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Reflecting On Good Communication

All of us have our own style of communication. Here we discuss how to support your client in communicating effectively.
Two people sat talking whilst the sun sets
All of us have our own style
 of communication. The most important thing is that you can help your client to build on what works best for her. One good place to start is to ask her to think of things that she has done that have worked well in the past. Ask questions like:

  • Can you think back to times in the past that you have communicated well?

If your client struggles to think of something, perhaps looks to former roles in employment, with friends etc. It does not necessarily have to be with her partner or family.

  • What were the things you did that helped you communicate well?

If she cannot think of what it was that helped her specifically, ask her to think about what good communication looks like for her and describe that.

  • Can you think of ways that other people have communicated well that might work for you?

Can she think of specific things they do? It might also help to observe them over the next week if she is able to.

Sometimes it’s not just what you communicate that’s important, but also when (for example, a quieter or less rushed time).

Try and think of some circumstances that provide opportunities for good communication.

Be realistic – it might be difficult to find these times with a baby.

Thinking about the 4 W’s:

  • What;

  • Where;

  • When;

  • With whom

before your client goes to speak to someone can help set her up for successful communication.

© University of Exeter
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