By Melissa Bramwell
How communication affects relationships in the work setting
In a work setting we all have a number of relationships that we need to develop and maintain, with children, parents, colleagues, supervisors etc.
Effective communication can help us build strong relationships with children, parents and other adults based on trust and respect. This will enable us to meet both the child and parents needs and resolve any differences or problems we may encounter.
In the early years sector effective communication is vital as it allows us to:
Share and gain information: This ...view middle of the document...
Bad communication can also lead to a breakdown of working relationships, which will affect the service provided to the children and parents.
2.1 Factors to consider when promoting effective communication
Environment: If it is too noisy or there is a lot of activity going on around you then it might be difficult to hear and concentrate on the conversation. It may be a personal conversation, which may need privacy.
Physical distance/space: The better you know a person the closer you are likely to be physically. Closeness can encourage sharing, this is very true with children. If you have a strong relationship
with them, they benefit from you being very close to them, as it helps them feel secure. This is not the same if the child does not know you or are shy. If you are sitting or standing directly opposite a person it can be too direct, it may help to sit at an angle, this can provide a helpful space.
Body Positioning/language: Leaning forward can show you are interested, but getting too close might invade body space. Turning away or not making eye contact can show a lack of interest. Folded arms and a stern face can look defensive and discourage communication. Standing over a person who is smaller than you or seated might make the person feel threatened.
Touch: Holding a baby close and holding hands with a child can help to communicate care and security. A light touch on a person’s arm or hand can communicate caring and understanding, but sometimes touch can feel intrusive, even threatening.
Disabilities: If a person is impaired in some way this can make it difficult to communicate, i.e. If a person is hearing impaired you must remember to face the person you are speaking to at all times and speak slowly and clearly.
3.1 Differences in the Interpretation of Communication
A person culture provides them with way of thinking i.e. ways of seeing, hearing & interpreting the world, so even if we talk the same language words can mean different things to people from different cultures.
The way culture can interfere with effective understanding between cultures are described by Stella Ting-Toomey (Professor of Human Communication Studies at California State University):
“Cognitive Constraints”: These are the frames of reference or world views that provide a backdrop that all new information is compared to or inserted into.
“Behaviour Constraints”: Every culture has it own rules about proper behaviour, be it verbal or non verbal, i.e. whether you look the other person in the eye or not when communicating or how close you stand to the person you are talking to. These are rules of politeness and they differ from culture to culture.
“Emotional Constraints”: Different cultures regulate the display of emotion differently. Some cultures are very open with their feelings when communicating. They yell, cry, show anger, fear, frustration. While other cultures hide their emotions, by sharing the...