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Many Factors That Affect Communication Social Work Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 4689 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Interpersonal skills, majority of the managers chose interpersonal skills as their greatest strength. Managers must have a good communication skill in dealing with their stakeholders. In Catherine Lodge, our manager has effective communication skills in dealing with the entire situation with regards to resident’s needs if it is being met, staff, and resident’s families.

A good company wouldn’t have a very strong foundation without a team that helps in problem-solving. Care workers must be careful in recognising a problem by assessment, know the possible cause and effect, and plan for the procedure thoroughly. Team work will set in, as the person who recognises the problem will report to the team, to assess, collect all the data, and to plan the best action. Communication is still there as they are following a process of solving a problem, and in decision-making. (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2629217?uid=3738032&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101226337883)

The aim of the policy is to ensure that the effective channels of communication are established, supported and maintained. It believes that the communication of good information promotes quality care, offers client’s assistance in making informed choices and plays a vital role in motivating and supporting staff.

•To enable us to fulfil our statutory responsibilities to provide information.

• To communicate effectively with staff about ongoing issues, policies and procedures.

• To provide opportunities to consult with staff and for them to express their

Views and offer ideas and suggestions.

• To communicate effectively with client’s and their representatives.

• To promote the quality of service that we provide to our clients.

Technology is moving so fast nowadays that we have many electronic aids to help us communicate. For example, smart phones can used to make calls, send text messages and emails; can used to make video call where you can see the person on the other line, can leave a voice message if it’s not available.

There are many factors that affect communication. They are:

• Sensory deprivation – when someone cannot receive or pass information because of visual and hearing disabilities.

• Foreign language – when someone has different accent, different pronunciations, and/or uses sign language that the other person does not speak, or understand.

• Jargon – Using of medical terminology to a patients, service users, and family members that they may not understand, it is better to explain things according to the level of their understanding because understanding the facts can make something appear less scary.

• Slang – when a care worker uses a language that is not everyone uses, or familiar with.

Cultural differences – there are some things that has the same meaning but could mean different in two cultures. For example, keeping an eye contact whilst communicating is seen as being respectful, and being truthful, but for some culture like in East Asia for them it is a sign of being rude and defiant.

• Distress – everyone can experience distress, this can be difficult for them to clearly understand what is being said due to lack of focus.

• Emotional difficulties – every one of us has emotional difficulties at times and can make us upset. The negative effect is not to hear or understand clearly what the other person is is telling you and can lead to misunderstanding.

• Health issues – when the person is ill, he/she cannot be an effective communicator, especially service users that suffering from Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis affect an individual’s ability to communicate properly, care worker should be trained and aware on how to work with these people.

Communication Audit it is a method use to identify the Strengths and Weakness of your current and external communications.

Organisations recognise the benefit of keeping their customers, clients, investors, partners and/or members aware of happening with in their organisation. The techniques they choose are varied, ranging from the “tried and true “e.g. e-mailings, and website postings, variant of high technology tools. Placing a suggestions box at the front door gives the resident’s family to write their comments and suggestions anonymously or they can name their names, and/or they can even go straight to the managers, seniors for their comments. Making quarter year survey that requires family member of clients to answer a questionnaire, and they are free to add their comments.

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When Stakeholders reach out: developing and implementing a promotion plan We go into developing a promotion plan. We offer steps and examples. From there we look at what a communication plan entails. Emerging from this we look at relating to the media. We highlight the importance of identifying key messages and who your target audience is for different promotion work. Finally, we offer lots of suggestions for nervous speechmakers.

Promoting your organisation: when people reach in: A large part of an organisation’s work happens through telephone contact and with visitors coming to your office. If you put people off with a negative attitude when people phone in or visit, you will probably end up having an organisational image not to your liking. So, we look at promoting your organisation’s image in this context. We give ideas about your reception area, how you receive people, handling phone calls and e-mails. And we end off looking at how you can monitor and evaluate your organisat ion.

Task 2 – Report

Catherine Lodge is a residential care home that aims to provide continuous professional care to all its residents within a safe, friendly and relaxed environment. It caters up to 39 elderly residents providing each individual with a personal form of service derived from a carefully formulated care plan that meets their needs. This is provided both in short and long term basis depending on each individual. Since each resident has specific needs that range from physical, psychological, social or spiritual needs on a 24 hour basis it requires a certain level of personnel to facilitate this.

“Show me the money!” Well, that’s what financial data do. They show you the money. They show you where a company’s money came from, where it went, and where it is now.

There are four main financial data. They are: (1) balance sheets; (2) income statements; (3) cash flow statements; and (4) statements of shareholders’ equity. Balance sheets show what a company owns and what it owes at a fixed point in time. Income statements show how much money a company made and spent over a period of time. Cash flow statements show the exchange of money between a company and the outside world also over a period of time. The fourth financial statement, called a “statement of shareholders’ equity,” shows changes in the interests of the company’s shareholders over time.

A balance sheet provides detailed information of company’s asset, liabilities and shareholders’ equity.

Assets are things that company owns that have value. They can either be sold or used by the company to provide services that can also be sold. It also includes physical property of the residents that can/can’t be touched but nevertheless exist and have value.

Liabilities are amounts of money that a company owes to others e.g. all kinds of obligations like borrowed money from a bank, payroll a company owes to its employees, environmental costs, taxes owed, and obligations to provide good quality of services.

Shareholders’ equity or capital

Income statements is a report that shows how much revenue a company earned over a specific period, it also shows the company’s net earnings and losses.

Cash flow statement report a company’s inflows and outflows of cash. This is important because a company needs to have enough cash on hand to pay its expenses and purchase assets. While an income statement can tell you whether a company made a profit, a cash flow statement can tell you whether the company generated cash. It shows the net increase or decrease in cash for a period.

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In Residential home, we have enough staff to work in the morning, in the afternoon and at night. We have a monthly staff meeting to raise our concern at work, problems with our colleagues, and suggestions on resident/s care plan, and we also have a separate Senior Carers meeting, the Manager/Owner and the Deputy Manager always presents the Carers the needs of good communication, and team work. We have supervision every 3 months, the manager is giving feedback to identify our strengths and weaknesses, and if they think the staff needs to be trained, and appraisal every 6 months in which we rate ourselves, and the Deputy Manager is rating the staff as well in our performance, we can voice out our own opinion, about the job, colleagues and if we are getting support from the Managers. The company also provided us mandatory training, manuals, booklets, presentation from the lecturer and a questionnaire that we need to answer at the end of the training. Catherine Lodge has a seasonal newsletter where they introduce new staff member, residents who celebrated their birthday, and about the achievements of the company.

A good communication skill is very important, specially working in care settings. Working with vulnerable adults requires more understanding, must have different techniques and strategies use in supporting communication between the individual with specific communication needs. Good communication with vulnerable adult is essential. This includes identifying behaviour triggers, by means of visual prompts and speaking in short, clear sentences. I considered that the social workers used verbal and non-verbal forms of communications and applied the principles of active listening. Some people with disabilities are not able to use speech as their principle means of communication. They may however be able to use an alternative method of communication such as symbols and symbolic languages. It is vital to recognise that symbols are different from pictures. Pictures generally convey a lot of information at once but their focus is often unclear. Symbols, on the other hand, are often designed to convey a particular meaning. Symbols or symbolic languages can be applied to signify many aspects of verbal communication. Symbols can be presented through visual, auditory and/or tactile media and can take the form of gestures, photos, manual signs, printed words, objects, ‘reproduced’ spoken words or Braille. Symbols help understanding which can increase involvement, choice and confidence. It helps support creativity and self expressions. Using mobile phones at work is strictly prohibited, as it may interfere in whatever the carer is doing or it may cause accident e.g if the Carer is feeding, doing morning care. Some residents may have challenging behaviour that sometimes affects the carer itself, they best react in a calm, quiet environment, Carer must consider the Residents preference, cultural difference, language and environment, assumptions, judging, noise, and distraction.

The use of technology helps the care workers by having an easy access by just typing the resident’s name all his/her information daily report will come out in one click, comparison graph of residential’s weight incomparable from past to present will easily available in one click, not unlike if it is just written and filled you have to search for it and check the book where you filed it. Make work a lot easy, report will neat and tidy, because it is easy to edit if you accidentally misspelled.

Disadvantage of it is if the computer got virus and/or the system got hacked all the information will wipe out, that will give an extra work for the manager, care workers, and andmin.

Code of Practice sets out the minimum standards and guidelines for hygiene, fire building safety, and the level of care required , which aims at ensuring that residents in the homes receive services of acceptable standards that are of benefit to them physically, emotionally and socially. (http://www.swd.gov.hk/doc/downsecdoc/code_rchpd.pdf)I will assess the workplace strategies, policies and procedures that should be in place to ensure good practice in relation to all forms of communication in health and social care setting. The health and social care industry mainly focuses on the heart of care. Since it involves people, communication takes a very important role. Effective communication is not only significant to the health care professionals in ensuring the improvement of clients’ quality of life by addressing their needs. It is also the client’s and support systems’ right in the promotion of their equality and diversity as people.

Workplace strategies, policies, and procedures for good practice in communication focus on ensuring privacy, and confidentiality, disclosure, protection of individuals, rights and responsibilities, and equal opportunities. Moreover, a practice on disciplinary procedures, complaints policy, and flexible working also benefit the entire health care team. If all these flow efficiently, there will be no hindrance in the system of communication. For example, one of our residents had a GP appointment and I escorted her. When we arrived in the GP surgery, the receptionist asks the residents loudly for the reason that I am in the GP surgery in which other patients can hear, there is a break in the policy of ensuring privacy. Whenever I start expressing my concerns at her pace, then I will definitely not have my privacy. It establishes a barrier between us personally and professionally. As a patient, I might start complaining with regards to her action.

Effective communication is a key factor in success may it be in work or association. It is always a part of personal and professional progress. Therefore, to master communication skills and techniques is a very important area to develop in each individual. In the given scenario its implication is to render a quality health care service which benefits the service providers and the service users.

Data Protection is designed for person responsible for safeguarding the confidentiality of information and of the person giving his or her own information. One of its purposes is to safeguard “the fundamental rights of individuals”.

This act governs the right storage and processing of personal data held in manual records and on computers. Under this act, the rights of the individual are protected by forcing organisations to follow proper and sound practices, known as data principles (DPP). Reporting and recording of information is a vital form of communication needed to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults. Parts of a carer’s daily routine should include making notes in a care file, as well as using communication books, forms and documents. Make sure that the writing is legible and clear, that is signed and dated, and that where necessary copies are made.


Health and Safety inspections are an important monitoring tool to help ensure that workplace hazards are controlled and that risk to employees and others are eliminated or minimised. Inspections should be carried out regularly. Carers must inspect the equipment/s before using it, report and record all faulty equipment/s to the Manager e.g. heating, lightning, and ventilation. Charter is for anyone who has dealings with the Department of Health whether through correspondence, involvement in public policy consultations or if for any other reason we hold personal information about the resident.

Communication and listening gives clues to a better understanding of an individual’s preferences and wishes. Gathering information about an individual will lead to creative and supportive ways of providing care. Carers must exercised active listening and having the ability to empathise with the residents by paraphrasing what the others saying to her and understand it. So that, she will increased the trust and gain more information from the individuals. Communication itself is influenced by individual’s values and culture. Carers should always make sure of eye contact; focus on what they are saying and acknowledged what is being said to her by paraphrasing or nodding her head. Carers must also use different technique to enhance their social culture, beliefs and values. Like for instances, I usually greets and chat with the individuals by smiling , Carers must apply the sense of touch in her communication. I believes that by means of touch can be a very positive form of communication in that it can provide comfort and re-assurance when someone is distressed making them feel safe and secure, it can also be a signed of love, respect and affection to somebody or it may calm someone who is agitated. In this case carers show that they met the desires of the human beings to their client which are love, purpose and self expression.

Carers should be warm and caring in nature and she has the ability to connect well with others. Fine qualities and having a good communication skill plays important role in the delivery of care in whatever ethnicity, sex, education or social care they may be.

Saving face is saving your credibility, dignity and ethics by means of being honest, getting out of the situation by means of good explanation.

Theories of Organisational communication

Attraction- selection attrition framework; In Attraction, everyone is different, people are differently attracted to a career for different reasons, this could be their passion, helping and/or looking after people could make them happy and fulfilled, even if they just want to try different job, and this is depending on their personality to choose the organization they want. In Selection, in organization the Manager chooses who she thinks will qualified for the job, with the same interest, goals, and personal reasons. Attrition, this is the complete opposite of attraction, where the people who didn’t qualify, or found that they are not happy with the organization, management, job tend to leave, only those people who have the same ideas, interest, fits in the job chose to stay. A very good example is in the residential home I used to work, I’d chose that residential home to apply because of a good reputation. The manager hired me because she thinks have got the qualification they are looking for, and I can contribute to the organization. I and the other lady started working as a Induction carer, 3 days after the manager talked to me, and told me my colleagues are happy working with me and I can start working as a regular carer, working on my own. The sad part was, the new lady didn’t appear two days after.


There are many types of organizational communication. Individuals communicate with peers, superiors, and subordinates within the organization. Managers manage through communication. Employee communication departments attempt to inform and/or secure “cooperation”; from employees. Labour relations specialists deal with labour unions. Formal and informal communication takes place between departments and role occupants throughout the organization. Public relations specialists communicate to external audiences about the organization in general,and advertising departments communicate to consumers about the organization’s products and services. Change agents; and other organizational representatives communicate with clients and community representatives. Finally, organizations communicate with other organizations which generally share common problems or values. In groupthink or team work, a manager or team leader should be sensitive, open to accept suggestions from your subordinates in order to meet the target goal. Working in groups are building blocks for meeting organization goals.  Managers should also consider ways to develop leadership in team members.  Training for versatility in leadership styles through workshops could encourage this growth.  Encouraging self-growth through concept of motivation.

It is very important to have an effective communication at shift turnover; Care workers should give this a high priority. Shift turnover should be included in the safety-critical topics supervised and audited periodically by management. They should identify its importance in policy and procedures, assign responsibilities and set minimum standards. A description of how to conduct an effective handover should be available so individuals can assess and improve their own practice. High risk handovers needing extra attention should be flagged up.

The importance of effective communication skills during shift handover and throughout other work activities suggests this attribute should be amongst the selection criteria for key posts. Furthermore, opportunities should be available for existing staff to develop their communication skills if required.

To be able to motivate a care worker is to identify his strengths and weaknesses, and by giving him feedback. Being open to accept negative feedback is the key for being productive by improving, and being eager to learn, and update skills. Team work and good communication with one another will make each other’s work easy.

Task 3 – Interpersonal communication

How the use of ICT in health and social care benefits service users? The Information Communication Technology aims to the efficiency of the health care services. This means to b a better outcome for the same or a lesser use of resources. ICT also helps and empowers the health and social care staff, it improves positive patient’s experiences and facilities research and development relevant to health and social care, the legal consideration in the use of ICT is the Health and Safety. How the ICT supports and enhances the activities of care workers and care organisations? As aforementioned, the ICT supports and enhances health and social care activities of care workers and care organisations. It is through administrative, financial, clinical, infrastructure applications, etc. That the needs of staff are met; and there is a high regard innovation in business administration, efficiency and quality of service. It also helps in meeting requirement of other agencies, accountability, and audit. For example, the use of a computer screen is an indication of a patient’s arrival makes the work of the receptionist lighter and easier. Imagine if there was no such thing then the receptionist will have to entertain every person coming in a queue. She will not have enough have time to do other things.

Working with vulnerable adult, Professionals must shows different techniques and strategies used in supporting communication between the individual with specific communication needs. Good communication with people with vulnerable adult is essential. This includes identifying behaviour triggers, by means of visual prompts and speaking in short, clear sentences. I considered that the carers must use verbal and non-verbal forms of communications and applied the principles of active listening. Some people with disabilities are not able to use speech as their principle means of communication. They may however be able to use an alternative method of communication such as symbols and body language. It is vital to recognise that symbols are different from pictures. Pictures generally convey a lot of information at once but their focus is often unclear. Symbols, on the other hand, are often designed to convey a particular meaning. Symbols or body language can be applied to signify many aspects of verbal communication. Symbols can be presented through visual, auditory and/or tactile media and can take the form of gestures, photos, manual signs, printed words, objects, ‘reproduced’ spoken words or Braille. Symbols help understanding which can increase involvement, choice and confidence; it helps support creativity and self expressions.

Theories of Interpersonal Communication

Uncertainty reduction model People have an urge or need to reduce uncertainty about individuals that they find attractive and this motivates them to communicate In Social network theory closeness develops if people proceed in gradual and orderly fashion from superficial to more intimate levels of exchange. People consciously and deliberately weigh the costs and rewards associated with a relationship and seek relationships that reward them and avoid those that are costly. People connect with others because they believe that rewards or positive outcomes will result. Expectancy value model People believe according to their expectations, and evaluation. The behaviours they perform in response to their beliefs and values are undertaken to achieve some end. However, although expectancy-value theory can be used to explain central concepts in uses and gratifications research, there are other factors that influence the process. Attribution theory is significantly driven by motivational drives, looking at how the person constructs the meaning of an event based on the person’s motives to find cause on person’s surroundings.

Personal development planning is the lifelong process of nurturing, shaping, and updating person’s knowledge. It is about allowing individuals to improve and develop in line with the industry in which they engage or aspire to engage. It is about widening or broadening their knowledge and skills in order that they will continue to have a place in the flatter structures of today’s organisations.

The benefits of personal development planning are that it provides a schedule to work to motivate the individual and suggests a framework for monitoring and evaluating achievements. A good example is If you are currently working as a first line manager or senior administrator and aspire to the position of your manager, you may need to acquire new skills or develop your lower level skills to a higher level in, for example, budgeting, managing people, performance review, report writing and chairing meetings. You would need to planhow you are going to acquire these skills and over what time frame. Personal development planning can also be the basis for: Assessing where you want to be and how you can get there ,keeping skills up-to-date through meetings, trainings, reading the record book of the residents, updating it via computer, particularly in IT and technical areas, Continuous learning, gaining satisfaction from achievements through feedback from colleagues and management whether it is formal or informal, Building up transferable skills, such as time management, adaptability to change, self-awareness, and supporting future employability. You have to set yourself a SMART objective; they must be attainable, viable and realistic time-frame.

A good example of SMART objective is;

Within the next 12 months (time-bound), I will devise and implement a system (specific) which will enable the team to communicate more effectively with each other (achievable and realistic) through monthly group meetings and three-monthly one-to-one meetings (measurable).


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