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COMMUNICATE AND WORK IN HEALTH

CHCCOM005

COMMUNICATE AND WORK IN HEALTH OR COMMUNITY SERVICES

 

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LEARNER RESOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 1 CHCCOM005 – Communicate and work in health or community services Version 1.1

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T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S

TABLE OF CONTENTS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1

UNIT INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 ABOUT ASSESSMENT ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

ELEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE CRITERIA …………………………………………………………………………………………. 7

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE AND KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE ……………………………………………………………………… 9

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

ASSESSMENT CONDITIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12

PRE-REQUISITES …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12

TOPIC 1 – COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH PEOPLE ………………………………………………………………………. 13

USE VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION TO ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING AND DEMONSTRATE

RESPECT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

WHAT IS COMMUNICATION? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13 VERBAL COMMUNICATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14 NON-VERBAL ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15

COMMUNICATE SERVICE INFORMATION IN A MANNER THAT IS CLEAR AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD ………….. 17

CONSISTENCY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17 CLEAR DIRECTION ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17 ACCOUNTABILITY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 18 CULTURE …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 18

CONFIRM THE PERSON’S UNDERSTANDING AND LISTEN TO REQUESTS, CLARIFY MEANING AND RESPOND

APPROPRIATELY ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 19

CLARIFYING AND CLARIFICATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19 CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19 OPEN QUESTIONS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20 CLOSED QUESTIONS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20 REFLECTING AND SUMMARISING ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20 WHAT IS REFLECTING? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 22 WHAT IS SUMMARISING? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22

EXCHANGE INFORMATION CLEARLY IN A TIMELY MANNER AND WITHIN CONFIDENTIALITY PROCEDURES … 23

TOPIC 2 – COLLABORATE WITH COLLEAGUES ……………………………………………………………………………………. 25

COLLABORATION OR CONFRONTATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25

LISTEN TO, CLARIFY AND AGREE TIMEFRAMES FOR CARRYING OUT WORKPLACE INSTRUCTIONS …………….. 25

IDENTIFY LINES OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ORGANISATION AND OTHER SERVICES ………………………… 27

MAINTAIN ACTIVE PARTICIPATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 27 FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 29 COMMUNICATING CONFIDENTLY……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 29

USE INDUSTRY TERMINOLOGY CORRECTLY IN VERBAL, WRITTEN AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS ………… 30

USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN VERBAL, COMMUNICATIONS…………………………………………………………….. 30

 

 

 

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USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN WRITTEN OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATION ………………………………………………. 30 COMPLETING DOCUMENTS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 30

FOLLOW COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS THAT APPLY TO INTERACTIONS WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND LINES

OF AUTHORITY…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31

COMMUNICATION HIERARCHY ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 31

TOPIC 3 – ADDRESS CONSTRAINTS TO COMMUNICATION ………………………………………………………………….. 33

IDENTIFY EARLY SIGNS OF POTENTIALLY COMPLICATED OR DIFFICULT SITUATIONS AND REPORT ACCORDING

TO ORGANISATION PROCEDURES …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 33

RESOLVE CONFLICT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34

IDENTIFY ACTUAL CONSTRAINTS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND RESOLVE USING APPROPRIATE

COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES ……………………………………………………………………………. 36

USE COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO AVOID, DEFUSE AND RESOLVE CONFLICT SITUATIONS ……………………….. 38

CONFLICT AND PROBLEM-SOLVING IN THE WORKPLACE ……………………………………………………………………………………. 38

TOPIC 4 – REPORT PROBLEMS TO SUPERVISOR ………………………………………………………………………………… 40

COMPLY WITH LEGAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND DISCUSS DIFFICULTIES WITH SUPERVISOR AND

REFER UNRESOLVED CONFLICT SITUATIONS TO SUPERVISOR ……………………………………………………………… 40

REFER ANY BREACH OR NON-ADHERENCE TO STANDARD PROCEDURES OR ADVERSE EVENT TO

APPROPRIATE PEOPLE AND REFER ISSUES IMPACTING ON ACHIEVEMENT OF EMPLOYEE, EMPLOYER AND/OR

CLIENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 42

BREACH OF STANDARD PROCEDURES …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42 ISSUES IMPACTING EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYER ACHIEVEMENT …………………………………………………………………………………. 43 KNOW HOW TO ADDRESS DILEMMAS THAT MAY ARISE BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS AND THE DUTY OF CARE ………………. 43

TOPIC 5 – COMPLETE WORKPLACE CORRESPONDENCE AND DOCUMENTATION ……………………………………. 45

READ WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS RELATING TO ROLE AND CLARIFY UNDERSTANDING WITH SUPERVISOR … 45

AWARDS AND AGREEMENTS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 46 DEFINITIONS …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 47

Awards …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 47 Agreements ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 47

COMPLETE DOCUMENTATION ACCORDING TO LEGAL REQUIREMENT AND ORGANISATION PROCEDURES

AND COMPLETE WRITTEN AND ELECTRONIC WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS TO ORGANISATION STANDARDS AND

USE CLEAR, ACCURATE AND OBJECTIVE LANGUAGE WHEN DOCUMENTING EVENTS ………………………………. 49

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES GUIDE YOUR WORK …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51

FOLLOW ORGANISATION COMMUNICATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR USING DIGITAL MEDIA …….. 53

TOPIC 6 – CONTRIBUTE TO CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT ………………………………………………………………….. 54

CONTRIBUTE TO IDENTIFYING AND VOICING IMPROVEMENTS IN WORK PRACTICES ……………………………… 54

WHAT IS ‘CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT’? ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 54 Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) ………………………………………………………………………………………… 54

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM) …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 55 The essential components of TQM – Commitment and Leadership …………………………………………………… 56 The building blocks of TQM: processes, people, management systems and performance measurement .. 57

PRINCIPLES OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 57 The Continuous Improvement Process ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 58 Five ways to continuously improve ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 58

 

 

 

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PROMOTE AND MODEL CHANGES TO IMPROVED WORK PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES IN ACCORDANCE

WITH ORGANISATION REQUIREMENTS……………………………………………………………………………………………. 60

SEEK FEEDBACK AND ADVICE FROM APPROPRIATE PEOPLE ON AREAS FOR SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE

DEVELOPMENT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 61

CONSULT WITH MANAGER REGARDING OPTIONS FOR ACCESSING SKILL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND

INITIATE ACTION ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 64

TOPIC 7 – FURTHER INFORMATION …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 65

CONFIDENTIALITY, PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE …………………………………………………………………………………. 65

WHAT IS CONFIDENTIALITY ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 65

DISCRIMINATION …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 67

INTERVENTION AND CHILD PROTECTION …………………………………………………………………………………………. 68

WORK ROLE BOUNDARIES …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 70

TRANSLATION/INTERPRETERS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 71

INFORMED CONSENT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73

DIGITAL MEDIA AND USE ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 73

SUMMARY ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74

REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Enhance Your Future Pty Ltd 4 CHCCOM005 – Communicate and work in health or community services Version 1.1

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U N I T I N T R O D U C T I O N

This resource covers the unit CHCCOM005 – Communicate and work in health or community services.

 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, management and other industry providers.

 

This unit applies to a range of health and community service contexts where workers may communicate face-to-face, in writing or using digital media and work with limited responsibility under direct or indirect supervision.

 

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

 

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

This resource brings together information to develop your knowledge about this unit. The information is designed to reflect the requirements of the unit and uses headings to makes it easier to follow.

 

Read through this resource to develop your knowledge in preparation for your assessment. You will be required to complete the assessment tools that are included in your program. At the back of the resource are a list of references you may find useful to review.

 

As a student it is important to extend your learning and to search out text books, internet sites, talk to people at work and read newspaper articles and journals which can provide additional learning material.

 

Your trainer may include additional information and provide activities. Slide presentations and assessments in class to support your learning.

 

 

 

 

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ABOUT ASSESSMENT

Throughout your training we are committed to your learning by providing a training and assessment framework that ensures the knowledge gained through training is translated into practical on the job improvements.

 

You are going to be assessed for:

 Your skills and knowledge using written and observation activities that apply

to your workplace.

 Your ability to apply your learning.

 Your ability to recognise common principles and actively use these on the job.

 

You will receive an overall result of Competent or Not Yet Competent for the assessment of this unit. The assessment is a competency based assessment, which has no pass or fail. You are either competent or not yet competent. Not Yet Competent means that you still are in the process of understanding and acquiring the skills and knowledge required to be marked competent. The assessment process is made up of a number of assessment methods. You are required to achieve a satisfactory result in each of these to be deemed competent overall.

 

All of your assessment and training is provided as a positive learning tool. Your assessor will guide your learning and provide feedback on your responses to the assessment. For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, a range of assessment methods will be used to assess practical skills and knowledge.

 

Your assessment may be conducted through a combination of the following methods:

 Written Activity

 Case Study

 Observation

 Questions

 Third Party Report

 

The assessment tool for this unit should be completed within the specified time period following the delivery of the unit. If you feel you are not yet ready for assessment, discuss this with your trainer and assessor.

 

 

 

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To be successful in this unit you will need to relate your learning to your workplace. You may be required to demonstrate your skills and be observed by your assessor in your workplace environment. Some units provide for a simulated work environment and your trainer and assessor will outline the requirements in these instances.

 

 

 

 

 

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E L E M E N T S A N D P E R F O R M A NC E C R I T E R I A

1. Communicate effectively with people

1.1 Use verbal and non-verbal communication to enhance understanding and demonstrate respect

1.2 Communicate service information in a manner that is clear and easily understood

1.3 Confirm the person’s understanding

1.4 Listen to requests, clarify meaning and respond appropriately

1.5 Exchange information clearly in a timely manner and within confidentiality procedures

2. Collaborate with colleagues 2.1 Listen to, clarify and agree timeframes for carrying out workplace instructions

2.2 Identify lines of communication between organisation and other services

2.3 Use industry terminology correctly in verbal, written and digital communications

2.4 Follow communication protocols that apply to interactions with different people and lines of authority

3. Address constraints to communication

3.1 Identify early signs of potentially complicated or difficult situations and report according to organisation procedures

3.2 Identify actual constraints to effective communication and resolve using appropriate communication strategies and techniques

3.3 Use communication skills to avoid, defuse and resolve conflict situations

4. Report problems to supervisor

4.1 Comply with legal and ethical responsibilities and discuss difficulties with supervisor

4.2 Refer any breach or non adherence to standard procedures or adverse event to appropriate people

4.3 Refer issues impacting on achievement of employee, employer and/or client rights and responsibilities

 

 

 

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4.4 Refer unresolved conflict situations to supervisor

5. Complete workplace correspondence and documentation

5.1 Complete documentation according to legal requirement and organisation procedures

5.2 Read workplace documents relating to role and clarify understanding with supervisor

5.3 Complete written and electronic workplace documents to organisation standards

5.4 Follow organisation communication policies and procedures for using digital media

5.5 Use clear, accurate and objective language when documenting events

6. Contribute to continuous improvement

6.1 Contribute to identifying and voicing improvements in work practices

6.2 Promote and model changes to improved work practices and procedures in accordance with organisation requirements

6.3 Seek feedback and advice from appropriate people on areas for skill and knowledge development

6.4 Consult with manager regarding options for accessing skill development opportunities and initiate action

 

 

 

 

 

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P E R F O R M A N C E E V I D E N C E A N D K N O W L E D G E E V I D E N C E

This describes the essential knowledge and skills and their level required for this unit.

 

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE

The candidate must show evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the job role. There must be evidence that the candidate has:

 Demonstrated effective communication skills in 3 different work situations

 Clarified workplace instructions and negotiated timeframes with 2 colleagues

 Responded appropriately to 3 different situations where communication

constraints were present

 Completed 2 written or electronic workplace documents to organisation

standards

 

KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the work role. This includes knowledge of:

 Legal and ethical considerations in relation to communication:

o Privacy, confidentiality and disclosure

o Discrimination

o Duty of care

o Mandatory reporting

o Translation

o Informed consent

o Work role boundaries – responsibilities and limitations

o Child protection across all health and community services contexts,

including duty of care when child is not the client, indicators of risk

and adult disclosure

 

 

 

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 Sources of information and the application of legal and ethical aspects of

health and community services work

 Ethical decision making and conflicts of interest

 Principles of effective communication, including models, modes and types

 Communication techniques:

o Open ended questions, affirmations, reflections and summaries

o Difference between motivational interviewing and coercive approach

o Difference between collaboration and confrontation

 Influences on communication:

o Language

o Culture

o Religion

o Emotional state

o Disability

o Health

o Age

 Potential constraints to effective communication in health and community

service contexts

 Health and community services industry terminology relating to role and

service provision

 Importance of grammar, speed and pronunciation for verbal communication

 When and how to use and recognise non-verbal communication

 Structure, function and interrelationships between different parts of the

health and community service system

 Organisation structure and different models to support optimum client

service:

o Principles underpinning person-centred service delivery

o Principles of rights-based service delivery

o Different roles and responsibilities of team

o Characteristics of multi-disciplinary teams and how they are used

o Relationships between different members of the health and

community services workforces

o Role of support services

 

 

 

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o Links and interrelationships with other services

o Funding environment

 Digital media and use in community services and health sector, including:

o Web

o Email

o Social media

o Podcast and videos

o Tablets and applications

o Newsletters and broadcasts

o Intranet

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A S S E S S M E N T C O N D I T I O N S

Skills must have been demonstrated in the workplace or in a simulated environment that reflects workplace conditions. Where simulation is used, it must reflect real working conditions by modelling industry operating conditions and contingencies, as well as, using suitable facilities, equipment and resources.

 

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015/AQTF mandatory competency requirements for assessors.

 

P R E – R E Q U I S I T E S

This unit must be assessed after the following pre-requisite unit:

There are no pre-requisites for this unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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T O P I C 1 – C O M M U N I C A T E E F F E C T I V E L Y W I T H P E O P L E

USE VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION TO ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING AND DEMONSTRATE RESPECT

Effective communication, skills are fundamental to success in many aspects of life. Many jobs require strong communication skills and socially, people with improved communication skills usually have better interpersonal relationships.

 

Effective verbal or spoken communication is dependent on a number of factors and cannot be fully isolated from other important interpersonal skills such as non-verbal communication, listening skills and clarification.

 

WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?

Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another.

 

Although this is a simple definition, when we think about how we may communicate the subject becomes a lot more complex. There are various categories of communication, and more than one may occur at any time. The different categories of communication are:

 Spoken or verbal communication

 Non-verbal communication

 Written communication

 Visualisations

 

Communication refers to the manner in which the meaning of a message is transmitted and received and includes:

 

Unaided communication such as:

 Natural gestures

 Facial expressions

 

 

 

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 Eye contact

 Vocalisation

 Key word signs – makaton vocabulary

 

Aided communication, where the person communicates using a communication aid (i.e. something other than their body) such as:

 Real objects

 Photographs

 Line drawings

 Communication aids such as ‘chat books’, personal communication dictionaries’, ‘books about me’ etc.

 Electronic devices with speech output

 

Part of what makes us human is the ability to communicate ideas to each other using words. For a client who does not have the ability to communicate their thoughts in this manner life can be a lonely and frustrating experience.

 

VERBAL COMMUNICATION

Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language, and speech. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and helps in expressing our emotions in words. This form of communication is further classified into four types, which are:

 Intrapersonal Communication – This form of communication is extremely

private and restricted to ourselves. It includes the silent conversations we

have with ourselves; wherein we juggle roles between the sender and

receiver who are processing our thoughts and actions. This process of

communication, when analysed, can either be conveyed verbally to someone

or stay confined as thoughts.

 Interpersonal Communication – This form of communication takes place

between two individuals and is thus a one-on-one conversation. Here, the two

individuals involved will swap their roles of sender and receiver in order to

communicate in a clearer manner.

 Small Group Communication – This type of communication can take place

only when there are more than two people involved. Here the number of

 

 

 

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people will be small enough to allow each participant to interact and converse

with the rest. Press conferences, board meetings, and team meetings are

examples of group communication. Unless a specific issue is being discussed,

small group discussions can become chaotic and difficult to interpret by

everybody. This lag in understanding information completely can result in

miscommunication.

 Public Communication – This type of communication takes place when one

individual addresses a large gathering of people. Election campaigns and

public speeches are an example of this type of communication. In such cases,

there is usually a single sender of information and several receivers who are

being addressed.

 

NON-VERBAL

Nonverbal communication manages to convey the sender’s message without having to use words.

 

This form of communication supercedes all other forms because of its usage and effectiveness. Nonverbal communication involves the use of physical ways of communication, such as tone of the voice, touch, and expressions.

 

Symbols and sign language are also included in nonverbal communication. Body posture and language convey a lot of nonverbal messages when communicating verbally with someone.

 

Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the defensive nonverbal signals conveyed by people. Shaking hands, patting and touching, express feelings of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Creative and aesthetic nonverbal forms of communication include music, dancing and sculpturing.

 

The way we communicate can play a major role in the success of our personal and professional relationships, and can significantly influence our ability to accomplish what we want and need, and achieve our potential.

 

 

 

 

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Words often play only a small part in the messages we communicate. Other factors, such as the way we present the words we use, our tone of our voice, and our body language – posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and personal presentation – all play a significant role in how we communicate. Of course, the way we communicate depends on who our audience is and what the context is. But whether chatting informally with friends or colleagues or participating in formal decision-making processes, how we communicate influences other people’s response to us, and the outcome.

 

Listening is just as important in the communication process as talking. Active listening is a way of listening that consciously focuses entirely on what the other person is saying, where the listener seeks to understand both the content of the message, and the emotions and feelings underlying the message. The listener is not required to agree with the speaker, just to try to understand what the speaker is saying. It’s important that the listener suspends their own opinions and judgement, to fully attend to the speaker. Active listening is particularly useful in situations where understanding is critical, in emotionally charged situations, and in resolving conflict.1

 

The way we communicate information should be based purely on the information that we have received from the client or the information that needs to be communicated. The mode of communication needs to suit the purpose and the context of the enquiry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 http://www.ywca-canberra.org.au/womens_leadership/effective_communication

 

 

 

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COMMUNICATE SERVICE INFORMATION IN A MANNER THAT IS CLEAR AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD

Implementing and practicing effective communication strategies for the workplace, across all levels of the organisation, aid in achieving greater input and results.

 

Communication strengths vary from person to person. It is important to consider guide employees on the communication methods inherent in the organisation’s culture. When employees are well informed, they can concentrate better on their tasks and business goals, incorporating elements of cooperation and collaboration into the work environment.

According to Insider’s Link to Productivity, there are four areas of focus that organisations can consider when building a communication culture:

 

CONSISTENCY

An organisation that has an established work environment with sound communication standards, policies, procedures and practices provides high levels of comforts to employees, stakeholders and clients.

 

Consistency helps employees to understand and appreciate their duties and responsibilities. Communication methods that are consistently practiced encourage employees to articulate their questions and ideas.

 

One tool that can help promote consistent communication is the Meeting Agenda.

 

CLEAR DIRECTION

Complete information is imperative in workplace communication. Information such as the current status of a project, for example; objectives, approach or method, resources or tools and persons in charge should be clearly communicated to all involved.

 

Knowing what direction to go and having a roadmap in the form of milestones will help in achieving goals.

 

 

 

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Using a Strategic Team Plan cascaded to each team member provides clarity and metrics around goals and empowers employees to start and finish projects with less rogue actions or procrastination.2

ACCOUNTABILITY

Practicing communication accountability fosters effective communication in the workplace. Cooperating to accept a portion of the responsibility for any communication breakdown at work allows co-workers to cultivate a high level of accountability with one another because they have the proper and correct information, for instance, knowing who is responsible for a specific project or task.

 

An important place in the organisation for the practice of accountability in communication is at the leadership level. The communication skills established and displayed by leadership sets the kind of communication practices that will be demonstrated by the workforce.

 

Implementing an Accountability Program standardises how everyone is held accountable for their goals including management and leadership.3

CULTURE

Employees are more engaged and participative when there is effective communication in the workplace. A healthy organisational culture is attained when coordination, fairness and respect are infused in the communication practices.

Effective communication offers many benefits such as productivity growth, decrease in employee turnover and increase in employee engagement. When building communication strategies into a corporate culture, develop communication methods and protocols that will best suit your organisation’s needs. This will allow you to achieve sustainable results that will yield long-term benefits for the organisation.

 

 

 

2 http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs030/1102470511648/archive/1105010205045.html (accessed 8 May 2015) 3 Ibid.

 

 

 

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CONFIRM THE PERSON’S UNDERSTANDING AND LISTEN TO REQUESTS, CLARIFY MEANING AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY

CLARIFYING AND CLARIFICATION

In communication, clarification involves offering back to the speaker the essential meaning, as understood by the listener, of what they have just said. Thereby checking that the listener’s understanding is correct and resolving any areas of confusion or misunderstanding.

Clarification is important in many situations especially when what is being communicated is difficult in some way. Communication can be ‘difficult’ for many reasons, perhaps sensitive emotions are being discussed – or you are listening to some complex information or following instructions. This page provides dialogue and examples of clarification and how you can use this simple technique to improve your communication skills.

The Purpose of Clarification is to:  Ensure that the listener’s understanding of what the speaker has said is correct.

 Reassure the speaker that the listener is genuinely interested in them and is

attempting to understand what they are saying

As an extension of reflecting, clarifying reassures the speaker that the listener is attempting to understand the messages they are expressing. Clarifying can involve asking questions or occasionally summarising what the speaker has said. A listener can ask for clarification when they cannot make sense of the speaker’s responses. Sometimes, the messages that a speaker is attempting to send can be highly complex, involving many different people, issues, places and/or times. Clarifying helps you to sort these out and also to check the speaker’s priorities. Through clarification it is possible for the speaker and the listener to make sense of these often confused and complex issues. Clarifying involves genuineness on the listener’s part and it shows speakers that the listener is interested in them and in what they have to say. 4

 

CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS

When you are the listener in a sensitive environment, the right sort of non-directive questioning can enable the speaker to describe their viewpoint more fully. Asking the right question at the right time can be crucial and comes with practice. The best questions are open-ended as they give the speaker choice in how to respond, whereas closed questions allow only very limited responses.

 

 

4 http://faudzil.blogspot.com/2013/11/communication-clarifying-and.html

 

 

 

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OPEN QUESTIONS

If your role is to assist a speaker to talk about an issue, often the most effective questioning starts with ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ or ‘why’. These questions encourage speakers to be open and expand on their thoughts. For example:

 “When did you first start feeling like this?”

 “Why do you feel this way?”

 

CLOSED QUESTIONS

Closed questions usually elicit a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response and do not encourage speakers to be open and expand on their thoughts. Such questions often begin with ‘did you?’ or ‘were you?’ For example:

 “Did you always feel like this?”

 “Were you aware of feeling this way?”

 

REFLECTING AND SUMMARISING

When we speak, we do not want to risk offending and alienating customers or colleagues by the words we use. Therefore, we need to:

 Speak clearly

 Avoid slang and jargon

 Develop our vocabulary

 Make the content appropriate and relevant

 Put the words in the correct context

 

Speak slowly and clearly Focus on clearly enunciating and slowing down your speech. Even if you’re pressured for time, don’t rush through your communication. Doing so often takes more time, as miscommunication and misunderstanding can result, and you’ll ultimately have to invest additional time in clearing up the confusion. Ask for clarification If you are not 100% sure you’ve understood what others say, politely ask for clarification. Avoid assuming you’ve understood what’s been said. Frequently check for understanding

 

 

 

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Check both that you’ve understood what’s been said and that others have fully understood you. Practice reflective listening to check your own understanding (e.g. ‘So what I hear you saying is…’) and use open-ended questions to check other people’s understanding. Ask, ‘what’s your understanding of this process?’ instead of ‘is that clear?’ Avoid idioms Business language is often contextual, and, therefore, culture specific. For example, in the US, baseball terms are used extensively: ‘Straight off the Bat,’ ‘Ballpark figures,’ ‘Out in left field,’ ‘Touch base,’ ‘Strike a deal’. As a good general rule, if the phrase requires knowledge of other information, be it a game or metaphor, recognize that this may make your communication more difficult to be understood. Be careful of jargon Watch the use of TLAs (Three Letter Abbreviations) and other organisational language that may not be understood by others. If you use them, provide in parentheses a description of what these are so others can learn to use the same language you do. Define the basics of business In international business contexts terms such as: ‘success’, ‘doneness’, ‘meetings’, ‘punctuality’, etc. may mean different things to different people. Spend time early in your communication defining what these mean to you and others. Invest in building a shared vocabulary. Be specific Spell out your expectations and deadlines clearly. Instead of, ‘Please get back to me shortly,’ say ‘Please email the completed report by 5 pm Eastern Standard time on Wednesday, February 21.’ Choose your medium of communication effectively Carefully choose your form of communication (phone or video conference, email, instant message, etc.). Be mindful not to ‘overuse’ email. While useful, there are times when the medium is likely to be ineffective. When a message is complex and complicated, or there is tension or conflict that needs to be resolved, switch to another medium. Provide information via multiple channels Follow phone calls with emails that summarize what’s been said. When possible, provide presentations, agendas, etc. in advance so those working in their non-native language can get familiar with materials. Be patient Cross-cultural communication takes more time. If not at all times, certainly initially you cannot expect your communication to occur with the same speed and ease as when you are communicating with someone from your own culture.5

 

 

 

5 http://www.culturosity.com/articles/Ten%20Strategies%20for%20Effective%20Communi…

 

 

 

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WHAT IS REFLECTING?

Reflecting is the process of paraphrasing and restating both the feelings and words of the speaker. The purposes of reflecting are:

 To allow the speaker to ‘hear’ their own thoughts and to focus on what they

say and feel.

 To show the speaker that you are trying to perceive the world as they see it

and that you are doing your best to understand their messages.

 To encourage them to continue talking.

 

Reflecting does not involve you asking questions, introducing a new topic or leading the conversation in another direction. Speakers are helped through reflecting as it not only allows them to feel understood, but it also gives them the opportunity to focus their ideas. This in turn helps them to direct their thoughts and further encourages them to continue speaking.6

WHAT IS SUMMARISING?

Summarising involves taking the main ideas from a piece of text and rewriting them in your own words. A summary is significantly shorter than the original text and tends to give an overview of a topic area.

 

 

 

6 http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/reflecting.html#ixzz41X51hNaL

 

 

 

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EXCHANGE INFORMATION CLEARLY IN A TIMELY MANNER AND WITHIN CONFIDENTIALITY PROCEDURES

It is vitally important that when you are exchanging information that it is done so clearly and in a timely manner.

 

When communicating personal information regarding clients or colleagues in the community services sector, it is extremely important to ensure that caution is used at all times to ensure the confidentiality of both staff and client matters. This is important both during written and verbal communication of personal information that may pertain to your colleagues or clients.

 

Your community services organisation will have policies and procedures in place for the handling of confidential information, and it is important that you make yourself aware of these and follow them at all time. The protection of the personal information of clients and colleagues is also enforced by legislation that is applied in many sectors of business including the community services sector.

 

Organisation policy on confidentiality may relate to:

 Access to records

 Destruction of records

 Release of information

 Storage of records

 Verbal and written communication

 

As well as handling all personal information of client and colleagues within the correct organisational policies, procedures, regulations and guidelines it is important that you also conduct the handling of this information with respect and care. Simple steps such as:

 Closing the door to have a private conversation

 Not leaving papers of a personal nature in plain view of others

 Ensuring that you take care when writing information so as not to release

information inadvertently

 

 

 

 

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Ensuring that you choose your words with care when communicating verbally regarding the personal information of others

 

 

 

 

 

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T O P I C 2 – C O L L A B O R A T E W I T H C O L L E A G U E S

COLLABORATION OR CONFRONTATION

Confrontation is basically a state of conflict between two people or ideas and collaboration is a joint effort of multiple individuals or work groups to accomplish a task or project. In this section we will delve a little deeper into collaboration and working with colleagues.

 

LISTEN TO, CLARIFY AND AGREE TIMEFRAMES FOR CARRYING OUT WORKPLACE INSTRUCTIONS

Make sure you clarify time frames for each of your work tasks with your supervisor. The things you think might be important may not be. You may miss an important deadline if you miss the timeline for completion.

 

It is important that all community service workers understand the importance of ensuring that the community service provider’s policies, protocols and procedures are appropriately and consistently addressed. This includes listening to, clarifying and agreeing on timeframes for carrying out instructions given to you.

 

An organisational goal is the overall purpose and direction of the company. Strategic plans, policies and protocols or procedures are all written in line with the organisations goals and objectives and should be followed at all times to ensure the purpose of the organisation is being carried out correctly.

 

A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol, these make up the framework that determine how work should be carried out and the timelines in which it is to be carried out. It is important that work is carried out within the scope of your role and individual responsibilities within the agreed timelines.

 

In order for a worker to carry out their job role correctly it is essential that they are aware of exactly what they are required to do, at what times and how they should perform these tasks in order to ensure that they are working within the required policies and procedures of a workplace.

 

 

 

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It is the responsibility of all community service workers to ensure that all of their actions are undertaken in line with organisational goals. Community service workers must follow all policies and procedures that are written to support the organisational goals as they will have been written in a manner that allows the organisation to work effectively and within the law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IDENTIFY LINES OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ORGANISATION AND OTHER SERVICES

There are service providing groups that are likely to be allied with or complementary to the service which you work. Relevance will be dependent on client needs and on the particular service that your organisation provides.

 

You may need to liaise and maintain links with several services, and the types of links may include:

 Referral to and from other services

 Telephone contact

 Worker networks

 Informal contacts

 Case conferences

 Inter-agency meetings

 Community consultative committees

 Joint projects

 

To initiate links with the various services you will need to make contact. You will need to know what services are provided by the different organisations or groups, the quality of the service provided, any associated expenses or any eligibility criteria that must apply, time frames and timetables applicable to the services and the most appropriate method for accessing the services. You will also need to provide information about who you are, the organisation for which you work and the needs and preferences of your clients.

 

MAINTAIN ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

Networks can be either formal or informal. Informal networks consist of respect and trust based relationships that do not require formal structures. Formal networks are those which often require membership applications and a membership fee. These might provide specific networking services, for example, databases of other organisations which are in a similar field to your own, regular newsletters to inform members of business developments, notification of formal networking functions and conferences that assist business personnel in meeting with and growing relationships with similar businesses.

 

 

 

 

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A network can be described as:

 An intricately connected system of things or people

 A communication system

 An interconnecting or interacting configuration of components

 A system or set of associations and contacts which support each other

through the exchange of information and ideas

 

Work-oriented networks include all the people or groups of people with whom you associate in order to complete your work. Networks provide information, support, resources, and power.

 

Networking activities might include:

 Referrals to and from other services

 Telephone contact with associated services and community bodies

 Worker networks

 Informal contacts with network associates

 Formal network memberships

 Participation in case conferences

 Interagency meetings

 Community consultative committees:

o Joint projects

 Membership on community consultative committees:

o Joint projects

 Consultations:

o Joint initiatives

 Telephone advice

 Collaborative provision of staff development and training

 Exchanging of reports

 Community education

 

 

 

 

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FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING

Networking events, conferences and other face-to-face opportunities can provide you with valuable information. These networks will enable you to gather the latest information on other services and provide information to other services about your service. This networking is vital in a community service organisation. No service works alone. Each one offers a different type of service or activity and all work together to provide clients with an overall service that meets their needs. These tips focus on helping you get the most from in-person networking activities.

 

For networking to be effective, you should devote time and planning. All of your business contacts and in particular, supplier and client contacts (including the family of clients), should be considered in terms of relationship building. Take every possible opportunity to build trust-based, information sharing relationships with work contacts (including those who are separated from you by distance and with whom you communicate electronically).

 

COMMUNICATING CONFIDENTLY

Be confident and use body language to support that confidence. Shake hands firmly, smile and make eye contact while communicating at live networking events. Don’t forget to bring business cards and or information to hand out to everyone you meet, and remember to relax and be yourself.

 

Before heading out to a networking event, practice introducing yourself to new people to gain confidence. Working on your introduction with someone you trust and asking for their feedback also helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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USE INDUSTRY TERMINOLOGY CORRECTLY IN VERBAL, WRITTEN AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN VERBAL, COMMUNICATIONS In all organisations of the health or community services, you will use both written and verbal communication. It will be necessary for you to communicate orally with either patients/clients, staff members, Doctors and other health professionals and other departments or organisations in either a face-to-face situations or over the telephone.

 

Therefore, you must know how to pronounce any medical terminology that will be use. You must also know the context in which the different terms or words are to be used.

 

Any information communicated must be clear, and feedback asked for to check that it has been understood and that instructions are completed accurately.

 

USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN WRITTEN OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

In written communication, it is also essential that you use the correct and appropriate terminology. Written communication will include the normal types of general correspondence found in all offices as well as correspondence that is relevant in a medical/health context.

 

COMPLETING DOCUMENTS

Documentation could be paper-based, electronic, or both. Whenever a form or document needs to be written, medical administrative staff must ensure that the information recorded is accurate, and the finished document looks professional

 

 

 

 

 

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FOLLOW COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS THAT APPLY TO INTERACTIONS WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND LINES OF

AUTHORITY

All organisations have rules for the transfer of information. Knowing how to use the different types of communication and following the correct procedures at the health care organisation helps to ensure that information goes to the correct place and person.

 

Communication can be internal or external or both. Internal communication is between staff at your organisation. External communication is between staff at the health care organisation and clients or other community members including the media.

 

In a health care routine workplace protocols exist for:

 Written communication (sending and receiving information)

 Verbal communication (giving and following instructions and messages)

 

Types of written communication used in health care include:

 Email, letters and faxes

 Forms, reports and memos

 Minutes and agendas for meetings

 Technical and procedural manuals

 Workplace signs

 Whiteboards and pin-up boards

 

The type of written and verbal communication you use in the health care organisation will depend on the area you work in and on your job description.

 

COMMUNICATION HIERARCHY

In all organisations, there is a correct line of communication. In the health care organisation, the first line of communication is your immediate superior or supervisor.

 

 

 

 

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It is important that you are able to discuss any issues or concerns you may have with your supervisor. Your supervisor may then either take your concern to the next level, or you may be advised to do so.

 

If you go straight to the director or head of the company, you will be advised to discuss the matter first with your supervisor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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T O P I C 3 – A D D R E S S C O N S T R A I N T S T O C O M M U N I C A T I O N

IDENTIFY EARLY SIGNS OF POTENTIALLY COMPLICATED OR DIFFICULT SITUATIONS AND REPORT ACCORDING TO

ORGANISATION PROCEDURES

Conflict is part of the dynamics in the workplace. While it is inevitable, it should not reduce productivity or bring down morale. Conflict should be addressed in a timely fashion. Here are strategies to handle conflict and maintain a tension-free workplace:

 Understand the situation. Few situations are exactly as they seem or as

presented to you by others. Before you try to settle the conflict, ensure you

have investigated both sides of the issue.

 Acknowledge the problem. Acknowledging the frustration and concerns is an

important step in resolving the conflict. Acting immediately on the problem

will avoid the negative impacts to penetrate on to the workplace climate or

culture.

 Be patient and take your time. Get a clear understanding of the issues before

you try to intervene. People often have very different perceptions of what has

occurred. Understanding their perceptions will help you to focus on what is

important to each person, and to find common ground.

 Arrange to meet with parties concerned. After meeting all partied involved

individually, set a group meeting with them. Encourage each person to

summarise their view, uninterrupted. This is essential as often people

involved in conflict do not feel heard. Sometimes resolving workplace conflict

is as easy as providing a forum for people to express their views.

 Focus on the problem, not the individual. Focus on identifying and resolving

the conflict. Set aside biases, assumptions, judgements and personal

perceptions.

 Establish guidelines. Before conducting a formal meeting between

individuals, get both parties to agree to a few meeting guidelines. Ask them to

express themselves calmly—as unemotionally as possible. Have them agree

 

 

 

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to attempt to understand each other’s perspective. Tell them if they violate

the guidelines the meeting will come to an end.

 Keep the communication open. The ultimate goal in conflict resolution is for

both parties to resolve the issue between themselves. Allow both parties to

express their viewpoint, but also share your perspective. Attempt to facilitate

the meeting and help them pinpoint the real issue causing conflict.

 Act decisively. Summarise the key issues once you have heard from all the

people concerned. Once you have taken the time to gather information, talked

to all the parties involved, and reviewed all the circumstances, make your

decision and act. Decide whether you will be able to mediate yourself, or you

will need the help of HR or external mediators.7

 

RESOLVE CONFLICT

Differences in personalities, goals and opinions sometimes result in conflict in the workplace. Learning how to manage conflict efficiently is the key to preventing it from slowing down employees’ professional growth. Below are steps involved in conflict resolution:

 Step 1: Identify the source of the conflict. The more information you have

about the cause of the conflict, the more easily you can help to resolve it. To

get the information you need, use a series of questions to identify the cause,

like, “When did you feel upset?” “Do you see a relationship between that and

this incident?” “How did this incident begin?” Both parties must be given the

chance to share their side of the story. This will give a clearer picture and

better understanding of the situation. Listening to both parties confirms

impartiality. Remember to listen actively as you acknowledge the information

and encourage the parties involved to continue to express their thoughts and

feelings.

 Step 2: Look beyond the incident. Often, it is not the situation but the

perspective on the situation that causes the friction that leads to visible and

sometimes, disruptive evidence of a conflict. The source of the conflict might

be a minor problem that occurred months before, but the level of stress has

 

7 http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/resolveconflict.htm

 

 

 

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grown to the point where the two parties have begun attacking each other

personally instead of addressing the real problem. In the calm of your office,

you can get them to look beyond the triggering incident to see the real cause.

Ask probing questions that will help you get to the bottom of the issue.

 Step 3: Request solutions. After getting each party’s point of view on the

conflict, solicit ideas from them. Ask for their inputs on how to change the

situation. Empower them to resolve their own issues.

 Step 4: Identify solutions both disputants can support. You are listening for

the most acceptable course of action. Point out the merits of various ideas, not

only from each other’s perspective but in terms of the benefits to the

organization. For instance, you might point to the need for greater

cooperation and collaboration to effectively address team issues and

departmental problems.

 Step 5: Agreement. The mediator needs to get the two parties to agree to one

of the alternatives identified. There are cases that a contract needs to be

written and signed by all parties, including facilitators, mediators and even

supervisors. The contract should specify the agreed courses of action and

time frames. Plan strategies and form processes to prevent conflicts from

arising in the future. It will also help to establish and communicate

contingency and escalation plans.

 

 

 

 

 

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IDENTIFY ACTUAL CONSTRAINTS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND RESOLVE USING APPROPRIATE

COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES

The community services sector and, in fact, our greater community are becoming more and more diverse all the time. It is extremely important for a community services worker to have an adaptable and flexible communication style that can be changed when the need is recognised. Specific communication needs may arise from individual and cultural differences and it is important that these are recognised and responded to ensure correctly effective communication and respect for all involved.

 

There are many different factors which may cause a need for adapted communication including:

 Gender

 Race

 Age

 Language

 Literacy level

 Disability

 Critical situations

 Emotional situations

 

It is important that all of these needs are responded to in a fair and non-judgmental manner. There are many different appropriate methods that communication can be altered in order to meet these needs. These include:

 Written materials in multiple languages

 Facial expressions and body language

 Practical demonstrations

 Cultural advisors

 Interpreters

 Brail machines

 Speaking machines

 Signs and symbols

 

 

 

 

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It is important to conduct all communication in a sensitive and empathetic manner in order to protect the right of all clients and colleagues for respect and understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

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USE COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO AVOID, DEFUSE AND RESOLVE CONFLICT SITUATIONS

Every workplace will have conflict from time to time. You will need to be able to recognise conflict as it is about to happen, as this is the best way to avoid it by addressing the conflict on the spot before it has a chance to manifest. It is always best to try and resolve differences on a one to one basis with the person/s concerned, as a first step. Personal and tactful communication is the best-starting approach.

 

You must remember to consider the other person’s point of view as well as any cultural differences or special needs. You need to clearly understand how you respond to conflict situations. When you do this, you’ll begin to identify your own patterns in conflict situations.

 

There are some key questions to ask yourself about how you would attempt to resolve a conflict situation between yourself and another person.

 Do you avoid conflict, hoping to “keep the peace”?

 Do you accommodate the other party in the conflict?

 Do you feel that compromise is the way resolve things?

 Do you actively collaborate?

 

You may be required to intervene in a conflict between co-workers at some point during your career. Should the need arise, go about resolving the conflict as you would if it was yourself involved, making certain that you are not biased, and that you hear out both sides of the story.

 

CONFLICT AND PROBLEM-SOLVING IN THE WORKPLACE

When a number of people work together in a group situation, there is always potential for conflict as each individual holds different values, beliefs, attitudes, backgrounds and skills. Conflicts are likely to occur when:

 Individuals work together to achieve a shared goal

 Their work roles complement each other

 Resources are shared

 

 

 

 

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When conflicts arise, it is necessary to negotiate a solution, one which all parties involved are happy with and which allows you to continue to work together (a win–win situation).

Involving team members in a discussion of problems is one way of ensuring the solution reached is creative and owned by team members. Hayden (1998) suggests that there is a role for shared decision-making in teams, particularly in children’s services. The five steps Hayden (1998, p. 4) outlines in shared decision-making are:

 Identify the problem and who owns it

 Realise that those who are most affected by the problem will be influenced by the decision made

 Brainstorm solutions or gather ideas together

 Collate the suggestions

 Ensure consensus is reached, that is, most team members agree with the decision

 

Staff meetings are one forum where shared decision-making can take place. Staff meetings allow team members to interact openly and discuss achievements, issues or problems that have arisen.

There are many benefits to holding regular staff meetings. They include the following:

 All team members receive the same information about occurrences in the workplace.

 Problems can be freely discussed.

 Other staff can provide feedback.

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