2.2.1 Overview

In this section, you will continue your exploration of communication, but now you will consider common barriers to effective communication that could impact your interactions with clients and others. You will also look at factors unique to electronic communication in more depth.

Complaints are common in any people-facing profession—especially when services are provided. You will at some point in your career make a client unhappy. You may need to say no to their requests in accordance with best practices, your own limitations, the law, or doctor’s orders. Or, you may overlook something they asked for. You are human, and you will make mistakes. This chapter will equip you to deal with these situations when they arise.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify barriers to effective communication
  • List common defence mechanisms and how they can interfere with communication
  • Explain how communication might be affected by electronic communication
  • Describe how to communicate with a client who is not happy
  • Explain why assertive communication is important

Key Terms

When learning about the essentials of caring for clients, it is essential to first look at the terminology to ensure that you understand everything clearly. These terms will be used throughout this chapter, so it is important to take the time to master them and practice your recall often.

  • Defence mechanisms
  • Assertive communication

Whenever these terms are first introduced in this chapter, they are bolded. However, if you need additional information about a term than what is provided here, you can research it in The Free Dictionary: Medical Dictionary.


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