Factors you may need to consider when trying to communicate effectively with others could be their age. If it's a child you will need to simplify your language, get down to their level so that eye contact can be easily made. Be aware of your own posture and body language, while assessing theirs so that you can gauge their emotions, and be able to respond appropriately. It is also important to show that you are listening to the child and looking interested in what they are saying. Sometimes it takes a while for a child to get their sentences out, so if you look bored and uninterested, he/she will be less inclined to carry on with the conversation and it may affect their confidence when communicating in the future.
When communicating with an adult it is slightly different, the language you use will be more complex and the sentences will flow a bit faster. Good eye to eye contact and facial expressions are important to help you convey your message and to be able to decode their emotions and feelings. Adults also need to feel valued, so good listening skills are key to effective communication and allowing the other person time to answer before you start talking again, never guess what a person is trying to say.
Effective communication isn't just achieved by verbally expressing yourself though. Some organizations use P.E.C.S (Picture Exchange Communication System), exchanging picture and symbols on a board to communicate feelings, choices, wants and needs. This is particularly useful for children with a speech delay, or children with learning difficulties. Photos of the toys/equipment on the front of the boxes and draws tell everyone where to put it all away after use. Or at snack times the children can see the choices available on the board in photo or picture form.
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Children learn to become more effective communicators through role-playing games, either with or without adult participation. Listening to stories and discussing them afterwards with others is greatly beneficial to the child, as they are practicing their listening skills and communicating with each other. Other ways in which adults communicate are through email, telephone or text message to colleagues. Newsletters to keep parents informed of general news and updates.
When communicating effectively at work with the children, I like to sit on the floor small hair. I like to be at their level, as I feel it can be a bit intimidating to have an adult standing over and talking. My speech will be slower and clearer, I will use simple words and keep sentences short. Usually, I try to ask open-ended questions to try and encourage the children to talk to me, instead of giving a dead-ended answer with yes or no. Involving the parent/career into the conversation is also great, as it helps me to find out more information about the child. Im able to find out their strengths and abilities and better able to provide activities for that individual child's needs.
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