Communication skills are valuable. A positive (or negative) interaction can have a powerful impact on your workforce, so it’s critical to hone the art of effective and respectful communication among your colleagues. This is a fundamental piece of maintaining a safe, productive and considerate work space where all employees are able to understand and feel understood.
At AHCS, our focus is always compassionate care and a respect-first approach. Considering our role as a nurse staffing agency, nothing could be more crucial than proper communication. By implementing effective communication practices, we can all improve our understanding of one another and become much better empathizers.
Let’s dig in…
Fundamentals of Communication
When discussing communication specifically within a culturally diverse workplace, it’s important to cover the basics. Getting your message across in a respectful manner is the objective – so with that in mind, keep your message clear and concise. Avoid colloquial expressions and slang, as this might not resonate or be familiar language to your audience – for example, “that’s par for the course” might be confusing to the listener. Instead, use language like “that’s generally what is expected”.
Understand That Communication is Nuanced
There is much more to communication than what you say – how you choose to say it can make all the difference. Be aware of your tone as well as undertones in your choice of words. If you feel that something you’ve said might be misconstrued, address these concerns right out of the gate. As well, allow yourself to reflect on your intended message before you speak. Taking this moment to pause can save time and avoid potentially sending the wrong message.
To that end, take note of body language – both yours and your listener. This can tell you a lot about how your message is being received and allow you to address or clear up potential misunderstandings. Learning about and practicing non-verbal forms of communication can bridge language barriers and allow your audience to feel seen and heard. As well, be sure to recognize that not everyone appreciates certain forms of non-verbal communication, such as handshakes or hugs. Whether this relates to cultural differences, or simply a discomfort around physical-based greetings, etc., always be respectful of someone else’s space, and don’t assume that what’s okay with you is necessarily okay with them.
Paraphrasing and reflective listening can be incredibly useful in a conversation. For example, if your colleague is trying to explain an idea to you regarding client care, repeat what you’ve heard back to them in simple terms, such as “I’m understanding that you would like to try implementing ________ in an effort to improve client care. Is that correct?” This shows that you’re engaged in the conversation. It also instills confidence and respect into the interaction and allows both parties to feel heard and understood.
Practice Openness and Inclusivity in All Communications
Keep making strong efforts to reinforce an open mind and an inclusive attitude. Treat everyone with the same level of respect and always give what you would like to receive.
On behalf of all of us at Advanced Home Care Solutions, we hope that you take away from this blog the value of prioritizing healthy communication strategies for a happier, stronger workforce. Thanks for reading!