Factors That Inhibit and Support Communication
Factors that Inhibit and Support Communication There are many factors of which inhibit and prohibit communication. These include emotional factors, individual needs, positioning and environmental factors. Environmental factors include the lighting of an environment, noise levels of the surroundings, physical barriers such as language differences or several disabilities. These can sometimes be inhibiting as certain factors could make it hard for the service user to understand information given, therefore this will affect the quality of communication.
Also Service users often have serious emotional needs for example they are afraid or depressed due to the stresses they are experiencing. Sometimes service users will appear to be aggressive, shy or lack character. Listening involves learning about frightening and depressing situations and carers may avoid hearing nasty emotional feelings. These emotions can create barriers because care workers become tired with listening using a big part of mental energy, they can become emotionally stressed by the needs of service users, and they could also make assumptions, label or stereotype others.
Factors How it may support communicationHow it may inhibit communication Positioning: positioning can create both physical and emotional barriers that inhibit communication. • Height • Space • Body postureIn discussion groups it is very important that everyone can see on another especially when non-verbal communication Is being used. To support this type of communication it is best to place service users in a circle to enable all those taking part in a discussion to receive non-verbal messages from everyone in the group.
Another reason why sitting in a circle supports communication is that it suggests that everyone is equal and that everyone is expected to communicate with everyone else. Also this freedom to communicate is also linked with creating a feeling of belonging. If a person cannot see you this can inhibit communication. Height could inhibit as leaning over somebody and looking down on them can send a message of dominance and power. If the care worker is not at the same eye level as the service user, this may inhibit communication as this will make the service user feel you are more important than them and also not showing respect for them.
Another factor that can inhibits communication is positioning yourself to far from a service user who have hearing difficulties as many people with partial hearing use lip reading therefore if the care worker is too far away the service user may not be able to understand what they are saying. Emotional factors: • Fear/happiness • Self-esteem • Trust • Empathy • Responsiveness • Attentiveness • RespectIf the care worker builds a supportive relationship with the service user this will also greatly influence communication.
As if the care worker gains the service users trust they are more likely to share information. By showing respect to service users will help meet their self -esteem needs and by being responsive means they will be responsive to you, also listening you will be able to build an understanding with who you are communicating with and this could lead to empathy within time. Respect will also support communication because service users will see the service providers as being supportive therefore they will respond to you with respect and trust.
If there is a lack of trust between the two this will also inhibit the communication because the service user might not be able to trust the provider therefore information will not be correctly inclined correctly. Also with emotional factors the care worker can inhibit communication as they may be tired which can result in them not listening properly to the service users’ needs as it takes mental energy and therefore may not take in all information. Another factor which can effect communication is the care worker believing they do not have sufficient time to communicate properly.
This would result in the care worker making mistakes due to rushing and also not noting down all information on the service user. Environmental factors: • Space • Noise • Lighting • Ventilation Hearing aids will amplify background noise as well as the voice of the speaker when communicating in a noisy environment. Even though good lighting may not be as important for someone with good hearing it plays a major part in making it critical when those who need to lip read this will support their understanding of speech.
Being positioned in an appropriate way may help service users communicate effectively due to being able to see one another and reading each other’s body languageNoise can make it difficult for service users with hearing aids to communicate properly as if there is a lot of background noise this can be very hard for the service user to hear what someone is saying. Another factor that affects communication is lighting as if the lighting in the care setting is very dull than this will make it difficult for the service user to make sense of others facial expressions as they will not be able to see their face properly.
Space also affects communication as service users may feel uncomfortable when trying to communicate with a care worker who is sitting to close or at a distance. Ventilation also plays a big part in being unable to communicate properly because people may feel uncomfortable due to it being too hot or too cold this could make services providers feel stressed or tired. Seating positions in a space could inhibit communication because a group of people may not be able to see each other properly with being unable to see each other. Special needs: • Language • Translator Sign language • Braille • Hearing aids To support the communication service providers may be needed to employ an interpreter when using a different language. The service provider making sure that they can see them clearly and not obscuring their mouths might support communicating with people with hearing impairments. Communicating could become difficult when the service users are from different language communities. Having service workers who are not experienced with using different styles of special communication such as Makaton can disadvantage others.
Other factors that can inhibit communication are: Stereotyping- being stereotypical could inhibit communication as the care worker may try to save mental energy and just make the assumption that groups of people are ‘all the same’. For example perhaps a younger person meets an 80-year-old who has a problem with his or her memory, perhaps they have seen someone with poor memory on TV it is then easy to think that ‘all old people are forgetful’. This would be a stereotype. Another example would be a carer who works with older people might say ‘I’ll just go in and wash and dress this next one.
I won’t ask what she would like me to do because she’s old. Old people don’t remember, so it doesn’t matter what I do’. Stereotyping is the opposite of valuing diversity. Therefore this will inhibit communication because the service user will not be receiving respect or the appropriate care needed. Discrimination- discrimination can also affect communication as care workers may avoid communicating with a particular group of service users. For example a service user in a wheel chair can be disregarded or overlooked when carers are talking to each other over his or her head.
This can also make the service user feel like she or he is not taken notice of and that the carers have no respect for them. To avoid this care workers have to get to know the people they work with in order to avoid making false assumptions. In getting to know an individual, carers will also need to understand the ways the class, race, age, gender and other social categories influence the person. Conclusion It is important that as a care worker you need to prove to others that you are a supportive service worker and to do so they must follow a set of values. t is vitally important that service workers can value diversity and can identify the influence of cultural context on communication. If service workers do not respect service user’s rights, including their right to confidentiality, they are likely to feel threatened by your behaviour. It is also important that carers can identify the role of the following factors in influencing communication: • Emotion • The importance of positioning • Environmental conditions • Special communication needs