Introduction to communication

Introduction to Communication
Richard Postance, Senior Lecturer (Learning
adapted by
Jacqui Williams, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery
Examples of core skills
Interpersonal skills
Infection Control
Clinical Observations
Practical clinical interventions
Manual Handling
Food Hygiene
Definitions: (cited by Bach & Grant, 2009: 26)
‘ ….a universal function of humankind, independent
of any place, time or context.’
(Ruesch, 1961)
‘ ….is about the reciprocal process in which
messages are sent and received between two or
more people.’
(Balzer-Riley, 2004)
Definition cont.
Interpersonal skills
‘ Interpersonal communication involves a series
of messages or information which people send
out to, and receive from each other through
the use of the senses, such as seeing, touching
and hearing one another.’
Petrie (1997) (cited by Bach & Grant, 2009: 26)
Four types of communication to
Non Verbal
Verbal communication
Thing to consider:
• Language
• Volume
• Tone
• Pitch
Type of Questions
• Closed Questions:
Elicit a yes, no or one word answer
• Open Questions
Do not elicit a particular answer but instead
encourage the client to expand or say more
Non-verbal communication
Proxemics – spatial position
Posture – attitudes, emotions & status
Kinesics – body movements & mannerisms
Facial expression – running commentary on
emotional state
• Gaze – eye contact
Non verbal communication cont.
• Appearance – clothing, hairstyle, height
• Physical environment – where the interaction
takes place, client’s home or ward setting
Spatial awareness
Intimate space (within 15cms)
Personal space (15cms – 1m)
Social Space (1m – 3m)
Public space (3m and above)
Argyle (1988)
‘The ability of one person to perceive and
understand another person's emotions.’
(Bach and Grant 2009:37)
“Empathy involves retaining your own
separateness while trying to understand the
world from the other person’s perspective”
Kenworthy, Snowley & Gilling
The ability to state clearly and calmly what you
believe without backing down in the face of
disagreement and willing to repeat what you
have said if necessary
Burnard (1997)
Approaches to confrontation
Burnard (1997:p33)
Submissive Approach
The person avoids conflict and
confrontation by avoiding the
topic in hand
Assertive Approach
The person is clear, calm and
prepared to repeat what she has
to say
Aggressive Approach
The person is heavy-handed
and makes a personal attack of
the issue
Conscious and unconscious incompetence
Unconscious incompetence
Conscious incompetence
Conscious competence
Unconscious competence
(Howell 1982)
Trans cultural communication
Tone of voice
Non verbal communication
Self disclosure
Use of touch
Written communication
(NMC, 2009)
Be factual, consistent & accurate
Be written contemporaneously after the event
Cannot be erased
Alterations are dated, timed & signed
Should not include abbreviations
Be readable on photocopies
Written communication cont.
• Be written with the involvement of the client
or carer where possible
• Be written in a way that the client can
• Be consecutive
• Identify problems & actions to rectify them
(NMC ,2009)
Consider all forms of electronic communication
E Mail
Web based forums (potential for
confidentiality breach)
Examples of communication difficulties
• Dyspraxia – problems of perception, language and
thought (poor co-ordination)
• Dysarthria – normal articulation is delayed
• Dysphasia – difficulty in arranging words in the
correct order
• Dysrythmia – stuttering
• Dysphonia – low pitch hoarse voice
Now consider if it goes
Argyle, M. (1988) Bodily Communication (2nd edition) London. Methuen.
Bach, S. and Grant A (2009) Communication and interprofessional skills for
nurses Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd
Burnard, P. (1997) Effective communication skills for health professionals.
Cheltenham. Nelson Thornes Ltd
Howell, W. (1982) The empathetic communicator Belmont, CA: Wadworth
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2009) Record keeping Guidance for
nurses and midwives. London. NMC.
Petrie, P. (1997) Communicating with children and adults: Interpersonal Skills
for early years and play work, London: Arnold