Now that you understand how communication happens, you need to know that messages can be sent in many ways. Here are some of the major ones:
Is a picture truly worth a thousand words? Pay attention to the clients in each image. Now, try to interpret the clients’ body language by associating the emotions provided with each image. Drag and drop the emotion word on top of the image you think it best fits. You do not need to use all of the words. There are no “right” answers for this exercise.
Now, consider: why did you make each association? What was it about the client’s body language that led to your choice?
There are other forms of communication beyond verbal and non-verbal—although you may not realize they are communication:
- Music is a proficient way to convey feeling and recall memories. It is used in therapies successfully for all ages and many diagnoses.
- Mathematics conveys measurements and formulas to work out problems. It is used in all areas in the world in some form.
- Programming. In the world of the computer, programming is the form of conveying information allowing us to communicate worldwide.
Now that you understand the forms communication can take, how can you enhance understanding during communication with a client? Review the following list of tips:
- Pay attention to the client, listening without allowing yourself to be distracted.
- Face the client.
- Make eye contact, if culturally appropriate, to show you are interested.
- Lean towards them slightly to show your interest.
- Respond to them if they want you to talk:
- Paraphrase their message back to them.
- Ask open-ended questions for more information.
- Stick to one subject instead of adding other issues to confuse problems.