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Communicating effectively

Effective communication includes being mindful of your potential communication barriers which may impact on the conversation. When working with the child or young person:

  • Listen carefully to what is being said.
  • Be aware of information that is shared through non verbal communication methods such as body language and eye contact. Remember to include this in your note taking.
  • Avoid expectations and prejudices which may lead to false assumptions or stereotyping. Ensure you suspend judgement and avoid any pre-conceived views.
  • Respect differences in perceptions and viewpoint.
  • Ensure you use language that is suitable and familiar to the child or young person. This includes being aware of differences in terminology, word meaning and accents.
  • Remain impartial on topics that may be regarded as ‘off-limits’ or taboo e.g. politics, religion, disabilities (mental and physical), sexuality and sex, racism.
  • Give the child or young person your full attention and show interest in what they are communicating. Avoid being distracted or rushed.
  • Recognise the child or young person’s communication behaviours. Not all children use oral language, their ‘voice’ may feature multiple modalities or behaviours.
  • Be aware of physical disabilities e.g. hearing problems, speech difficulties that may impact on the conversation.

Last updated 21 September 2020

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