Carers Support Centre helps break down barriers with communication workshops.

Do you feel like you are constantly fighting to be heard by professionals? Do you wish there was a way to break down the barriers?

Carers Support Centre have put together useful information to help with positive communication:

The impact of poor communication can be wide-reaching. It can lead to misunderstandings, conflict and damaged relationships, creating stress and frustration. On the other hand, good communication can build up relationships and break down barriers, helping you find solutions to problems and achieve the outcome you’re looking for.

Top tips for good communication

Be an active listener - learning how to actively listen can aid understanding and help the other person feel more at ease. Keeping good eye contact, paraphrasing and asking questions to clarify can all show you are paying attention.

Keep an eye on your body language - your body language can say as much as your words, if not more. For example, fidgeting and lack of eye contact may be a sign you aren’t paying attention, whilst crossed arms may suggest you feel defensive.

Think before you speak - it’s easy to say something we regret when we rush in. Taking a moment to think before you reply may help you collect your thoughts. A pause in the conversation isn’t something to be scared of - it can help you seem calmer and more in control.

Be clear - try to keep what you are saying as clear as possible. Making one point at a time will help you stay on track and avoid rambling.

Be assertive (not aggressive) - unlike aggression, being assertive is about being open and honest whilst respecting the views of others. Remember, your opinions and feelings are just as valid as anyone else’s.

Provide constructive feedback - if you are raising a concern, focus on how the issue affects you and try to avoid blanket statements about the other person (e.g. ‘when I didn’t receive a reply to the email I sent you last month regarding my mother’s care, I felt stressed and worried because I wasn’t sure what was happening’ rather than ‘you never reply to my emails.’

Keep it polite and respectful - a polite and respectful tone can help prevent a situation from escalating. If you are feeling stressed, don’t be afraid to ask to take a moment to collect yourself. 

Breaking down the barriers

As we all know, good communication isn’t always easy. Our Positive Communication Workshop equips carers with the knowledge and tools to understand the importance of good communication and how to avoid common pitfalls.

Topics covered in this interactive workshop include:

•             Recognising barriers to effective communication (and how to avoid them).

•             Exploring what we mean when we talk about Professional Listening Syndrome.

•             Identifying a range of techniques to engage people.

Want to know more?

The next Positive Communication Workshop is on Tuesday 19 September, 10am - 3pm. Sessions are open to carers in Croydon looking to develop their positive communication skills. Booking is essential - to book your free place, call 020 8649 6280 or email ruthlaws@carersinfo.org.uk.

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