“It’s not what you said, it’s the way you said it.” How many times have you heard that? Poor communication is the cause of many challenges – challenges that can affect many areas of your program. Child and family outcomes will not be as high as they could be if high-functioning relationships are not in place. Effective communication is critical for building relationships between teachers and families – and that includes both the children and their parents. Family service workers and home visitors must build strong relationships with parents. And communication is key to building successful working relationships between staff and co-workers.
So, how can you solve communication problems? We focus on 3 factors that help build effective communication skills and successful relationships.
Build a secure foundation.
When building a relationship, you have to make the person feel safe and secure. This is true whether we’re talking about a teacher working with a child – or a family service worker or home visitor working with a parent. When the child feels safe and secure, they are ready to learn. When a parent feels safe and secure, they are open to talking about and addressing issues as they work toward self-sufficiency.
Act like a professional” is overused and often misunderstood. Professionalism doesn’t mean working a corporate job or wearing a suit but rather, demonstrating a professional attitude. It means conducting oneself with responsibility, integrity and accountability. It means communicating appropriately and always finding a way to be productive. It involves boundaries, intentionality and ensuring that the customer is always heard.
Focus on outcomes.
When children feel safe and secure, they learn more and their assessment scores are higher. When family service workers and home visitors build a true partnership with parents, parents engage more. They feel safe and are more willing to address the challenges in their life. When staff have strong working relationships with each other, everyone is more productive. Accomplishments thrive.
We provide staff training on effective communication, building relationships, and professionalism. We can help increase the child and family outcomes within your program. Give us a call at (704) 451-3255.