Communication skills are key for professionals in almost every industry, but there are few professions where communication is as important as that of a community support worker. Community support workers lend support to people undergoing a range of challenges, from homelessness to mental health and addiction difficulties. These professionals assist people in working through the problems they face or the crisis they are experiencing, coming up with actionable solutions based on their assessment of the situation. In all that they do, effective communication skills are vital in ensuring that client problems are accurately and safely addressed, and that situations are handled appropriately.
If you’re considering becoming a community support worker, here’s what effective communication looks like, and why it’s necessary on the job.
Those with Community Support Worker Training Communicate Constantly with Clients
Communication is vital to the work of the community support worker at every step of dealing with a client. First, they must use conversational and listening skills to gather the information they need from people about their situations. Next, effective communication is necessary to accurately convey the information they obtain to the agency or organization they work with, with possible examples of these including group homes, social service agencies, support services, and more. Lastly, communication skills are important when working with a client to determine a solution to the problem at hand, and when making decisions about next steps. Speaking and listening effectively is especially important at this point of the working relationship, to ensure that the client is being advocated for, that they feel they’ve been heard, and that the solution implemented is the right one for them. Those with community support worker training may be aware of the necessity of using communication skills on the job, but it can be helpful to know what exactly good communication is defined as, and how it’s best achieved.
How Is “Good Communication” Defined?
For good communication to occur, all participants must be involved. In the case of community support workers, good communication involves a level of mutual understanding between themselves and the client, with information and feedback being received from both sides in order to avoid misunderstandings. Good communication allows for community support workers to gain a complete understanding of the situation someone may be in, and how they can be helped effectively.
Techniques to Build Good Communication Skills as a Community Support Worker
There are a few essential techniques that make up good communication. Here are a few different types of communication that those with a community support worker diploma should be aware of as ways of getting important information to and from clients:
- Non-verbal communication: Non-verbal communication is important to use for making a client feel comfortable enough to express their feelings and troubles. This type of communication consists of eye contact, mannerisms, facial expressions, and posture. Community support workers can use relaxed and open body language to appear more approachable, and can maintain eye contact to let the client know that they’re listening.
- Verbal communication: Verbal communication consists of the spoken words between the participants in the conversation, and is important in conveying essential information.
- Active Listening: Active listening involves giving a client complete attention at all times. This requires a distraction-free environment and total focus in order to make an effort to understand what the client is going through.
Do you have good listening and communication skills? Do you enjoy helping people?
Community support worker college could be right for you! Check out Discovery Community College’s program options today.