that you accept them and their opinions. This caring approach shows that you are acting in a way that will allow the child to communicate confidently and therefore is important in building relationships. It is important to be fully attentive whatever the young person presents, to listen and communicate positively verbally and non-verbally. Another principle that is important to relationship building is praise. When a person is recognized and acknowledged for their accomplishments it can make a person feel valued and motivate them to continue building a strong relationship. The feeling of being appreciated can make a relationship stronger and give that person confidence to reciprocate with you. Children especially respond to praise, if a child or young person feels good about themselves they are more likely to want to continue and extend a relationship with you. Communication is an extremely if not the most important principle of relationship building. Good and effective communication helps form a successful relationship. A relationship does not exist where there is no constant interaction with another person. Communication is more than just talking, apart from words, it is also non-verbal. We communicate more with our actions than with words. Nonverbal communication is known as body language, manifesting through facial and body gestures, eye contact, posture, and voice tone. In forming relationships with other people the ability to understand and use nonverbal signals is a vital tool in connected with others, expressing yourself, and building a better connection with others. Verbal communication relies on words but speech can also contain nonverbal elements, such as emotion, speaking style, rhythm, intonation and stress. In face-to-face communication the body language and voice tonality play a significant role and may have a greater impact on the listener than what you intended to say with the spoken word. Marcel Marceau said ???Do not the most moving movements of our lives find us all without words??? which sums up the fact that actions do speak louder than words! It is very important to be aware of what you say and what you don??™t say with your voice and with your body. This is especially important when building relationships with young people, you have to simplify your language, use the appropriate body language and make sure your voice, tone, and content is appropriate and will help establish a good rapport. For special needs children and young people it is especially important to use these principles carefully. Some children may have difficulty with communication so to build effective relationships all ways of communication needs to be carefully considered. Body language or touch may be important if a child is non-verbal. It is crucial to develop trust by being respectful and considerate of the child??™s needs.
To conclude, the principles used in relationship building with children, young people and adults are communication, respect, trust, praise and integrity.

How can different social, professional and cultural contexts affect relationships and the way people communicate
Throughout our lives we develop a complex and sophisticated network of relationships, each of them requiring something different and giving us something different in return. We have to interact with people and identify with both people we like and with people we don??™t like. These relationships can be affected by social, professional and cultural contexts and these factors affect the way people communicate.
Social context is governed by how we relate to society. We can be affected by where we live, what organizations we belong to, how we are brought up, the values and perimeters our families installed into us, our education, marital status, religion, political beliefs, age, ethnicity or economic status. These factors can affect relationships in a number of ways. If we share a similar social background our language and relationship will be familiar and easy, our body language would be relaxed and informal. The relationship can have intimacy and provide emotional support and enjoyment because of the things or opinions you have in common. You may be a member of the same organization, e.g. a sports club and your relationship and conversation may be full of sports references and jargon. The communication between people who have the same social interests and lifestyles will be natural, informal, and creates a feeling of belonging and valued friendship. If you are communicating with a person with whom you do not have any common ground with socially, you may find it more challenging to form a relationship. If a person relates to society differently from you, verbal and body language may be cautious, polite, less familiar and punctilious. You may be worried about causing offence or having a misunderstanding so communication needs to be careful and considered.
Professional relationships are governed by a formality; we adhere to formal rules. Normally these relationships are maintained by a contribution being made and a reward or compensation being exchanged for it. People in a professional relationship sometimes have shared ideas and interests; they may work together or interact together in a corporate or an official environment. Communication is proper, polite, we behave in a way that is respectful and demonstrates our intelligence and integrity. People in a professional relationship need to be mature, to not behave inappropriately, you need to be honest to prevent misunderstanding, communication needs to be clear, regular, helpful and respectful, and you need to be knowledgeable of your common professional interest. The relationship can lack emotion and you have to be careful not to be insincere as sometimes professional relationships can be used for personal gain or opportunity.
Cultural differences have to be taken into account when forming relationships and these differences will affect how we communicate. Cultural differences can include different ways of looking at things, different ways of dressing and different ways of expressing personality. Cultural differences can cause problems with how people interpret what other people is saying or doing. For example, in the US and UK a firm, strong handshake communicates self-confidence and masculinity but in Africa a limp handshake is correct and can last a couple of minutes. In US and UK we feel that if a handshake is too long we interpret it as uncomfortable, too familiar with possible sexual undercurrents. Another example would be that in Britain it is considered rude to look at a woman that is not known but in France this is acceptable, the French have even been known to think British men homosexual en masse because of their lack of interest in women.
Cultures can be categorised into two groups, Low Context and High Context. Low Context Culture is one in which things are fully, concisely spelled out. Things are made explicit, and there is considerable dependence on what is actually said. High Context Culture is one in which the communicator assume a great deal of commonality and views, so that less is spelled out explicitly and much more is implicit or communicated in an indirect way. Different cultures tend to be high or low context, low context cultures include Anglos, Germanic and Scandinavians. High context cultures include Japanese, Arabs, and the French. Interaction between high and low context cultures can be problematic. For example, the Japanese can find westerners to be offensively blunt, westerners can find Japanese to be secretive, devious and unforthcoming with information. French can find Germans insult their intelligence by explaining the obvious while Germans can feel the French have bad manners by not giving proper direction. This is why when communicating with people from different cultures we have to carefully consider what group they fall into and how they communicate and become sympathetic to their way of forming relationships and use our language, both verbal and nonverbal to mirror them and not be insulting. A person should be aware of a culture??™ customs and values and be sensitive to the things, days or language that are important to them. Communication breakdowns can easily happen if there is a lack of understanding or toleration between people of different cultures and we have to learn to respect diversity and alter our language accordingly.

4.)301, outcome 2, assessment criteria 2.1 (301.2.1)
What skills do you need to communicate with children and young people
Children and young adults learn to communicate by listening and understanding what they hear. Communication is the process by which information is exchanged and when communicating with children and young people it is important to make sure this information and the way they receive it is suitable and appropriate for them. For very small infants language may not be understood, so other forms of communication must be used. Infants may not understand the meaning of words but they can feel, and interpret what they hear by the tonality, volume and speed of the words, the child will respond to love and care and this needs to be demonstrated in the way you speak. Smooth, soft voice quality is soothing and calming. This can be reinforced by touch; small gestures like holding, cuddling, being close to the child can transfer messages of love, security and comfort which then opens the door to effective communication. Toddlers have more language development using two word combinations. When communicating with this age group it is important to allow turn taking, use age appropriate language and gentle reassuring tonality, timing, speaking and then listening and including gestures to reinforce and express what is being communicated and aid understanding. Getting down to the child??™s eye level, good eye contact, and use of positive body language will help express and communicate effectively. As a child reaches school age he is leaning to communicate their thoughts as well as understanding the points of view of others. The child can now understand words with multiple meanings. While communicating with this age group, extend your vocabulary; help them to refine their conversational skill by exploring more complex topics such as ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Active listening is an important skill when communicating with any age group but especially this group because they often need to feel understood and important. Pay attention without distractions and maintain eye contact, other body language such as nodding can show that you are listening. Listen with an open mind in order to understand their point of view, show empathy by identifying with their feelings and establish trust by using these listening skills. With children of this age it is important to find the right setting for communication to take place, space should be available for conversations that may be private or sensitive. It is important when communicating with children of any age to remember that children??™s receptive communication skills are more advanced than their verbal communication skills. Children can pick up on tone and body language and it is important to be careful of what you are saying to them nonverbally as they can be very aware of subtle messages, an open body stance and positioning invite communication. Children can also understand words that they do not use themselves, so make sure you use the appropriate vocabulary and do not underestimate the child??™s understanding. Tone and attitude communicates a different meaning than the word used, this can send mixed messages and hinder effective communication. Do not use sarcasm or equivocation when communicating with young people as this can cause breakdown in the relationship, cause confusion and uncertainty.

Explain how you adapt the way you communicate with children and young people depending on their age, the context and communication differences.

With children and young people you have to adapt the way you communicate depending on their age. For very young children you have to use appropriate vocabulary, you should use words that they can comprehend. You should try and use words that the child uses, complicated words or concepts can be replaced by more child friendly ones, for example when trying to find out if a child is unwell you could use the word ???poorly??™ and then lead the child to elaborate on what they mean. Socially acceptable language should always be used as children will pick up and repeat what they hear. When talking to a child you should consider your tone and attitude, children are very sensitive to emotions; a soft soothing voice is comforting compared to a harsh, loud one. Speech should be slow, coherent and clear, with careful with pronunciation.
Body language is very important, you should bend down to their level and look them in the eyes; this shows respect and helps you gauge how much of the conversation is actually being understood. Your posture and positioning should be open and you should not stand over the child. Facial expression is also a good way of communicating how you feel , frowning, smiling, or a strained expression can express so much more than words. You can use your body in other ways; a wink, a pat, a ruffle of hair or thumbs up can invite communication and interaction. It is important not to send mixed messages; body language should match your words as not to confuse the child. You should always show the child respect and show them that you care, give them your full individual attention. If a child feels important they will open up, show your approval of what they say, their self-esteem will improve with the attention you show them and they will want to communicate with you. Another way of showing respect is by listening to them, allow the child to talk without interruption, show empathy and keep an open mind, and turn taking. Timing is also important, you should communicate with them at the proper time, don??™t rush and find a time when the child is not tired, hungry or distracted.
Visual communication can also be used effectively with children, drawings, symbols, and books are useful tools to interact and find out what a child wants to express.
The context of the communication is important to consider when talking to children, if you are in the classroom a professional attitude needs to be maintained, you are trying to teach the child, not just academically but also about behaviour and social skills, you need to be polite and set a good example. You have to be approachable and caring but maintain an emotional distance. It can be different when you are communicating with a group of children, you have to make sure they all feel important and interacted with and all have equal attention. Communication with family or friends will be different, you can be more familiar and caring, we bond with them reciprocally because of love and care and this is reflected in how we talk to them. We use familiar language, humour and fun and more touch. Some things can be left unsaid because of common interests and knowledge. To conclude, when communicating with children and young people you need to adapt and consider the context and communication differences.

What are the main differences in communicating with adults and communicating with children

There are a number of differences in communicating with adults and with children. Firstly,