Communication is the transferring of messages from one person to another through any medium. Communication is a continuous, ongoing process. It is fluid and not static. Communication is relational not individual. The acts of communication don’t occur in isolation. Communication is influenced by experiences, values, culture, identity, stereotypes, attitudes, and prejudice. No single person or event causes another person’s reaction. All meaning rests in people not in words.
The two basic types of communication are verbal communication (oral and written) and non-verbal communication (signs, symbols, colors, gestures, body language or any facial expressions).
I. Communication Style: Assertive
-Characteristics: Nonjudgmental, tact, diplomacy, flexible, proactive, inclusive
-Behavior: Fair, firm, consistent, action-oriented, direct, confident
-Effects on Relationships: Agreement, consensus, trust, respect
II. Communication Style: Passive
-Characteristics: Indirect, always agreeable, quiet or hesitant
-Behavior: Apologetic, self-conscious, avoids conflict, lets other make choices, withdrawn
-Effects on Relationships: Dependency, lack of confidence in ability, passed over, sadness
III. Communication Style: Passive Aggressive
-Characteristics: Unreliable, moody, disruptive, sarcastic
-Behavior: Sarcasm, gossip, complaints, mumbling
-Effects on Relationships: Confusion, resentment, alienation, hurt
IV. Communication Style: Aggressive
-Characteristics: Closed-minded, poor listener, demanding, monopolizes, angry
-Behavior: Patronize, demean, bully, threats, interrupts
-Effects on Relationships: Mistrust, frustration, counter-aggression, defiance, resistance
Important interpersonal skills for Human Services Professionals include:
1. Verbal communication
2. Non-verbal communication
3. Listening skills
Nicki Sanders, The Packaged For Success Coach, is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.
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