As people we are like transmitters. We give out a variety of signals all the time to those around us. We also receive a range of signals from other people. Communication starts with an idea in the sender’s mind, who translates it into words and this becomes the message. The receiver then translates this back into an idea. When the receiver’s idea is the same as the sender’s, effective communication has taken place.
It is also possible to communicate an idea without using words. For example you can indicate direction by pointing.If you can learn how to become a better communicator then this will signifiacntly improve your effectiveness as an advice and guidance practitioner. For more information on advice and guidance courses and how to improve communication skills visit http://www.callofthewild.co.uk/
The 3 basic types of communication are: verbal, vocal and non-verbal
1. Vocal Communication For Advice & Guidance Practitioners
On our advice and guidance courses it is important to understand how to use vocal communication effectively. As well as sounding sincere and enthusiastic, it is important to consider the following aspects when communicating with customers.
Speaking too softly makes it difficult for a customer or a group to hear what you are saying. They will have to concentrate very hard to ask you to repeat your remarks. Speaking too loudly can also be off-putting. You may be perceived as strident
The speed of speech can have a large impact on understanding. Try to slow down if the point that you are making is complicated. Speeding up can generate a feeling of excitement.
Stressing a word achieves two ends. First it identifies the important word in a sentence and secondly it can change the meaning. A brief pause before or after an emphasised word gives it additional weight.
- No-one likes listening to someone who mumbles or is indistinct. One of the most common pronunciation faults is to omit a consonant. For example, pronouncing twenty as twenny.
Your voice may be naturally high pitched or low-pitched and people normally use a limited range of notes. Mostly you will use your normal pitch but occasionally it is helpful to change it. For example, lowering the pitch of your voice can help emphasise a point.
Variety in volume, pace and pitch adds interest to what you are saying and stop the listener getting bored. Remember that is very hard to concentrate on a monotonous voice.
2. Non-Verbal Communication
Whenever you are dealing with a client/customer as an advice and guidance practitioner both of you will be sending and receiving lots of signals and messages about how you are feeling, what you think of the other person and what result you want to achieve. To arrive at a successful outcome, it is vital for you to interpret all those signals or messages and for the client/customer to understand fully what you have said. Our body language is a powerful means of communicating which can either set up non-verbal barriers or aid understanding.
Body Language barriers to Communication
- -Avoiding eye contact or turning your back
- -Frowning, glaring or looking bored
- -Folding your arms, fidgeting and leaning away
- -Pointing at someone
- - Concentrating on a computer screen rather than on a customer
Aid to Effective Communication
- -Presenting a welcoming appearance
- -Watching for non-verbal clues
- -Looking alert and interested
- - Maintaining eye contact
- - Leaning slightly towards the person
- -Using appropriate gestures
- - Smiling
Visit the Call of the Wild website for more information on advice and guidance courses and how to improve your communication skills - http://www.callofthewild.co.uk/