Communication is the essential tool for all teachers, coaches, and counselors in the areas of health, nutrition and wellness. Communication is also a skill that health professionals can develop to improve their relationships with clients and overall success.
In contrast to everyday, casual communication with friends and family, communication in a healthcare setting, including health guidance and counselling, should be thought about, and carefully practiced. There are multiple communication interactions that must occur before clients can begin working on their desired healthy behaviors, and communication with their support network continues to play a central role in their success.
What exactly does a health connection entail? What are some components of effective communication that health, wellness and nutrition coaches and consultants can practice and implement?
This article presents you with a healthy communication template to better understand what is happening as you interact with your customer. It then presents five components of health communication as presented by health education and counseling experts.
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All forms of verbal communication and many forms of written communication can be broken down into a four-step process that repeats itself as a cycle.
Dr. Thomas Gordon Briefly summarizes these steps:
- amplifier Says words.
- the listener He hears speaker words.
- the listener decipher The speaker’s words, meaning the listener forms an idea of what the speaker thinks.
- the listener Processes More information, often with a back and forth with the speaker, to get closer to understanding what the speaker actually means.
In healthy communication, and in communication in general, the speaker’s intended message can be distorted in three different ways:
- First, the listener may not have heard the speaker’s speech correctly. There may be aberrations, differences in language and pronunciation, or loud noises.
- Second, the speaker may not communicate clearly due to the difficulty of expressing ideas. This can occur due to language limitations or the handling of complex emotions, thoughts, or ideas that have not been fully processed by the speaker.
- Third, the listener can distort the message during the decoding process, that is, when the listener analyzes and forms conclusions about what the speaker is trying to communicate. During the decoding process, biases and past experiences can have a strong influence on the listener’s interpretation of the speaker’s message.
Nutrition, health and wellness counselors and coaches can avoid some communication barriers by implementing the key components of effective communication and counseling described in the next section.
The main components of effective communication in counseling and guidance
NB: These components described below are based on the text Nutrition counseling and education skills development Written by Kathleen De Power and Doreen Liu. This is also the text used in many AFPA certification courses.
Use advice and intentions when crafting responses
When you communicate with your client during a training or consulting session, it’s not like having a conversation with a friend or family member. It is important that you modify informal communication behaviors such as talking about yourself, making exaggerated facial or verbal expressions, and being quick to fill in the silence with questions, comments, or anecdotes. When your client shares information with you or asks a question, you can craft your response by first setting the consultation’s goal and intent.
a Counseling focus It is where you focus on responding during the counseling and education session. The focus should align with broader counseling goals or what your client, with your support, wants to achieve in your counseling sessions.
a counseling intent (or intent) is the rationale for choosing a particular response.
Counseling focus and intent should be aligned with counseling focus, Principles of Trauma Aware Communicationand your personal communication style.
Counseling response intentions can fall into three main categories:
- to admit. You may choose to emphasize, show respect, identify feedback, paraphrase what you hear, and emphasize the importance and importance of the client’s feelings and experiences. Here, you may want to build your relationship further, encourage your client to keep talking, and build a relationship.
Example: I hear you say your doctor hasn’t acknowledged your knee pain, even though that’s why you made the appointment. This must be frustrating.
- to explore. If you want to clarify an idea, get more information, or gain deeper insight, you may want to ask questions, provide information, and ask for their ideas or request clarification.
Example: You mentioned that you don’t feel safe going to the gym at the community center to exercise. Would you feel comfortable talking more about why you feel insecure?
- a challenge. If you recognize an opportunity for your client to think critically about their thoughts or actions, recognize inconsistencies, or want them to consider taking a different course of action, the goal of your response may be to challenge the client with respect.
Example: Thank you for sharing your frustration with the number of servings of vegetables in the weekly meal plan your dietitian gave you. I see here in your food frequency questionnaire that you used to eat the same number of servings of vegetables before starting your meal plan. Has anything changed? Or is there something else in the meal plan that bothers you?
Using effective nonverbal behavior and communication
body language researcher Albert Mehrabian He was one of the first scholars to break down the components of face-to-face conversation. He found that communication is 55% nonverbal, 38% vocal, and 7% only words.
Voice communication includes elements such as volume, tension, inflection, and speed. Nonverbal communication includes body language, eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, energy level, posture, and even the space you leave between you and another person.
In general, people tend to trust nonverbal behavior more than verbal communication because a lot of body language and facial expressions are not under conscious control.
As health coaches and counsellors, it is essential that you learn to be aware of your nonverbal communication and adopt behaviors that help build trust and a relationship with your client.
Here are some examples of ineffective and effective nonverbal communication and behaviors for health counselors and coaches:
- space: Ineffective behaviors can leave you with too much space or get too close. Effective behaviors may be about an arm’s length away or the distance your customer is communicating with them.
- Position: Ineffective behaviors may be flabby, too rigid, or veering away from your client. A relaxed and attentive posture with a slight inclination towards your client makes open ears and focus on the client.
- Eye contact: Ineffective behaviors include absenteeism (such as looking at notes or your mobile phone for long periods of time).
- face features: Ineffective behaviors may include facial expressions that don’t match your feelings, a frown, or a blank, absent appearance. Effective behaviors may be facial expressions that match your feelings, your client’s feelings, or a relaxed smile.
Reconciling verbal and nonverbal behavior
Coaches and counselors can practice aligning their body language with that of their clients. This is referred to as synchronization.
Synchronicity is a common sales technique for establishing a relationship with potential customers. This is because when you reflect the client’s body language, size, and silence, you increase the client’s sensitivity and communicate empathy.
Do not reflect the nonverbal behavior of your customer to the fullest extent or to the extent that it appears that you are trying to be more like them than yourself or make fun of your customer.
Analyze your customer’s nonverbal communication behavior
Just as your customer will be consciously or unconsciously aware of your nonverbal communication, you should make a point to note your customer’s nonverbal communication behavior. By observing their nonverbal communication, you will get clues about what your customer is thinking or feeling.
Take a few moments to think about what some of the following nonverbal behaviors might mean about the person’s thoughts or feelings:
- arms crossed
- tight grip
- Eyes wide and eyebrows raised
- Lack of eye contact
- shake head
- lip biting
- tapping feet
- Sitting on the edge of the seat
Standards of nonverbal communication vary across cultures and can also be a reflection of a habit or health condition. For example, you might think that a client who sweats profusely is very nervous, but may have a thyroid disorder or have hot flashes.
In this sense, it is important that coaches do not jump to conclusions when observing nonverbal communication, but instead use them as a guide. When appropriate, and with their permission, you can ask about nonverbal behaviors that you may notice.
Identify and reduce communication barriers
Communication barriers are obstacles placed by individuals that prevent communication, depth, and exploration of particular topics. they are the opposite Motivational interviewing principles.
For health, wellness, and nutrition counselors and coaches, communication roadblocks can include imposing their views, opinions, biases, judgments, experiences, and biases on clients. They reject the client’s experiences, opinions, values, and feelings and position the counselor or coach as the ultimate truth.
Some examples of roadblocks include:
- order or order
- Warning or threat
- Giving unsolicited advice
- Ethics or preaching
- Drag, distract or change the subject
In certain circumstances, some barriers are appropriate if you feel your counseling session needs to take a new direction. Try to avoid using roadblocks abruptly, and only do so after listening to your customer and understanding their message.
Nonverbal, audio, and verbal communication work together to send messages to others. Listeners consciously and subconsciously interpret these elements and then process them to understand others, form their own opinions, and decide how to respond.
For health educators, counselors, and coaches, this process should be taken seriously, as it is an essential component of supporting clients to adopt healthy behavioral changes.
In this article, you learned about the central elements of healthy communication, and learned about some of the components that can help you be a more effective listener and speaker. These skills are further developed in the AFPA Training and Mentoring Certifications.
- https://publichealth.tulane.edu/blog/comm Communication-in-healthcare/
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- https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/GetUrl Reputation