chapter  1
Good communication
WithKaren Stainsby, Mari Roberts
Pages 10

The ability to communicate, to exchange information, ideas, feelings, hopes, dreams and fears, is perhaps the most influential factor in human development. A communication breakdown can occur at any point in the communication process. Effective communication involves six aspects: the source, the message, the communication channel, the receiver, the reply and the context. This chapter describes some ways to improve communication. These include becoming aware of the communication process in daily life, noticing the barriers and where and when they happen, thinking about how to reduce the degree and frequency of these barriers, and using 'listening skills'. These skills can be used anywhere and in almost any situation: with patients, relatives, carers, colleagues, friends, people at home and elsewhere. The chapter explains that these skills are more effective when underpinned by three attitudes. These attitudes include empathy, non-judgementalism and genuineness.